Every person has a different idea of the perfect date. For some, it's the classic dinner and movie followed by a kiss goodbye at the front door. For others, it means a stroll on the beach holding hands and talking life goals. And then there's those that can't think of anything worse than PDA's and eye goggling and instead prefer adventure and side-splitting laughter.
The good thing is that Sydney is a city that caters for it all. No matter your dream date, it's always there for the taking – you just need to know where to look…
Located on the water's edge of Narrabeen Lagoon, the family-friendly and pet-friendly The Boatshed Cafe Bar is the ideal spot for breakfast. With floor-to-ceiling glass walls, The Boatshed offers picturesque views from every table, and the widest vegetarian menu around. Enjoy a healthy bowl of spinach, avocado, asparagus, quinoa, poached eggs and lemon before embarking on the Narrabeen Lagoon Trail, taking you through beautiful ecosystems, an abundance of wildlife, cultural heritage and historic icons.
If you're not too sure whether to cross that bridge and head into "relationshipville", then Newtown is a great place for a date. Start at Young Henry's for good beer, good music and good times. Home to six taps and two handpumps as well as a range of ever-changing brews, you can sip away at a tasting tray or better yet, take the 60 minute tour. From there you can head to the Bank Hotel, renowned for its excellent pub food and leafy beer garden.
In the affluent harbourside suburb of Rose Bay, you'll find Rose Bay Aquatic Hire where you can rent paddleboards, kayaks or a fishing boat at a reasonable price. You'll need a fishing license to take out a tinnie, but you're free to explore the harbour on a single or double kayak or paddle board with no experience necessary.
Following your water workout, why not head to Catalina, one of Australia's most iconic destination restaurants. Situated on the harbour forefront, it offers unobstructed water-level views and a fresh, authentic menu inspired by the classics – French, Italian, Spanish and Mediterranean. It also houses an award-winning wine list.
For a whole-day adventure, take a trip out to the western edge of the Blue Mountains and to the pretty, historic village of Rylstone. Rylstone is packed full of heritage-listed stone buildings, including the magnificent post and telecommunications office, the police station, the courthouse and the shire hall. There's also boutique art and craft stalls and a great market, as well as Nullo Mountain, which offers breathtaking views overlooking the valley. For lunch, be sure to stop at 29 Nine 99, a local's favourite for yum cha. With more than 30 dumplings and buns on offer, as well as steaming hot soups and Peking duck pancakes, you'll be wishing you lived closer.
Alternatively, hire a convertible from Ultimate Rentals and drive south to Wollongong over the famous Sea Cliff Bridge. Stop for lunch at Caveau before returning home along arguably one of the most beautiful roads in the world.
If you're looking for a dining experience to blow your date away, it doesn't get much better than the three hatted The Bridge Room. The Good Food Guide's Restaurant of the Year, The Bridge Room features an open kitchen with custom built charcoal grill. Many dishes are prepared over binchotan charcoal and slow smoked in the Japanese Robata style. The dining room's flavour-rich menu together with relaxed aesthetics is a winning formula for a perfect date.
The walk along Dee Why Beach and up to the headland is truly outstanding, and if the waves are good, there will be surfers by the bucket loads. Meet early and sit and watch the waves for a while, or have a game of table tennis with views over the water. Once you've enjoyed the sunset, head to Aubergine for an early dinner and enjoy a mix of European and Mediterranean dishes, such as slow roasted lamb shanks and aubergine and goat's cheese parcels.
If you're lucky enough to score a 24-hour date, then make the most of it and stay at Jonah's Whale Beach. The perfect beachside escape, Jonah's offers an acclaimed restaurant, eleven ocean retreat rooms, and the Best Hotel Restaurant Wine List according to the Gourmet Traveller WINE. Guests can sit back and relax on the stunning terrace, enjoy the ocean breeze, and sip mouthwatering cocktails using a range of house-made syrups.
Want to promise your partner a date night every month of the year? Buy them a series of Good Food Gift Cards and they can choose from any of the restaurants mentioned above to spend it in.