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  • Simone Poppleton

Date Nights: Save, Spend & Splurge

If you’re too busy for date night, you’re too busy. When we first got married we weren’t as responsible with our date nights. After 9 years of dating and date nights, we got married and moved in together and I think we all too easily enjoyed that we didn’t have to go out to spend time together. Then lockdown happened and we realised that we had fooled ourselves. We were we not spending enough time quality alone time together and overall we were just too busy! And so we have been far more intentional about date day/ date night.

A date is a pre-planned time where the two of you leave your work life and work-from-home life, and spend a set amount of time focusing on each other, and really talking and listening to each other.

Date night also doesn’t have to be something you reserve for night. In fact Drew and I prefer date mornings or date afternoons.

Here are my simple date night ideas for SAVERS, SPENDERS & SPLURGERS.


Living and working in the same space means we all need to be a little more creative when we date on a budget. Our favourite budget friendly date is to prepare themed dinners and classic movie nights. Why not prepare Greek food and watch Mamma Mīa, or traditional British Roast and watch Nottinghill.

Dating on a budget helps us to remember to live for the small things. Like the way Drew makes me coffee in a mug that matches my outfit for the day, buying a pastry from our local Fournos and sitting on our balcony surrounded by our washing line, and his work station, the afternoon light that pours through the weeping willows overlooking the spruit by our house. These are the rituals of enjoying life's simple pleasures.


I think we particularly like dates during the day because all the cute coffee shops are open for breakfast. We love to scout out and support local coffee shops and treat ourselves to a a foamy cappuccino, and breakfast on a Saturday. Breakfast is one of my favourite date ideas, I love waking up knowing we are going to start the day together.

Our current favourite coffee shops: • @father_coffee • @morning_glory_jhb • @justdarlingshop • @niceon4th • • @arbourcafe

Gauteng is blessed with glorious weather, so the loveliest daytime date took us 50km away to a wedding venue in Pretoria called Rosemary Hill where we spent the afternoon having a picnic, reading and snoozing. We bought homemade quiche and salad from the restaurant and whiled away the hours on a late Sunday afternoon.


As Joburgers we have never stayed in a hotel in our own city — and we are really spoilt for choice. Johannesburg has beautiful hotels!

Book a night at The Residence or Houghton Hotel, choose the room with a bath, take your own bubble bath (Drew found it so crazy that I bought the value pack bubble bath, but it’s the only one I liked the smell of), order champagne (or in our case we ordered coffee and condensed milk) and just enjoy sleeping in luxury for a night away from home. If you’re feeling flush, or it’s a more special occasion include a massage!

It is more important than ever to prioritise rituals of connection. Life is full of seriousness as it is so why not let your love take you to the couch, to coffee shops and for long car rides with your best friend.

Have more date ideas that we can try? I would love to hear them.


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