How good is curling up with the one you love and relaxing in front of a movie? Mrs Romance and I do it all the time. We have, however, discovered a way to take your romantic movie time to the next level: a movie-themed date.
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When Mrs Romance first suggested the idea of a movie-themed date, I wasn’t too sure. But the more we explored the idea, the better it became. If you think about it, it’s perfect.
You’re spending time with the one you love doing fun stuff and you get the chance to enjoy your movie in a totally different way.
It doesn’t have to be a movie you’ve seen before – though it can help with planning. We hadn’t seen our film before but that didn’t matter. A quick search on IMDb and we were away.
The film we based our date on was The Longest Ride. It’s adapted from a novel by Nicholas Sparks, who also wrote The Notebook. I’m not usually a mushy movie kind of guy but I must admit (grudgingly) that I enjoyed The Notebook.
The Longest Ride is about a young cowboy who falls in love with a college girl, and how their romance is drastically affected by an old art collector, who they rescue from a car wreck.
It’s an easy one to watch and, in spite of its mushiness, I really enjoyed the film. You can definitely feel Sparks’ influence over the movie, and Scott Eastwood (Clint’s son), Britt Robertson, Alan Alder, Jack Huston and Oona Chaplin (granddaughter to Charlie Chaplin) do a great job.
This film was a lot of fun to theme a date around.
Anyway, this is how it works:
How to do a movie themed date
1. If it’s a film you haven’t seen before, check the synopsis on IMDb.
2. Use the movie to inspire you for things to do and places to go.
3. Buy the film on iTunes and download it onto your tablet.
4. Enjoy your day out with your loved one.
It might take a bit of research and prep, and thinking outside the screen, but it’s worth it. Really worth it.
Our movie-themed date
The Longest Ride has bit of a country/cowboy feel to it so that’s the theme we went with.
Sydney Horse is a horse-riding centre in Centennial Parklands Equestrian Centre. Neither of us have ridden since we were kids, so the mechanical practice horse they have in the stables was very handy to get to grips with it all again.
We then mounted up and took the track that runs around the beautiful parklands. Mrs Romance’s horse, Molly, was an absolute sweetheart, and her trainer Rachel was great too.
We both had lots of questions about horses and riding and Rachel explained everything so well. The horses at Sydney Horse have an amazing relationship with their trainers. It was fascinating to see how much Molly trusted Rachel, and the ride went so smoothly.
It’s about a 3.5km walk from the equestrian centre to Centennial Parklands Dining, where we had lunch reservations. Sydney Horse has a range of ride-and-dine packages with Centennial Parklands Dining you can book here.
The Centennial Parklands Dining restaurant is a big place but we were seated and seen to quickly. The special lunch menu for our package included a charcuterie platter big enough for 4.
It came with sliced meat, a range of cheeses, fruit, olives and a very moreish truffle dip.
The next course took a mercifully long time to come, but when it did, I couldn’t believe it.
Mrs Romance’s crispy skinned snapper came with a macadamia crust, crab and more kipfler potatoes than one person can cope with.
My gigantic Reuben sandwich defeated me and I had to ask for half of it to take away. Mind you, the bucket load of deliciously coated chips might have had something to do with it.
We had to wait quite a while for dessert, which wasn’t such a bad thing. It’s probably a good thing to know that because of the size of this restaurant, orders do seem to come out a little slower. Make sure you’re not on too strict a schedule.
Apple tart tartin with vanilla ice cream happens to be a favourite of mine and the kitchen here didn’t disappoint – though I was too full to finish it.
We stumbled out of the restaurant to find a shady spot to sit.
We were in the perfect slow, lazy mood for the final part of our date: the movie.
Far away from everyone, we found a spot in the park, pulled out the blanket and iPad and got comfy. We even popped a bottle of sparkling for a post lunch tipple.
The movie was an excellent way to finish the afternoon. It was romantic, fun, interesting and had a great little twist at the end. We were left with just a gentle walk back to humanity.
The Longest Ride is available now to download in digital HD from iTunes here.
We did have plans to go to the art gallery afterwards to really get the most out of the story of the film, but instead we decided on a quick cocktail and home.
Top tips for a movie themed date
? Preparation is key – download the movie the night before so you’re not rushing in the morning.
? Bring something comfy to sit on.
? Buy a double headphone adaptor so you can plug 2 sets of headphones into the tablet.
? Champagne – always champagne!
We’ll definitely be doing more movie themed dates, so watch this space for our next off-screen adventure!
Which film would you use as a theme for a date? Have you ever been on a themed date? Tell us in the comments!