So what makes for a successful first date anyway? I know one thing for sure – I really want to avoid any awkward silences. There's only so long a 'seen any good movies lately?' conservation can last.
An environment that helps the conversation along, as well as being fun and new, goes a long way to stimulating conversation... and who knows, it could help with that all important spark.
1. Eat Street Markets
See what I mean about romantic lighting? Photo: writer's own.
The Eat Street Markets at Hamilton are an amazing new collection of food and gift stores open on Friday and Saturday nights. With everything from spicy dumplings to luscious Angus steak to crunchy salads available, the food on offer is far and away some of the best markets food I've tried. The fact it comes out of cute shipping container stalls is mind boggling.
[ADVERT]Wandering amongst all the stores, weighing up your dining options and sharing a couple of different dishes means you've got loads to do, and makes it my top pick for a first date. There are so many things to look at that there is no risk of a dull moment. And who knows, squeezing up a little close to get a seat on the benches could be just the thing.
There are drinks and dessert options available too, all supported by romantic lighting and atmospheric fairy lights. Post-dinner there are a few little gift and homewares stores scattered around. And look, if things are going really badly you could always arrange to bump into friends near the frozen yoghurt stall.
Don't forget to take cash so you don't have to line up at the ATM, and it can be a bit crowded at peak times. Free parking is available.
2. A show at QPAC and tapas at the Russell Street Wine Bar
Incredible QPAC – where do I even start? Just in the next few weeks you can get tickets to a see a play, a classic musical, live music, and even a circus. I love getting a bit dressed up to see a show and there's always a bit of a thrill when the lights go down in the theatre and the actors/dancers/musicians appear on stage.
Great outlook from the Russell St Wine Bar. Photo: writer's own.
Going to see a show at QPAC is truly classy date, but you can't just sit in the dark for the whole date. A little trip to the Russell Street Wine Bar in the QPAC building before the show is a perfect start to your night. Most importantly, the tapas available is super delicious. Plus, picking a selection of the dainty little dishes is the perfect icebreaker to get you started (and the bite size dishes are way more appropriate that the time I chose Ethiopian food for a first date - curry down your front is not ideal.)
There's a pretty comprehensive wine list, including champagne, with a lovely view out to South Bank. But don't get it confused with the antipasto bar upstairs.
Are you hoping to end the date with a bit of a bluegrass boogie on the dance floor? Or hoping that you'll be bumped together because it's getting a bit crowded? Then get along to Lefty's Old Time Music Hall in Caxton Street.
The electric atmosphere in this joint as the guitars start twanging away means you can't help but tap your toes and even grin up at the giant bear displayed on the wall. Having apple juice freshly squeezed just for you (with whiskey of course) is pretty special, not to mention deliciously refreshing. There are also some seriously cheesy cheeseburgers available as well as other southern American style meals.
Date-wise, the live music gives you something to watch and discuss, although really they are so entertaining in their own right you won't be able to look away. And if you really need to reveal your Johnny Cash 'Get Rhythm' boot scooting on the first date – perfect opportunity.
It's hard to capture the old time lighting inside so you'll have to head along to see. Credit: Lefty's Music Hall
An evening at Brisbane Jazz Club is a great first date idea too! Fantastic live music, (songs of passion and romance) in an intimate, candle-lit ambience, full bar, supper menu, and gorgeous romantic view of the illuminated city from the deck right on the river - for the full romantic monte try it when the moon is up! On second thoughts, perhaps this idea should be kept up your sleeve for subsequent dates if you click on the first one!