Hubby and I aren’t one of those couples who have a regular ‘date night’. Some people find that weird; others breathe a huge sigh of relief that they’re not the only ones who favour quality over quantity.
As natural homebodies Hubby and I are quite content cuddled up on the sofa watching TV, slurping a cuppa and catching up. After all who wants to be getting dolled up and dragging their asses out of the house every Thursday night just because you ‘should’. Talk about making something which should be romantic into a chore! But that’s just us, each to their own.
That’s not to say we don’t have dates. We do. And last Sunday I treated Hubby to a mystery date!
You see. I’m very fortunate to have a hooked a good ‘un. In my eyes he’s handsome, helpful, über supportive and very, very caring. He looks after me when I’m unwell, when I’m feeling down and puts up with my (a-hem) occasional diva strops. He has the patience of a saint and is one of the few people in this world who can take me from rage to laughter in under 60 seconds. I thought about this the other day and wanted to do something special for him to say thank you for, well, just being him really.
I’ll leave the umbrella in the car if I don’t need it, said Hubby
We’re not taking the car, I replied
Planning a mystery date wasn’t easy. All of the sense checking which I usually get Hubby to do (have I booked the right date, the right time, the right place) I had to take care of myself. Then I had to go and purchase train tickets in advance, otherwise announcing ‘two adult day returns to Leamington Spa‘ at the station in front of Hubby would have rather given the game away.
Tickets purchased and Hubby primed on what to wear, we headed out. We boarded our first train. Hubby had no clue. We boarded our second train, Hubby still had no clue, but secretly hoped it wasn’t Birmingham. We boarded our third train and he was starting to narrow down the options. To be honest I think he suspected Warwick, but still looked pleased when I instructed him to leave the train a stop later at Leamington Spa.
We arrived a little early, so watched a military parade make its way through the pretty town and wandered aimlessly around the street market and a small park at the top of the Parade, before heading to our lunch booking at Le Bistrot Pierre.
Now I’d been to this restaurant for a Hen Do last year and was really impressed by their steak. I’d always meant to return and, well, wanting to treat Hubby to a good meal out and decent steak, kind of go hand-in-hand don’t they? In a sense Le Bistrot Pierre is a chain restaurant, but this chain is more of a bracelet than a full on necklace, with a few bistros scattered throughout the country. I can’t speak for the other venues but the Leamington branch is nicely decorated, dark wood, French artefacts and posters, and a cosy and quite authentically French ambience.
We dined from the lunch menu. To be honest I would have liked to have tried the squid which was on our menu, but unfortunately the restaurant had run out. Instead we both opted for the carrot and orange soup for starter. Now I’m not big on having soup as a starter. But this was delish. It warmed the cockles, without being overly hearty, and with the hint of orange was actually quite refreshing too.
For main, Hubby went for a burger, whilst I opted for Steak Frites. In hindsight I should have gone for Pave du Steak. Ah well. Hubby enjoyed his burger and my steak was… alright. It was supposed to be served pink, but was well done which was disappointing. The frites were yummy and the mushroom sauce was good. The steak was good, but not as great as I’d remembered. Ho hum!
Next up was dessert. Hubby opted for Brioche bread and butter pudding with a berry compote, which was tasty but very stodgy. I went for Creme Brule, which was delish, but huge, and alas I was defeated in battle. Unheard of with me and puddings – usually my ‘second stomach’ kicks in to allow the absorption of the sugary goodness, but not so in this case!
We washed the whole thing down with some yummy Sauvignon Blanc.
The meal was excellent value with each three-course lunch priced at £12.95. In fact, it was such a bargain, that I felt like a bit of a cheap skate for taking Hubby there as a ‘treat’. Oops!
After lunch we sauntered (read: waddled – we were that stuffed) through the town, browsing some of the market stalls and high street shops before heading back to the station just as the heavens began to open. We headed back home on multiple trains, bumping into lots of people who had taken part in the Birmingham Half Marathon. What have you done today to make you feel proud? I thought to myself. Hmmm, taken my marvellous Hubby out for a romantic meal and eaten my body weight in Creme Brule. Does that count?