Plan the perfect date night on the Dolphin Coast

Crack open a bottle of wine and enjoy a picnic style meal on the lawn with artisan food sold on sight.

Times are tough and while purse strings are tight date night does not have to break the bank.

The Dolphin Coast has so many great options for fun nights out, here are a few of my favourites.

Outdoor cinema

Keep an eye out for the family movie nights at Sugar Rush. Photo: Sugar Rush Facebook page.

Situated off the R102 Ballito Compensation, I have grown to love the hidden gem that is Sugar Rush Park.

Aside from the weekend markets (which are fantastic for a family day out), they often host some pretty cool events that make amazing date ideas.

Last month I had an awesome time at the family movie night. Stocked with blankets and camping chairs, we watched Monster Trucks. It was far more relaxed than your traditional cinema and far cheaper with the adult tickets selling for R40. A plus is that you do not get told to “shush” all the time.

Although it was a kids movie (and I am still a kid at heart), it was the atmosphere that did it for me. Pizza, burgers, popcorn and refreshments were sold at the grounds for reasonable prices.

Unfortunately, drive-in cinemas were before my time but I think this came pretty close, minus the backseat-making out.

Dance the night away

“My hart klop tjoklits as jy naby is. Baby!”

Finally, the North Coast has somewhere to dance sokkie.

Every Friday night you can dance to your heart’s content at Stallion’s Restaurant and Bar to all your favourite treffers.

Situated between Ballito and Tongaat, off the R102, on the equestrian farm Galloping Winds, this is a night out that will blow your hair back while your man twirls you around on the dance floor.

Somebunny to love

Delightfully messy, a bunny chow is an authentic Durban choice for a hot date.

I know it’s not a typical date idea but trust me, you only really know someone after you have seen them eat a bunny chow.

Plus, we live in Durban so this should be mandatory.

Being a self-proclaimed curry expert, about two years ago my friends and I set out to try all the famous bunny chow spots in Durban. Little did I know that there was a curry gem right under my nose. I have recently come to know and love the Westbrook Bakery and Takeaway.

Situated on Acacia Crescent, for R55 you get a mean bunny chow with fresh, quality bread (something that has becomes so scarce in the bunny chow world).

The meat is cooked to perfection, the potatoes melt in your mouth and there is always enough gravy.

I am used to hot curry, so I love their lamb bunny chows, however, a word of warning – it is not for the mild mouthed.

They do have a seating area outside the store or another option is to take your meal down to Westbrook Beach, which is only a few minutes away.

Live music at sunset

Crack open a bottle of wine and enjoy a picnic style meal on the lawn with artisan food sold on sight. Photo: The Litchi Orchard Facebook page.

The Litchi Orchard at Salt Rock is the place to be if you are keen for good music and great drinks.

The public setting also makes this an ideal place for a first date. The night markets, which are my favourite, are held on the last weekend of every month and they usually have local musicians performing while guests set up their picnic blankets on the grass.

The entrance fee is R30 and there is an array of delicious food, some of which are prepared in front of you which I love.

So to the important factor, drinks. I honestly hate that the most simple of drinks are usually expensive at bars and restaurants, aren’t the good things in life supposed to be free? Jokes aside, the bar at the Litchi Orchard called the Shed, has to be one of my favourite places to get drinks.

I am in love with their flavoured gin on tap and although I have tasted all their variations, my favourite has to be the blueberry and thyme for R42. It is much cheaper than cocktails at most bars or restaurants and it is super refreshing. What’s great for me is that the drink is not watered down to the point where you cannot taste the gin.

Strawberry picking and waffles

Strawberries have long been an erotic food, perfect for romance. Photo: Stock image

While this will have to be a date for the day, strawberry picking is too much fun to leave off this list. Also just off Esenembe Road off the R102 on Ballito Compensation, at Cappeny Estates you have the option to pick your own strawberries on Saturdays from 9 am to 3 pm depending on the weather. It makes you feel like you should skip through the fields singing a song or something, but I am cooler than that.

A bit on the pricey side at R75 to pick a punnet of strawberries and you are not allowed to eat while you pick. Entrance fee is an additional R10.

Still, I love the typical farm feel with haystacks seatings where you enjoy refreshments and food that are prepared at the venue.

They make amazing strawberry waffles and it is an all around fun experience.

Serenade me drummer boy

Sand between the toes and the beat of the drum make for an unusual date night experience. Stock image.

This week I was pleased to discover that Beach Bums will be having a Full Moon Drum Circle, complete with mini night market stalls on Saturday, August 26.

The outdoor markets have really taken off and I feel it is an amazing way to support our local entrepreneurs and their cool products that are usually so reasonably priced and authentic. The event promises to be an enchanting evening of fire dancing under the moon light to the beat of drums. There will be fire hooping displays, face painting a bonfire and lots of drumming.

Starting from 5 pm to 10 pm, the drum workshop will be facilitated by Gavin from Drum Zone. Adults pay R60 which includes drum hire and R20 for general entry or if you bring your own drum or musical instrument. Children under 5 enter for free.


>>  Expect to find the latest trends in Health, Wellness and Beauty in Ballito.

>> Meet the top players in the North Coast property industry. See our Property People feature.

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Erica Abrahams

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