Love on a budget: the cheapskate’s guide to Valentine’s Day in Perth

Love on a budget: the cheapskate’s guide to Valentine’s Day in Perth

IN an increasingly fractious world, love is something on which we can all agree.

There’s no better feeling than that pure, positive energy that flows through you when you find that special someone – and all you can think of is them.

Valentine’s Day, however, can have a polarising effect.

Some people see it as a cynical marketing ploy – trumped up by jewellers, restaurateurs and card makers.

Then you have the true believers, the hopeless romantics among us who live by the flight of cupid’s arrow.

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We at communitynews.com.au are all for it – why shouldn’t there be a day on the calendar solely designed to honour one’s lover?

But we’re also conscious of our household budget, especially in these tough economic times.

We like to get romantic without smashing the plastic.

So here are our tips for the best things to do this Valentine’s Day that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

Romantic movie

Ok, this is broad. Why not soak up the vestiges of a mild summer with a trip out to one of Perth’s many great outdoor cinemas? Most are doing some sort of Valentine-themed screenings. Rooftop Movies is showing Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet, Burswood Community Cinema is showing La La Land and Camelot Outdoor Cinemas in Mosman Park is showing Sleepless in Seattle.  Or, why don’t you go real cheap and simply rent (I’m dating myself here, aren’t I?) or stream the first movie you watched together? Better yet, why not re-enact some of your old favourites – 9 1/2 Weeks, Pretty Woman, An Officer and a Gentleman (watch those backs, lads!).

See a naughty Fringe World show

Yes, it’s that time of year when the weird and wonderful take centre stage at Fringe World. And if you want our pick for the naughtiest, most fun Fringe World experience, try the Bubble Show for Adults Only. Doc Bubble and Milkshake bound across the stage illustrating their real-life sex and relationship dilemmas on stage for your amusement. Tickets from $16!

Cleaning

In a recent survey*, 39 per cent of women said the thing that turns them on the most was the sight of their partner doing the dishes. Other secret desires uncovered by the survey included the vacuuming, the changing of light bulbs and the mowing of the lawn. So men, if your partner has been out all day at work, make sure the house is spotless upon his or her arrival home. Drag a hoover and a duster round, the effects might surprise you.

This fella’s good work with the dishes was in danger of being undone by his high-risk jumper choice. In this case, he looks to have escaped his stylistic blunder unscathed. Photo: iStock

Poetry D’Amour

Five local poets read their favourite romantic verse under the stars at Mattie Furphy House Amphitheatre in Swanbourne. Get in touch with the sensuous linguistics of love. Best of all? Tickets only ten bucks!

Poets Kate Hall, Tineke Van der Eecken, Liana Joy Christensen and Janet Woods. Picture: Jon Hewson

Perth Symphony Orchestra at Sorrento Quay

Romance Under the Stars runs from from 7pm to 9pm at the amphitheatre. Also featuring the voices of Jay Weston and Jenna Robertson, the program will include classics from Phantom of the Opera and West Side Story to hits from Michael Buble and Adele. The event is free and tiered seating is limited, so guests are recommended to bring a picnic rug or camping chairs. The event is alcohol-free. Support act at 7pm followed by the orchestra at 8pm.

Picnic

Is there a better city in the world to picnic in? With 300 days of sunshine a year, beautifully warm summer nights and plenty of wonderful parks – why not pack the basket, throw a blanket in the car and head for your favourite spot? Kings Park is a perennial favourite, but can get a bit busy. We reckon Green Place Reserve in Mosman Park – a tiny terrace garden on the Swan River – is a beauty, while Churchill Park is a favourite of Rockingham locals. Bardon Park in Maylands, on the banks of the Swan is another excellent choice, but really – throw a stone in this town and you’ll find a great spot to lounge with your other half.

Bardon Park, Maylands. Winner.

Flowers 

You don’t have to go all Interflora – although that’s perfectly fine too. Coles do a bunch of chrysanthemums for $9, and there are other slightly more expensive varieties too. What better way to brighten the day of your partner than with a beautiful, sensibly priced flora?

Dinner under the Stars – at the observatory

Ok, we know we told you this was a cheapskate’s guide to Valentine’s Day. But one man’s Datsun is another man’s Rolls, so with that in mind – what about a $79 dinner under the stars at GDC Observatory in Gingin? Sit in the beautiful Einstein dining room, soak up the wonderful atmosphere as you gaze into your partner’s eyes. Softly lit with delicate music in the background, this is a most unique and relaxing environment. Dinner from 6pm, with the stargazing at 8pm and the love making … upon your return home.

Have dinner with your star-crossed lover.

Make an effort

So, you know her hackles go up when you head out in your faded, holy Mr Spock live-long-and-prosper t-shirt, and you know she’s not that fond of the K-Mart Alpha undies with the psychedelic pattern. Well, dig out a nice pair. Put on your good, going-out thongs instead of those busted-up pluggers. Hell, trim your nose hairs and toe nails. Likewise girls, make a little effort. It doesn’t cost much, and goes a long way.

Abs, unfortunately, not included.

Play hooky

While we here at communitynews.com.au would never, ever advocate the taking of a sick day to indulge in any sort of romantic fantasy (think of the economic effects on the state! The nation!!) – we are aware that some people think this sort of behaviour is completely acceptable. So … if you do happen to put feel a ‘bit throaty’, or come down with the dreaded ‘stomach bug’ this Valentine’s Day, make sure you get the proper amount of bedrest.

Millennial romance: defined facial hair, loud PJs and sweets.

Massage

Yeah, any caveman can give shoulders a squeeze, but have a go – watch a video on YouTube or get a book out the library. Learn your trigger points from your effleurage to your tapotement. Above all, listen to your partner – if he or she is tense, they’re not enjoying themselves.

Er, you’ll be wanting to trim those nails miss.

*survey not real