LADIES AT LUNCH: Romance…
Being the month of love, I caught up with the lunching ladies over a delicious meal at See Restaurant, Mooloolaba for their take on all things romance and what it means to them.
Romance … it’s a universal love language that conjures up images of intimate candlelit dinners, rose petals and long walks on the beach, but the reality is often very different. As our lives change, relationships grow and children enter the mix, romance may be packaged differently but that’s not to say it’s any less important. For some it’s a cup of tea in bed each morning, or a romantic text during the day, for others it’s an impromptu picnic for two or simply the chivalrous act of opening the car door. Call me old fashioned but I’m a sucker for romance. Even after 16 years of marriage, three children and 21 years together, I still love when my husband opens the car door for me, delivers flowers to work or hand delivers a decadent cake to the Profile girls, just because. In my book, chivalry, romance and good manners never go out of style. I recently sat down with a savvy bunch of local businesswomen to discover their thoughts on romance and how they keep the magic alive in their relationships. Joining me for a delicious lunch to sample the fresh new summer menu at See Restaurant, Mooloolaba was general manager of Underwoods Fine Jewellers, Tracye Burch; Meagan Sing and Donna Martin of BeMyBroker; Tracey Heslop of the Alison Lawson Centre; Debbie Woods, director of Tele2; Deb Manson of Gifts2Remember and Kara De Schot, general manager of Profile Magazine.
profile: What is romance to you?
meagan: As a 37-year-old mother-of-three, romance is my husband making me a cup of tea at the end of the day. It’s him putting a load of washing on for me. It’s his understanding and support.
kara: There is a huge difference between what my version of romance was before and after having a child. All of a sudden you don’t have time to think about romance or each other as much. For me, it’s the little day-to-day things you do for each other that mean so much to me but they are also the things that are the easiest to forget when you get caught up in the business of life.
tracey: I’ve had a bit of a bumpy time with romance. In fact, it’s probably one of the reasons for my marriage breakup because there wasn’t any romance. For me, romance is being seen as someone special. It’s doing something nice for someone else and not expecting anything in return.
deb: To me it boils down to thoughtfulness. My husband and I separated and got back together after three years. We now have a very different relationship, there is more romance now.
tracye: I work in romance so I have a different view personally and professionally. It’s a lovely thing to work at Underwoods because you see men coming in every day wanting to give the very best to their partners. Personally, I am married to a great Australian man. I am so lucky, he tells me every single day that I am pretty. He tells me he’s lucky to be with me, he holds my hand. Most importantly, he won’t watch Game of Thrones without me, now that’s romantic!
debbie: For me it’s being kind to each other and little things like a cup of tea in bed each morning. Never having to take the trash out because my husband knows it’s a job I hate. If we get home late, he will just start making dinner. It’s easy to take things like that for granted but when you are on your second marriage as I am, you don’t.
donna: I have been married before too, so we both knew what we didn’t want. For us, time together is very important. The other thing is putting ourselves before the children sometimes, which was a big lesson in life for me.
Romance is my husband making me a cup of tea at the end of the day. It’s him putting a load of washing on for me. It’s his understanding and support.” - MEAGAN SING
profile: Are you a romantic?
meagan: I’m not romantic in the sense that I plan weekend getaways. Just knowing what my husband needs when he comes home from working at the mines and knowing what I can’t demand of him and putting myself aside is what I consider romantic.
donna: We both are. Often we will stop what we are doing and take time out to go for a drive or go for lunch or a picnic or whatever. We have no children at home now so we have more time for us.
profile: Is romance a dying virtue?
tracey: I think young people these days are still quite romantic. My daughter is in a relationship with a lovely young man and they are both very romantic. My son is only 19 but he talks about wanting to find the right one and sweep her off her feet.
tracye: I think it depends on the individual. For some men it’s just part of their personality. I don’t ever carry the groceries inside, my husband never allows it. In the airport, he carries my bag. He opens the door for me, he makes sure he walks on the car side of the street. It’s just who he is and I love it.
debbie: I have three boys and they are all very respectful of women. My daughter has a fiancé who is very romantic. He runs a bath for her and lights candles if she has had a long day at work. Even though they are now parents to a young child, they are still very kind to each other.
donna: The biggest thing I have found, having teenagers, is that they need to learn to love and respect themselves before they can love anyone else. I think some of the youth today have lost that. I always tell my boys their partner should come before their friends.
profile: How did you meet your partner and were you looking for romance?
kara: I wasn’t looking for a life partner or romance, I was partying at uni and I came across someone I had been to highschool with but we clashed back then. He was a surfer dude and I was pretty studious so we didn’t really get along. But he had grown up and changed and there he was. Even though we are polar opposites, our sentiment towards life and what we think is important is the same. He is a much better housewife than I will ever be though!
meagan: Not at all. I went to a girls school in Brisbane and he went to the Catholic boys school. We knew of each other but we didn’t get together until schoolies happened and we had a kiss. It wasn’t until a few years later we met at a Brisbane nightclub, the stars aligned and the rest is history.
donna: We met through our sons! Even though the boys were the same age, we had never crossed paths before but it was meant to be obviously. The boys used to joke about being brothers so they were very happy when we got together.
debbie: I wasn’t really looking. We actually met online playing chess. We got chatting and really hit it off. He is from the UK so we picked a spot on the map between there and Australia to meet and chose Thailand. In hindsight I can’t believe I did that but when we met it felt like we had known each other for years.
tracye: No, I was not looking for a partner or romance. I met my husband at the airport at Hawaii, he was in the wrong section to pick up his bags. He started talking to me and asked for my phone number but I said no. Then he asked for an email address and I have no idea why but I gave it to him. He started emailing and we became good friends. I eventually moved to Australia and we married nine years ago. He is an amazing guy, I am so very lucky.
profile: What is the most romantic thing anyone has done for you?
kara: I wanted to go travelling when I was younger but Paul didn’t really want to go, but he packed up and came with me and lived in Europe in a cold climate, with no surf for a year. So I could have my overseas experience.
donna: My partner is just a sweetheart. He is my soulmate. This is going to sound a bit corny but I often find sticky love notes under my pillow, on the fridge or on the mirror. That’s a regular occurrence actually. I get flowers delivered to the office every fortnight. I get my cup of tea every morning without fail before I get out of bed. He texts me every day before he starts work to tell me he loves me.
debbie: Well my husband moved halfway around the world for me so that’s pretty romantic.
tracye: Andrew sent me a message today saying if I can get back home by 6.45pm we can go and see Spectre but I reminded him I was going to try making a new Chinese dish tonight. I got a text back saying, delicious Chinese dinner and Ant Man instead? I don’t know what Ant Man is but I’ll watch it with him. He doesn’t know if it is going to be delicious, but no matter what I cook he says it’s delicious! He’s a good guy.
tracey: My daughter’s knight in shining armour sent me flowers for my birthday but they never made it to me. So he sent me another. It just blew me away that he would go to all that effort. It was so special to me.
There are not too many restaurants on the Sunshine Coast that offer as spectacular a view as See Restaurant, Mooloolaba.
Perched on the Mooloolaba Esplanade overlooking the glistening canal peppered with boats, the restaurant’s wall-to-wall windows take full advantage of the panoramic vista.
A family-owned and run business, See Restaurant is fast gaining a reputation for their exquisite menu created by head chef and co-owner Angelo Puelma, who has had an impressive career overseas before moving to Australia to pour his heart and soul into his own venture.
Antonio’s father Angelo is a key part of the restaurant’s success, his warm and inviting persona making guests feel welcome and at ease as we did on the day of our lunchtime visit to sample the fresh and exciting new summer menu
To best showcase the stunning array of dishes available, Antonio treated the lunching ladies to a degustation menu, featuring an array of exotic tastes and flavours See is
We started with Chilean fish fritters with a pomelo and coriander dressing, followed by a number of mouth watering dishes including pepper crusted rare tuna with a zesty rocket and pawpaw salad and lemon myrtle aioli; seared Hervey Bay scallops with a beetroot and mint risotto and lima bean curd, grilled barramundi fillets with a sticky coconut rice (my favourite), wilted Asian greens and Thai-style stuffed squid; pan fried Huon salmon with steamed asparagus and rosella crusted duck fillet with summer root vegetables and a spiced beetroot jam.
And just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, Antonio presented a share plate of decadent desserts including mixed berry flat, dark and white chocolate mousses and house cannoli.
Service was attentive from start to finish and nothing was too much trouble.
See is the perfect spot for a lunch with the girls, a romantic dinner or simply to enjoy delicious cuisine while soaking up the views.
123 Parkyn Parade, Mooloolaba
Phone: 5444 5044