By Cheryl Lowe

When my lovely daughter Claire mentioned to me last year that she wanted to do a Valentine’s dinner for us older couples I was a bit taken aback. Simply because most of us older couples don’t bother celebrating Valentine’s Day. It was never a big thing when I was younger and now has become very popular with the younger set, but knowing my Claire’s tender and sweet heart I knew it would be amazing.Mike and Cheryl Lowe

The plan, Claire said, was to ask young couples to “sacrifice” their Valentine’s Day evening and spoil a couple in the church who were over 50 by making them a three course meal and decorate a table for two in their own style. Her heart was that she wanted to honour the years of marriage that was collectively in the room that night, and spoil us. What a beautiful idea. Even more so because Claire is such a busy wife and mom. She threw herself into it and there was a lot of secrecy, whispers and quickly hiding things when I walked in the door, at home.

I must confess, as the time drew near I began to get quite excited, wondering what I would wear and really looking forward to the evening and wondering who our “special couple” were. When we walked in that night we walked into a transformed magical place. Soft candle light, all different hearts strung up amongst names of popular songs of our times and the jukebox playing “our songs” from the 60s and 70s. Individual tables for two were placed strategically around the room and beautifully set.

When Claire showed us to our table I nearly cried, it was beautifully decorated and when we read the beautiful letter from our couple the words were just so amazing – we were spoilt with a lovely thoughtful gift as well. Our special couple was Veronica and Mike Webb and she surpassed herself not only with our table setting but with the tastiest meal. It was simply delicious. As the ladies waited on us and brought our starters you could hear the oohs and aahs all over as people saw what they were having. We had the lovely Amy, Kirsty, Kate, Robyn and Claire waiting on us whilst we ate and the dashing Rowan and Jacob were our barista and bar attendants. It was cosy, relaxing, and so much fun and you could tell that everyone was just enjoying the moment. Towards the end of the evening some of us pushed our tables together and enjoyed chatting and drinking coffee together and comparing notes.

With reluctance we realised that all good things have to come to an end and we had to take our leave of our magical evening and go home, leaving our lovely team behind who cleaned and tidied up and got home much later than us. I think I can speak for all that we were completely blown away by the thoughtfulness, love and care that  everyone showed to their couples and of course Claire for the inspired idea and carrying it out. It was just lovely.

Thank you all so very much – you all gave us a night to remember.