The launch of Rural Romance Collective!

It’s been a new tradition for a few of the husbands we know to put together a surprise dinner for the wives on Valentine’s Day. You can see the first one here, where it was held in a gorgeous tent next to the lake on James’ property. http://thecrystalbawl.com/2011/02/15/a-stunning-valentines/

This year, Valentine’s was taken to a whole new level by James, Rick and the Irishman who, dubbing themselves the Rural Romance Collective, decided to go larger scale and invite 20 couples to a surprise Valentine’s Day dinner in the newly opened local restaurant, the Red Hill Epicurean.

The restaurant is new and backs onto the Red Hill horse trail, which you can see behind us in the photos above. It’s just a beautiful place to hang out and have wood-fired pizzas and a glass of wine.

Here we have the other husbands of the organising committee.

Rick and Anne

James and Imogen

Well, Phillippa and Andrew weren’t on the committee, but they were so cute I’m putting their kissing photos in anyway. Phillippa owns the best speciality bakery business in Melbourne and her biscuits, cakes and pastries are legendary. I rely heavily on her parmesan sables for summer entertaining!

This is our private room, which the boys had decorated themselves and I have heard that James obsessed about every single detail, the flowers, music and wine glasses, and fretted over the fact that the concrete pole was too wide for the stripper to get around.

Well I’m glad the exotic dancers didn’t show up and instead we had a performance from the husbands who sang “Love Me Tender” as the bemused wives walked into the room.

Karen & Dave, sharing a giggle.

Many speeches were made, the most touching being by Jules, whose husband passed away some years ago, who told us all to appreciate the moment and celebrate true love.

Everyone agreed it was a fantastic idea and plans are underfoot for a winter edition of the Rural Romance Collective dinner – perhaps outdoor with a spitroast and bonfire? We wait with bated breath!

For dessert we had Nutella pizzas! Fun and easy to make. I’m stealing this idea, the kids will love it.

And the next morning I woke up to the pleasant tinkling of my valentine’s day present – a wind chime fashioned out of antique silverware which the Irishman had hung from the chestnut tree outside our bedroom window.

I’ll leave you with the perhaps less harmonious but equally lovely (to us wives at least!) sounds of the Rural Romance Collective. Viva La Romance!

p.s. we’ve had over 100,000 visits to The Crystal Bawl, thanks for your interest!

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