The top ten romantic things to do in Hamilton

I’ve always thought that city living is conducive to romance. Many of my most treasured romantic moments, including my recent engagement, have taken place in New York. But even smaller-scale Hamilton can be the setting for sparks, blossoming love, and deep connections. My favourite city sight is a person carrying a bouquet of flowers – every time I see it, my heart swells thinking of who they’re headed to, and why they got them. Here is a list of ‘where’ and ‘how ‘to be romantic in Hamilton – I’ll leave the ‘why‘ and the ‘who’ to you.

01. curtain call
There is something about restaurants that employ those heavy velvet curtains at the entrance during winter. As soon as you step through them, it feels similar to being enveloped in a hug. A hug from a building. Brux House is a perfectly-lit and cozy place for an intimate date. Try sitting at the bar or better yet, that bench table by the south window.

02. Cuddle Up Downtown
Surely by now, you have discovered the revamped gem that is Landmark Cinema in Jackson Square. Every theatre has mega-loungers, not just those pseudo-recliners, but full-on ‘feel like you’re at home on the couch’ seating. Bring a blanket (no one thinks it’s strange) and cuddle up with your movie-mate at your new home away from home. If you can stomach it, see a rom-com to really kick up the romance.

03. Spark in the Park
While spending time with a loved one in Gore Park is particularly lovely in warmer weather, there is a delightful vibe there all year round. The redesigned space allows for meandering, people-watching, and provides a feeling of being still right in the center of town. Stop in at Redchurch Café & Gallery to sip and see, then grab a bench, sit together and watch the world go by. Handholding optional.

04. Take Love to New Heights
Thinking of unique date ideas can be a daunting task, so I’m always happy to find unexpected things to do together, especially if they push you out of your comfort zone. For me, one such activity can be found at Gravity Climbing Gym. Behind the Spectator building, this enormous space will provide a way to expand your horizons and trust each other (hello, belay person!). Plus, you can see how your date handles fear and panic – always a bonus.

05. Blind Date Go-To
When I was single in the city, I would always suggest Two Black Sheep on John Street for a first date location, especially if it was a blind date. I am now happy to pass the spot on to you. It’s small enough, cozy enough, familiar enough, chill enough and you can get away with just a drink (if it’s a bad date) or expand to more drinks and food (if it’s going well). Go forth and date!

06. “Sittin’ On the Dock of the Bay”
Everyone knows that being by water is romantic (why is that?) so being together with someone at Hamilton’s constantly improving waterfront is always a good idea. Currently, there is ice skating available and in the summer, you can shake your tailfeather with salsa lessons and roller skating. Or any time of year, you can simply walk together while enjoying the sunset. Williams Café provides respite and snacks or grab a Grandad’s Donut on the way down.

07. Lock it in on Locke
Putting a love lock on the Locke Street bridge may be my number one romantic memory in Hamilton. If you can handle drivers staring at you while you do it, it’s a small, but sweet, way to mark your love. Every day I pass it, I look for it and it stands as a physical reminder of where we were at that time, both on beautiful Locke and in our relationship. Cue the Kenny G saxophone.

08. Go Parking
When I started asking around for romance triggers in Hamilton, several people mentioned spots to go ‘parking’ including Devil’s Punch Bowl, the airport, and Sam Lawrence Park. It turns out romance hasn’t changed that much since high school. So, grab a spot, check out the view and deal with that middle console the best you can.

09. Keen for Aberdeen
It is my personal opinion that the best dinner table in the city, in terms of ambiance, placement, food, and service is Table 111 at Aberdeen Tavern, especially when you get that one server. You know the one, we all have a favourite there. It’s the most intimate spot to dine, canoodle, and even just sit together. Close to the bar, open kitchen, and up a small level, it’s perfection. Make a reservation and ask for it by name.

10. Spice it Up
They say cooking is often a sensual experience. I’m not convinced on that, but it definitely is something romantic to do together. Head to Hamilton Farmers’ Market to stock up on everything you need and feel good while doing it. Paired with a bottle of wine, spending an evening in to prepare dinner together is Grade A quality time. If possible, avoid onions and leave the tears at bay.