An early Valentine's dinner out turned into a memorable occasion for a Tauriko couple.
Warren and Joelene Young were at the waterfront and were about to head to a restaurant for an early Valentine's Day dinner when Tauranga City Council member Matt Cowley, dressed in a tuxedo, approached them and ushered them to a table set up on the waterfront.
The councillor-turned-waiter served them wine and nibbles supplied by The Phoenix restaurant while a three-piece band played.
"We were just sitting down there waiting for a restaurant that we wanted to go to and the restaurant from down the street came to us," Mr Young said.
"When they came over we were quite surprised. We felt very, very special very favoured. It was really nice. We thoroughly enjoyed it."
The sun came out for the occasion, making the setting even more picturesque.
"It was gorgeous down there," Mr Young said. "We love it here [in Tauranga]. Surprises like this make it all that much sweeter." For Mr Cowley, that was exactly the point.
The idea stemmed from a workshop run by community development expert Peter Kageyama last year when people were challenged to spice up downtown Tauranga.
"This was showing that couples are falling in love in the CBD and are falling in love with the CBD," he said. "It's that sense of discovery in the CBD."
The Youngs were one of two couples treated to the surprise early Valentine's Day celebration yesterday.