The magic hour of tea for two

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It’s not the big things that matter, it’s the little things.

Grand empty gestures are just that, it’s the nitty-gritty everyday stuff that keeps relationships going through the years.

It might sound like an Ikea commercial but it’s true. One wave of Tinkerbell’s magic wand at a family trip to Disneyland in July isn’t going to make everything suddenly better.

When you get back to your semi-detached divorce cauldron after the holiday of a lifetime, your life is there waiting for you – and it hasn’t got the kettle on.

It’s hard to say where the idea came from, maybe it was watching re-runs of First Dates, and even if you make a special effort at home with a Hairy Bikers’ curry recipe (I’ve been through the whole cookbook) at the end of the day, you’re eating it while looking at the same four walls.

So for the past three weeks me and the boss have made a point of going out for tea once a week – just the two of us, no big deal, and no kids.

We pick a night when daughter #1 is at her part-time job and daughter #2 is at her dance school. When we told them of our plans the outrage button was hit so hard it broke.

“What? You’re going out for dinner without me? That’s not fair. Why do have to pick a night when I can’t go?” etc.

Apart from the peace and quiet, one of the best things about a pub tea without your teenage kids in tow is it costs roughly half of what you’d normally pay.

We don’t go Dutch, just take it in turns to pay the bill.

So far we’ve been to the Boot & Shoe, The Borough and the White Cross. We can recommend them all.

The food’s great, the service is top notch and when you’re sitting across a table from someone without the distractions of smartphones, television and the Internet, a funny thing happens, you start talking to each other.

Three weeks in and we haven’t run out of things to say to each other yet, which is some sort of miracle after 19 years of marriage.

To call it a Date Night would be pushing it but it’s a magic hour when someone else cooks, brings it to your table and then washes up.