Nowadays, “let’s go for a coffee,” is a platitude tossed around between colleagues, friends, even acquaintances who need to catch up, or discuss something. For Amanda Clinton and James Bruce, however, coffee – specifically the java from the Heron Pizzeria – was the beginning of a journey to forever. Let’s celebrate a Simbithi engagement!

“It’s a funny story,” Amanda, a special needs teacher, giggles when asked how she and James, a trader, met five years ago. “Tinder! I swiped left and deleted the app after I found James. I didn’t need to look, anymore.” The couple met for coffee at Starbucks and found they had common interests and mutual friends. Love began to brew, just like a good cup of coffee.

Amanda, who has lived on Simbithi for more than 10 years, soon invited James to the Estate to meet her parents, Grant and Larissa. It was not long before James also found a home in Simbithi, and he is now a permanent fixture at the Country Club, either as part of the SEMS golf group, or at the Fig Tree Restaurant a few times a week. “Even the kitchen knows James, his laugh and his usual orders!”

In September, James and Amanda went for their usual coffee date at the Heron. “James asked me to go for a walk, which was strange, but I went along with it,” Amanda recalls. As they walked, Amanda spied her best friend of 24 years, photographer Courtney Warren’s, pregnant belly peeking out from behind a pole.

As they got to the jetty overlooking the dam, James got down on one knee and asked Amanda to marry him. “My first reaction was ‘wow, that’s huge!’ when I looked at the beautiful ring,” Amanda remembers. “Of course, I said yes.”

The stunning engagement ring is a Kevin Hall original, of Hall’s Jewellers, also a Simbithi resident.

The couple hosted a celebratory lunch at the Simbithi Gallery and are planning an engagement party on the Pavilion Deck.

Proud mom, Larissa Clinton, shared that they were all involved with the surprise. Her hope is for the couple to keep Simbithi as their permanent home and: “fill the Simbithi kids’ play area with a bunch of children one day!”

Amanda and James, from the entire Simbithi family – congratulations on your engagement, and best wishes for your upcoming wedding.