Better Together: Elisa & Daniel

by HULA , February 1, 2019

We love festive days because they are excuses to celebrate the people we love most in our lives, and Valentine’s Day is probably our favorite. We know that love is universal, yet no two relationships are the same, so we talked to 5 of the coolest couples we know to learn more about their courtships, their quirks, and how two people decide to keep choosing each other every day.

Elisa Harca & Daniel Murray: Who have been dating for 22 years! She’s the Co-Founder of Red Ant Asia and he’s a photographer, Daniel Murrey Studio.

How did you guys meet?

E: At high school in London. I was in the year above and we were best friends with a brother & sister duo called Nadya & Bryan, who pretended to us both that we fancied each other. They set the whole thing up… they must have been mind-readers!

What was the most memorable date you had?

D: Our first proper date together was when Elisa took me to a restaurant called Brown’s in Covent Garden. I must have been 16 and had borrowed my older brother’s suit to ensure I looked my best. It was too big but it was kind of the style back then. I didn’t think it at the time but we must have looked funny sitting there, two kids in this restaurant of adults. It was my first time going to a restaurant that wasn’t a fast food chain!

E: On one of our first dates we went to see The Nutty Professor at the cinema and he brought his 13 year old sister Kareen on the date. We walked her home afterwards and I had to take the bus……by myself. It had always been three of us in the relationship back then: Daniel, Elisa & Kareen – he even gets our names wrong calling us Kelisa.

What is your favourite quality about your partner?

D: Her strength of character – I am always proud of her for the things she has achieved but most of all her ability to deal with my family who are all a bit nuts (in a nice way). I remember leaving her on her own at a family gathering at my uncles house in London and there must have been about 100 people there, but she managed to handle them.

E: His natural ability to get along with everyone – you really can take him anywhere and put him in any situation; His kindness to all humans and animals; His curiosity, always up for trying / exploring new things; And, his relationship with my family, especially my mum as we often go on holidays together!

You have been together for 22 years… what’s the secret to keeping the relationship alive?

E: Humour & silliness. We really do have a lot of ridiculous inside jokes which have been continuing for years. Some would call that repetitive. We would also say simple entertainment,  and being very active and adventurous.

What is your favourite dish to cook at home and who cooks it?

D: Elisa makes a Mascarpone desert with crushed Crunchie bars which I love.

E: Daniel makes incredible crispy kale with feta and pumpkin.

What was the worst meal they ever cooked for you?

D: Quinoa and Kale, with nothing else and I mean nothing. It was soooooo dry. 

E: Daniel is fabulous at soups… although his first try at a pea soup was disgusting – it tasted like salt water. Thank goodness he’s improved since then. He’s the chef of the house though and I am the host.

Where is your favourite shared holiday destination and why?

E: Sumatra, Indonesia – we went jungle trekking for 5 days! We hiked for 6 hours or more a day through rivers & deep jungle it was exhilarating & inspiring and a total disconnect from daily life. The ultimate luxury. We really love trips that take us on new adventures. Another top trip for us was to Ethiopia for our friends Helina and Scott’s wedding.

What is the most annoying thing (could be weird or funny) about your partner?

D: Her strength of character. Although I am proud of her for it, it can also be a bit annoying sometimes, especially when I want things to go my way. 

E: We joke that he “clips my wings” when I go over the top or when I am being too dramatic. But occasionally his pruning skills are needed to keep me grounded.

How does a having a dog change the dynamics of your relationship?

E: When we moved to Hk we started fostering dogs (we both love animals), we fostered 11 dogs via HKDR, before adopting Russ (aka Russ no Fuss). All the dogs in our lives & especially Russ just make each moment fun & give us more reasons to get outside & hike. Getting out and about more generally just gives you more time to reconnect and chat….on a deeper level rather than operating at a super fast superficial or mundane level. However, we do feel we are in a love triangle …..I love Russ most, Russ loves Daniel most and Daniel….well he loves me most 😊

Who wears the trousers at home?

E: He lets me think it’s me… until I get too annoying.

What is the most romantic thing your partner has ever done for you?

D: Support me when I was at a low point.

E: I can’t pick one – there are three. 1) when we were young-loves he used to draw me whilst I slept 2) when I graduated from university with a 1st HONS degree, he arrived at the ceremony with a bunch of flowers bigger than him, even though we were on a “break” & 3) we don’t celebrate Valentine’s the commercial way – we either go swimming, hiking or something of the sort – but last year I woke up to his Instagram feed flooded with silly photos of me over the years … it was like I took over his IG account. We got quite a few comments of people asking why he was spamming them with my face… it was very funny.

Describe your partner’s personality in 3 words

D: Loyal, Fun-loving, Genuine

E: Kind, Open minded and Friendly or BFG – big friendly giant

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