Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, promising a romantic evening for two. It’s notoriously difficult to secure a booking for two at the best restaurants, so why not treat your date to a special evening in, creating a romantic ambiance in the comfort of your own home? Here are our tips for having the perfect date night at home.
Create a romantic atmosphere
You need to make your home feel different to every other day to create a romantic atmosphere. We’ve all spent a lot of time at home over the past two years, so think about what you can do to make the same space feel special.
Create mood lighting by turning off harsh overhead lights and using table lamps and candlelight to create a cosy atmosphere. Create or find a suitable playlist that sets the scene - Katie Melua, Norah Jones and Joni Mitchell I think are all good suggestions. Tidy away clutter so you aren’t distracted by household chores.
Set the table
Set the dining table with a beautifully styled tablescape that makes dining at home feel like an occasion. For straight-forward styling, you can't go wrong with the combination of a placemat, napkin, candlelight and some flowers. These are all must-haves, in my opinion, but it doesn't have to be complicated; a white napkin is great and a small posy of flowers is adequate.
Candlelight creates the a romantic ambience, whilst linens really help to enhance the meal. Placemats soften noise and add a decorative touch to the table, making the experience more enjoyable.
A tablecloth will certainly make you sit at the table chatting that bit longer. Don't feel they are too formal - there are lots of colourful and detailed options to give them a different feel, such as ruffles.
Pretty and high quality glassware, detailed crockery and design-led cutlery is an added bonus. If you have a bistro table, consider setting up a table in front of the fireplace in your sitting room, or in the bay window, instead of sitting where you always do.
Finally, include a carafe or jug on the table to keep the conversation flowing.
If you’re staying in, dress yourself as if you were going out for dinner - you’ll feel more romantic, and your evening will feel more special if you both get dressed up like you’re going out.
Serve a Valentine’s appropriate cocktail
What could be more romantic than arriving home and being served a Valentine’s themed cocktail in one of your best glasses? We asked mixologist Morten Krag (@thecocktail.blog) to share his perfect Valentine’s cocktail.
My Cosmopolitan variation offers all you need for a romantic moment. It’s a sweet and sour delight, with just the right amount of freshness and a romantic red hue that will compliment a bouquet of fresh roses perfectly.
60 ml gin, 40ml cranberry juice, 25ml raspberry liqueur
Combine the ingredients and shake with plenty of ice
Strain into a chilled glass
Add lime zest
Cook a special meal
A Valentine’s date night is no time for fish and chips (unless that’s your partner’s favourite meal!). It’s time to reach for the recipe books and prepare a feast that will tantalise your tastebuds. If you’re cooking for your partner as a special treat, plan your recipes in advance including weighing and chopping your ingredients, where you can. Split responsibilities, put on music you can sing along to, pour yourself a glass of wine and make the cooking experience fun.
After supper, plan something different to your usual routine. Even if it’s as simple as lighting a cosy fire, playing a favourite board or card game, or sitting and having a conversation while sipping your drinks. If the weather is dry, why not wrap up in blankets and sit out in the garden with a fire pit and a warm drink - alcoholic or not. Make a small gesture to create a romantic ambience and elevate your evening.
We’d love to hear what you’ve got planned for celebrating Valentine’s Day this year. Will you be dining out, or creating a special table at home?