Valentine’s Day dining at home

Written by    Last updated: June 6, 2006

Polish the candlesticks, dust off the cookery book… and create the ultimate dinner for your loved one

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to cost the earth. In fact, it’s a great opportunity to enjoy a romantic night at home…

Get the ambience right

Make sure the dining area is intimate. If you have a large dining table, set the places at one end ‐‐ not at opposite ends of the table! If you don’t like the idea of a table, how about a candlelit carpet picnic?

Keep it simple

Stick to food that is easy to prepare and romantic to eat. You don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen. Food that you can share is fun so think of things like fondues, and puddings with two spoons. Steer clear of the garlic for tonight! If you feel like splashing out, you could always employ the services of a caterer to come and cook in your home.

Don’t forget the decorations

For a romantic table, candles should feature in abundance. Vary the height to make your table more interesting, with tall candelabras and simple tea‐lights. If you have flowers (ideally red roses!) on the table, keep candle scents to a minimum; you don’t want the perfume to be overpowering. And…if you do light candles all over the room, don’t leave them unattended.

Choose white linen and china but add a little interest with colourful, romantic decorations. Sprinkle rose petal confetti or feathers over the table linen, and tie ribbon around napkins, finishing with a lavish bow.

Gifts

Prepare presents for each other to open between courses. These could be small gift boxes filled with chocolate (or jewellery!) or romantic love notes. If you can’t think of the words yourself, seek some inspiration from a book of love poetry.

Music maestro

Delight all the senses. Your culinary skills and table decorations will take care of most of these but don’t forget to turn off mobile phones and set the scene with romantic music.

Dress

Why not make it a formal occasion? Send an invitation to your partner with details of what time dinner will be served, and set the dress code as ‘black tie’.

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