Valentine’s Day is almost upon us, so you should already be thinking about how you’re going to show your significant other just how much you love them. We’re huge advocates for impressing your partner with a home cooked meal — it’ll show you’re comfortable taking the reins, prove you’re willing to put the effort in to make them happy, and put much less strain on your wallet than a trip to that fancy restaurant you’ve been looking at.
But, if you’re not the chef of your household, or aren’t used to hosting dinners, the prospect of inviting your partner to enjoy a meal you’ve made might be daunting. To help you out, we’re going to outline our five top tips for getting a romantic meal at home right. Read on to learn everything you need to know.
1. Cook A Meal That Will Mean A Lot To Your Partner
Remember that the whole point of this adventure is to impress your significant other and ensure they have a fantastic time. So, you need to consider their taste when making any decisions — especially when it comes to what you’ll be cooking.
To show them you’ve thought everything through and designed the night around them, it’s wise to cook a meal that means something to your partner, or to both of you as a couple. For example, can you remember what they ate on your first date, or is there a dish they tried a while back that they always reminisce about? It’s important that you incorporate personal touches to show how much you care.
If you’re stuck for ideas, BBC Good Food has a selection of Valentine’s Day recipes, which includes starters, mains, and desserts. They’re all relatively easy to make, but are still sure to impress your loved one. So, if you can’t think of a dish your partner would like to bring back from the past, you can always make something they’ve never had before — just make sure you keep their preferences in mind!
2. Get Your Presentation Right
At a time when everyone wants to make sure their outfits, meals, and lives are as Instagrammable as possible, it’s vital that you get the presentation of your romantic meal right. If you really want to impress your partner, consider investing in some new place mats, cutlery, and maybe even a tablecloth for the occasion. The fact that you’ve thought of all the little details, and made sure to make the experience as romantic as possible will surprise them in the best possible way.
In their guide to helping meals look social media ready, Alliance Online recommends looking for ways in which you can present the dishes you make in an imaginative way. For example, you could serve your partner their drink in some creative glassware, or buy some stylish new crockery that they won’t have seen before. Your significant other will love it, and they might even share a snap online for their friends to admire and envy.
3. Create A Romantic Atmosphere
So, you know what you’re going to cook and you’ve decided how you’re going to present it. But, have you considered how you’re going to create a romantic atmosphere in your home?
Harsh lighting can take the romance straight out of a moment. So, instead of turning the main lights on in the living room, kitchen, and dining room, strategically place a few lamps or fairy lights around your home. You could even light some candles to help illuminate everything — these will work especially well on the table where you plan to enjoy your meal.
Having music playing in the background is also a must. If there’s any acoustic or jazz music that your partner loves, this would make a great choice. But, any gentle tunes that will help to add to the atmosphere without being distracting will work well.
Whether you decide to present them as a gift or make them a centrepiece for your dining table, it’s always wise to buy a bunch of flowers for an occasion like this. Again, this will help to show just how thoughtful you can be, and will add to the romantic atmosphere. Making these simple adjustments will help you to replicate the vibe of an expensive restaurant date, but in your own home.
4. Create A Special Drinks Menu
If you have wine and soft drinks on hand, you don’t have much to worry about. But, if you truly want to up the ante and surprise your significant other, you can go one step further by creating a special drinks menu for the night.
There are so many cocktail recipe books on the market at the minute, that you’ll be sure to find inspiration. And, if you plan ahead, you could pick your favourite recipes that you find in a book or online and combine them into a personalised menu for the evening. Canva offers a selection of drinks menu templates that you can use to create a professional-looking menu quickly and easily. They’re very easy to edit, then all you need to do is print your menu out and hand it to your loved one as they walk through the door. It’ll definitely get them excited!
5. Have A Back-Up Plan (just in case)
No matter how much effort you put into planning your night, things can always go wrong — it happens to the best chefs. So, it’s always wise to have a back-up plan.
Of course, you’ll have put a lot of effort into getting your space just right, so you won’t want to leave you house. Instead, if you find that your cooking isn’t going to plan, you could order meals from one of your favourite local restaurants, thanks to services like Deliveroo and Uber Eats. So, if something does go wrong, don’t worry — the night can still be salvaged.
Valentine’s Day presents the perfect opportunity to show your partner how much you love them, and cooking a meal for them is a great way to do so. Take these tips on board and you’ll be sure to impress them. Plus, you’ll be more than prepared if anything does go wrong.