Everyone’s going out—so why not just stay in?
Go against the norm and stay home with your amour, but make it extra special with a beautifully styled table setup, your best china and silver, a sexy dinner playlist, and delicious food to fuel your Valentine night fire (wink, wink). Here, some tips for an unforgettable Valentine date, homemade with—pardon the cheese—lots of love.
1. Pick a non-saccharine palette for your dinner table.
Red is so #everyyearnalang. Go for something less commercial, not too sweet, but still evokes feelings of warmth, passion, and sensuality, like soft blush partnered with neutrals in gray and cream.
2. Call to mind ‘fine dining’ ambiance with a formal table setting.
Bring out your best silver, your best stemware, your best China. Consult your menu for this one, as you will want to use the right utensil for the courses you’re serving. At least lay out a dinner spoon, a dinner fork, a dinner knife, and dessert spoon or fork. If you’re clueless as to which utensil to use first, remember to start from the outside, then work your way in.
As for stemware, your glass normally depends on what kind of vino you’re having. But since you’re just home and no one’s really watching or judging you, who cares? Pour four seasons juice into your pinot noir glass for all I care. The point is to make this dinner date feel extraordinarily topnotch. Date night is a special occasion.
3. Skip overpriced blooms for this ‘bouquet for keeps.’
Using faux flowers are as controversial in the decorating world as karate-chopped throw pillows. If it means saving on the moolah (because flower prices skyrocket this time of year), then go ahead and use those pretty faux blooms for your centerpiece. Buying new ones? Pick rubber flowers for large-petalled flowers and fabric ones for tiny blossoms and buds. Get them as realistic-looking as possible. Then again, your partner will be too focused on you to notice, right?
4. Print out a menu card.
Watch your partner react with glee when s/he sees these menu cards. They show just how much time and effort you spent to make this date night all about “ME&YOU.” If you’ve no skills in Photoshop or InDesign, ask a design-minded friend to craft one for you for a small fee. It doesn’t have to be complicated: play with great-looking fonts and tie in your palette, and done! A for effort!
5. Go online and order in.
Don’t try and do everything yourself. Valentine’s Day may feel like a holiday, but it’s still a regular working day for everyone. When you get home from work, you can either slave over the hot stove for a sumptuous home-cooked dinner, or simply set the table with your dining table finery, get into your date-night duds, and wait for the delivery guy to bring dinner to you. Popular (not fast-food!) restaurants are now online, and you may even order the day before (gives you time to make those menu cards too).
6. Set the mood with music.
Hide your Bluetooth speakers somewhere in the room and queue these songs on your date-night playlist:
Now wasn’t that lovely? Tell me that didn’t impress your date? Enjoy the rest of the day, lovebirds!