It's all in the prep
As Valentine’s Day falls on a Wednesday this year, most of us won’t be lucky enough to have the day off work! So, why not shop for your ingredients together this weekend and choose your favourite meals together. This is another great opportunity to spend more quality time together and means that you can both relax and enjoy your evening on the day, knowing all your shopping is done. I would always suggest going with ideas in mind to avoid any disagreements!
Set the mood
What would a Valentine’s day be without a bit of ambience to set the mood? If you’re setting your dinner date up at home, the best way to set a mood is with dimmed lighting and candles. Our delicious Grapefruit and Mimosa candle range is our Valentines inspired scent which will emit a beautiful sweet smell around the room, and the pretty pink label will be the perfect finishing touch to your decor.
Choose a stunning centrepiece and fresh red roses for the table, adding an extra special touch with small decorations such as rose petals or love hearts from an arts and crafts store. Whatever tickles your fancy! Finish it off with your favourite radio station for romantic tunes or even a Spotify playlist with both your favourite songs on which you can reminisce over.
Start with appetisers
The best way to lengthen your evening is by making a real event out of it! Now you’re all prepared with your food and mood, why not offer up some appetizers to give you both a little taste of romance and to avoid rushing onto your main meal. From heart shaped tomato, mozzarella and balsamic glaze kebabs to mini stuffed mushrooms, cheese fondue and prawns with heart shaped avocado pieces, there are endless options for your appetizers to choose from. Pinterest is a great place to get some inspiration or even check in your cook book what appetizers compliment your main course best!
The main event
Now it’s time to move over to the beautifully laid table for your main course. Make sure you are both topped up with your preferred wine and make a start on dishing up your food which you mostly prepared earlier. For me, pasta is always an ideal choice for a Valentines meal because it is quick, easy yet delicious every time and a real heart-warming comfort food. Again, Pinterest and BBC Food recipes have a huge range of scrummy recipes including seafood linguine, baked carbonara or a spaghetti Bolognese with a twist. If you’re a real pair of meat eaters, a luxurious fillet steak chosen from the finest cut off your local Butcher will always be sure to impress. If you’re willing to go above and beyond to really make the meal special for your loved one, look into which wine compliments your main meal the best to give them a gourmet, 5-star dining experience from the comfort of your own home!
Satisfy the sweet tooth with lashings of the most decadent ingredients, or keep it simple and chose your favourite desserts from your local bakery. Go the full splurge and create your own chocolate melt-in-the middle pudding or opt for a lighter dessert with some chocolate dipped strawberries and marshmallow skewers. Add a fun twist to the final course and buy a selection box of chocolates and do a blind folded taste test or sampling together!
Reconvene to comfort
Reconvene to a comfier spot and present your valentines gifts to one another. Sometimes homemade, inexpensive gifts can go further. Put together a video of your favourite moments or a photo album of your adventures together and cosy up with one another and reminisce. Alternatively, a glass of champagne in bed with a film can be the perfect end to a perfect evening. Create a truly enchanting bed display to woo your loved one even more. We are crushing on our crushed velvet bedding in silver or mauve to give your bedroom that perfect luxurious finishing touch.
There you have it, 6 easy and inexpensive ways to say I love you! The Julian Charles team wish you a very Happy Valentines Day!