Instead of heading out for an expensive dinner on Valentine’s Day, try cooking a meal in with your partner or family. It saves money, and eliminates the stress of getting ready to go out. Your dining room may take a little transformation to imitate a dimly lit romantic bistro, but it can be done. Here are our suggestions:
Use a Tablecloth. Using a tablecloth completely changes the feel of a room. If you have a dark wooden table, lighten it up with a white lacy cover. Or try for the not-so-subtle deep red tablecloth. People don’t use table cloths often, because they get dirtier easily. Valentine’s Day is a special occasion, and it well qualifies for a tablecloth. Cloth napkins up the fancy factor here too, if you have some on hand.
Candles. This one is obvious. A little mood lighting changes the feel of any meal. This isn’t specific to romantic dinners either, as candles are a great dining room table addition at the holidays, birthdays, etc.
If you’ve ever eating a meal in a swanky restaurant’s dining room, you’ve noticed that the lights are dimmed, and the candles are lit. This is a simple way to make the night feel special. If you can dim the lights in your dining room, do. If you have candles lit, this will add to the ambiance.
Add some flowers, because fresh flowers always make a day feel special. Get whatever kind of flowers you can. Valentine’s Day isn’t limited roses anymore. Any kind of flowers will spruce up a dining room table, and show that you care. Remember though, if you’re buying flowers that are scented you may want to use unscented candles.
Do some research on how to formally set a table. Consider what food you’re cooking, and make sure you have all the proper utensils on the table. Add a pitcher of lemon and ice water onto the table for a more formal restaurant-like touch.
Pick some music to help set the mood. Music choice is up to you and your preferences. If Valentine’s dinner is a family affair, pick something for everyone. If it’s you and your partner, go for something slower, and more romantic.
Remember Valentine’s Day is about showing love and appreciation for your partner and family. If you burn a casserole, or forget to chill the wine, don’t worry. It’s about trying to do something nice, and the effort is what really matters. If you’re not a chef extraordinaire, ask for help cooking. Make it fun in the kitchen, and surprise with a really fancy dining room table setting.