It really sucks that we can’t travel right now. Not only can we not travel, but we can’t even leave our local area. We can’t even travel around our own towns and cities, as my local police force made clear recently – if the distance we travel for exercise is further than we’d class a local pub, then we’ve travelled too far!
I also read the next lockdown review is on February 22nd, so that means no romantic weekends away for Valentine’s and sadly not even the opportunity to go out for a date night at a restaurant.
If you normally celebrate Valentine’s Day and you’re disappointed with this news then what can you do? How can you make it special whilst looking at the same four walls you’re super bored of seeing every day right now?!
How about you spice things up and create a restaurant at home for Valentine’s Day?
If you can’t go to your favourite restaurant for a romantic meal, then bring the romantic restaurant meal to your very own home!
If you are able to see your other half then why not surprise them with this idea? Don’t tell them and set it up in secret for a real treat.
If you’re currently online dating then you can still share a virtual date online if you’re not allowed to meet in person right now.
Read on for some great tips on how to create a restaurant experience at home this Valentine’s Day.
Order from your favourite restaurant
Whilst you can’t currently go for a romantic candlelit restaurant dinner date in Strathclyde or your hometown, you might still be able to eat their food at home!
Whilst restaurants are not allowed to open for seated guests, many have adapted by offering click and collect meals or even signing up to platforms like Just Eat and Deliveroo to ensure you can still get their tasty meals during lockdown.
Check out these delivery apps to see which of your favourite restaurants you can find. Also, look at your favourite restaurants social media and websites to see if they are offering any type of takeaway service you can use on Valentine’s Day. All might not be lost!
Create your favourite restaurant meal at home
Some of the country’s best chefs are sharing recipes online so you can recreate restaurant dishes at home.
Check out restaurant websites to see if they’re sharing recipes there or find collections of shared recipes in online magazines and newspapers.
Alternatively, search Google for your favourite restaurant recipe to discover if a food blogger or chef has created their own version of famous dishes that you can create.
Prep the meal
Of course, it won’t feel like Valentine’s in a restaurant if you’re slaving away over the slave for the whole evening! Instead, you need to prep as much of the meal in advance as you can, so you can enjoy the restaurant like experience too.
If possible, prep it so much that the desserts are ready and waiting in the fridge and the main meal simply needs heating in the oven if that’s possible, so you can relax in your own homemade restaurant too and keep your date company!
Don’t forget the little extras
Sometimes it’s the little extras that make a dining experience so special. It’s the things we don’t always do at home ourselves that give the restaurant an ambience that we love.
Here are some ideas:
- To create a restaurant vibe at home simply ensure you have adequate lighting available from mood lighting using a dimmer switch on the main light, or turn it off altogether and strategically place lamps and candles in the room to create a romantic atmosphere. You could even look to purchase a neon mama bar sign, or a bar sign from somewhere similar, to add an authentic look to your home bar/restaurant.
- Turn the TV off. You’ll only end up staring at it! Enjoy your meal with conversation and then perhaps snuggle on the sofa to watch a movie together.
- Play music in the background. Create a playlist in advance so you don’t have to worry about picking songs or inappropriate music starting to play.
- Put your phones and other digital devices away and enjoy the quality time together, as you would in a restaurant with no distractions.
- Dress the table. Add a flower or two in a small vase or a tall glass, add placemats and lay the cutlery.
- Create a menu. If you’re cooking for your other half, especially as a surprise, then easily create a printout menu using the likes of Canva with some fancy script font writing to share the three course meal you’ll be preparing.
- Dress up! You’d usually dress up to go to a fancy restaurant, so make the same (or almost the same) effort at your fancy home restaurant!
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