Plan a Perfectly Romantic Dinner Experience for Valentine’s Day

When romance is on the menu for Valentine's Day, a perfect dinner can express those feelings of love.  If food be the music of love, play on. (Sorry, Will!)

When romance is on the menu for Valentine’s Day, a perfect dinner can express those feelings of love. If food be the music of love, play on. (Sorry, Will!)

Want to share an amazing and romantic dinner with your partner at home in your apartment this year on Valentine’s Day?

You have fantasies of all the perfect details, right down to imagining your significant other swept off his or her feet.

But how do you pull off the ideal night without it being a cookie-cutter version of everyone else’s? How do you share something new?

Read on for ideas about how to celebrate your special someone.

Know your Valentine
To make the evening truly something from the heart, consider your Valentine’s special interests. Food-wise, what stimulates your friend’s appetite? Is it cuisine and culture from a certain region? The style of a specific era, perhaps, that could be translated into a few perfect dishes?

Consider the culinary approach that would make your sweet Valentine the happiest, and then build your evening around that. You might create a table centerpiece, decorative style or foods that remind your Valentine of his or her favorite things, of course, but romancing the mood of the evening is paramount. It’s not food, necessarily, that makes the most romantic Valentine’s dinner, but food is nonetheless an element. The hope is to make your partner feel truly spoiled, fed by your affection and caring on a special evening.

You want to set a stage where your own apartment becomes the most romantic place your partner can imagine being for the evening. You are there, for starters.

What about the food?
Showing people we love them through food is a favorite human pastime. Serving your Valentine a tasty, thoughtful meal can be an event in itself. Few things are as personal and caring as a meal created for two and made by yours truly.

To keep the evening stress-less for both of you, however, the newbie chef really shouldn’t get too ambitious. If you’re usually found in the kitchen opening the fridge rather than hovering over the stove, don’t get too ambitious for this most-romantic meal; keep it simple so your best efforts can shine.

Consider inventive recipes, like this Salmon appetizer, which deliver with simple preparation and delicious ingredients. Highlight an elegant, deceptively simple dish like shrimp and angel hair pasta, or go sentimental, with heart-shaped food and pink beverages. Most importantly, highlight the flavors your special someone loves.

You can always have the best of dining out in the comfort of home by having your special meal delivered. Many restaurants offer catering and professionally packaged to-go meals. Plan ahead and order early so that you and your Valentine aren’t left with growling stomachs.

How to Plan a Perfectly Romantic Dinner Experience for Valentine’s DayWhich romantic trappings might you finesse?
So, what little things can you add to make your romantic dinner at home something neither of you will soon forget?

Mood lighting is key. Candles or strings of small white lights add ambience to the evening. Try to dispense with wall switches for the night and rely only on your table-side lighting choices.

Flowers are a common addition to a Valentine’s evening, but you might forget roses and choose something either more exotic or simpler, depending on your Valentine’s preference.

The fragrance of flowers can be a mood enhancer, as well. Consider lighting scented candles or heating essential oils to fill your apartment with sweet and spicy smells that transport. (And, hey, if you want to scatter the boudoir with flower petals, look around for those from less-expensive blooms — you can achieve the same effect at a savings!)

Chocolate doesn’t have to be a hackneyed part of your Valentine’s celebration. Choose a variety that complements your love’s interests, either by shape (chocolate cars, anyone?) or by origin. In fact, if your sweetheart is a fan of international cuisine, you might seek out a sweet that uses an ingredient that’s common in that cooking. Chocolates mixed with chiles are a sweet and spicy taste sensation, for instance.

Don’t forget that all kinds of fun Valentine details can be had on a budget.

After-dinner diversions?
The after-dinner entertainment should ideally be just you and your Valentine enjoying, perhaps for some, a rare evening alone. What you share together is part of the Valentine’s Day experience, of course. How about a spa experience in your apartment, including romantic massage and pampering? Be true to your Valentine’s personality, but remember that surprises are a great Valentine’s Day gift.

Enjoy the planning and know that your Valentine will appreciate and enjoy every bit of effort that went into creating your night together. A romantic dinner is just a facet of that special time. (Then again, heck, you could always go out to eat!)

Photo credits: Shutterstock / Marina Grau, Ammentorp Photography

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