Valentine’s Night in
I have never been one to go all out when it comes to Valentine’s Day. I’ve never had a mystery admirer who has sent me cards, and I’ve never been whisked off out for a romantic meal. The closest I’ve been to total romance on Valentine’s Day (however it is pretty impressive) was when my husband and I went to Rome, as we were in Italy for a wedding the day before.
It was all very lovely, but it was also our very first Valentine’s day together – even though it was just a pizza out at lunch time. Things have changed since then. We’ve got married and the family has expanded. Going out can be a bit of a struggle.
We have had babysitter’s in the past, but there are cons to having a babysitter. Especially on Valentine’s day.
Cons to having a babysitter on Valentine’s day:
- The babysitter might be celebrating Valentine’s day, so is therefore unavailable
- The babysitter might be booked up as it’s a busy night
- You have a ‘curfew’ to get home for the babysitter, so you end up clock watching all evening
- The venue you have gone to is busy, so you may have been better off staying home
So What do you do instead?
Every year for Valentine’s day and our wedding anniversary, my husband and I stay home and we cook up a three course meal. We feed the kids early then get them to bed (although my sixteen year old will just stay in his room) and we make the evening special.
Create the atmosphere
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have your evening in. Clear away the clutter from your dining area. Move the kids toys out and create space on the table. This is going to be your restaurant for the evening, so you don’t want to be looking at toys or junk.
Lighting is the best way to set the mood. Use candles or fairy lights and dim the main light. Play chill out music in the background and finish with a centrepiece of roses.
Make it extra special
If you are one who likes to save your best china for special occasions, well now is the time to dust it off. Make this your special occasion with nice plates, place settings, napkins and crystal glasses.
If you don’t have any of that then it doesn’t matter. It’s all about spending the evening together as a couple.
If you were heading out for the evening, what would you drink? If it’s an occasion then it’ll be a glass of fizz or a cocktail.
However if you don’t drink alcohol, or you want to stay sober whilst you are in charge of the children, then make up a ‘mocktail’. Use fruit juice mixed with soda water and add crushed ice and garnish with mint or fruit of your choice.
I personally like Chambord cocktails. A dash of raspberry liqueur with prosecco, or with passion fruit juice and a tiny bit of vodka. But if that’s too sweet for your pallet, try a gin cocktail or margarita.
Do three courses
It’s not about expense but just doing something different to your usual routine. However, if you do fancy lobster then why not? In fact if you are a bit of a chef in the kitchen, now is the time to show off your culinary skills.
Plan in advance and decide on what to make. Our favourites are stuffed mushrooms, beef wellington and creme brulee. But if getting it right adds pressure onto the evening, then cook what you know or share the cooking.
Usually, Darrel does the starter and the main and I do dessert (in advance). But if you’re not much of a cook then take advantage of the ‘dine in for two’ ready meals that M&S and most supermarkets now do. They tend to have offers on three course meals. Even the budget supermarkets like Lidl and Iceland have jumped on the bandwagon, so there’s plenty to choose from.
Finish the evening with a movie
If you’re not too tired of course from looking after the kids! If you’re able to spend a bit of quality time together after your meal then put on a movie and relax on the sofa (or fall asleep) with your cocktail or ‘mocktail’. You have the advantage of the fact that you don’t have to wait for a taxi to get home!
Enjoy your Valentine’s day.