Date night with your partner can be one of the most expensive evenings on the calendar, with couples in the UK spending an average of £120 between them per date. And, as we all hope for a successful date night, this can really mount up!
Cooking for your significant other at home can be a cost-effective alternative to dining out. So, whether you’re hosting an al-fresco dining experience under the starry night sky, or impressing with a candlelit dining room, follow my tips for creating the perfect romantic dinner.
Pick the perfect date-night spot
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Where you host the dining experience will dictate the type of spread you should be putting on — it’s not easy to look elegant while eating spaghetti on a picnic blanket, so think logically!
If you’re planning on hosting an al-fresco feast, mini sharing tapas dishes will complement the relaxed atmosphere. However, if you’re going for a more classic dinner date at your dining table, the food options can afford to be a little messier.
Show off your signature dishes
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We all have those go-to recipes we love to impress people with, so why not blow your guest away with a specialty of yours? If it’s a fairly basic dish, adding a twist to the recipe will show off your cooking skills and no doubt get their interests piqued.
Serving up something you can already master will significantly reduce the chances of something going wrong. However, if you’re really wanting to try out some new recipes, take some time to practice these before the big night.
Impress with your drink options
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Everybody loves a refreshing glass of wine, but if you don’t already know what type your date fancies, choose one that will complement your food the best: red wine goes great with red meat, while white is best for creamy pasta and fish dishes. If your date doesn’t drink, opting for a sparkling juice like Shloer or a refreshing elderflower will go down a treat.
Create the right ambiance
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Romantic settings usually involve dim lighting created by candles, lanterns and shaded lamps, so incorporate these into your date area for that atmospheric glow. Low-level music can also contribute plenty of ambience and gives you a talking point if the conversation begins to run dry, so create a playlist with plenty of your favourite songs on it.
Plan some post-dinner entertainment
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Nobody likes to feel rushed away straight after they’ve eaten, so make sure you have some post-dinner plans to hand if they want to stay for a little while longer. Suggest watching a film that neither of you have seen, or retreat to the garden for a night cap!
However you choose to host the date, don’t pass up the opportunity to perfect the details. Little things like getting the ambiance right and tailoring the food to the dining spot will not go unnoticed, hopefully making your date an all-round success!
Guest post by Liam Gardner from Belling.