Why not avoid the restaurant crowds on Valentine’s Day and spend it at home, preparing a delicious dinner for your loved one. Darryl Burger, top chef and former London sommelier, shows how to make this V-Day less loco and much lovelier.
Serve food that is bite sized
There are some meals you should never order or cook when on a date – spaghetti and ribs just as an example – so make sure you create little bite-sized bites for starters. Avoid food that has too much chilli or is too spicy. As soon as you start prepping the food, make sure the wine is already in the fridge chilling (also make sure you have a glass of red on hand, it’ll help with the prep!). Remember: you don’t want to be too stuffed so small meals are perfect.
Create meals your lover will enjoy
Create a meal centred on ingredients said to be aphrodisiacs such as fresh oysters, almonds, asparagus, garlic and chocolate. Be adventurous: create a new twist on an old favourite. And make it a little bit unusual! But most of all – make something that your partner will enjoy! So even if you love steak, make sure that’s also their favourite. One last tip: don’t forget the bubbly!
Sugar makes life sweet
Dessert is an essential course of any V-Day meal. Tarts, crème brulee and red velvet cupcakes are a great way for you and your loved one to end a meal. Use plenty of heart decorations or even make the dessert heart-shaped.
Eat outside in the garden or have a picnic
This Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday, which is the perfect day to celebrate in an open, pretty space. The sun only goes down at about 8pm so spend your V-Day outside in nature. Living in South Africa means that we can really enjoy the outdoors and a star-lit sky in the garden or on the balcony is just so romantic. For an extra touch: add some solar lights and light some wind-proof candles to set the mood.
Cater the perfect drinks
Make sure you have an ice bucket with wine and bubbles for the evening. Starting the evening off, have a chilled white wine and a delicious red on offer – whichever your lover prefers. My secret tip: I set special aside red wines during the year so that it comes to special occasions, I can surprise my loved ones.
Keep decorations simple
For a unique decoration, why not make something your lover can keep? I would suggest going to the nursery and buying a succulent and a beautiful pot. Who doesn’t love succulents? It’s homemade and won’t wilt like fresh flowers. Consider setting the right mood, these include: music, lighting and candles. Candles provide a soft, warm light effect, which is very flattering when compared to fluorescent lights.
I’m sure that these tips will get your Valentine in a lovin' mood!