Be a Valentine's Hero
Recently acquainted or living in the same house, how do we keep that flame burning bright? In 2021 it’s more important than ever to love your home, love yourself and share the love.
So you can’t go to a restaurant for an indulgent meal. If you’re living under the same roof, you can create the experience at home, without spending a lot of money. The key is creating the right environment. So make a list; keep the execution simple, but think about the details.
- Big table, little table, floor picnic or breakfast bar. It doesn’t matter how grand or cosy your home, with Valentines’ it really is the thought that counts.
Transform the dining room table or home office desk with a beautiful table cloth. If you don’t have one, there are some elegant cloths to choose from and you will use it again and again. Or you might have some material, a thin throw, or even a very well ironed sheet! If that’s the case, tie the loose ends around the table legs with ribbon and you can form the basis of a dining experience.
- Give some thought to colour. It doesn’t all have to be reds and pinks. Sometimes a neutral colour setting means you can draw the eye to the accessories and the gift. Or go bright and bold throughout. Whatever you choose, own it. It’s your Valentines’ just create it with love.
- Start with the most important thing – placing and spacing.
It’s your personal choice if you sit face to face; adjacent to each-other or side by side on a bench seat. Give your table mats and cutlery plenty of space so it doesn’t feel cramped. Even if you have been together for some time, it’s nice to make the formal, feel informal and relaxed. We don’t want any glasses getting knocked over. Use a third table mat as a placement to one side, for your salt and pepper and sauces. Make the effort to put some sauce into a little bowl – no branded bottles from the cupboard. Between you, sits a glowing candle of your choice.
Serviettes are a must – and no, kitchen roll does not count. There is a massive selection of paper serviettes with delicate designs, or cute to suit your loved one. Material serviettes create instant luxury and are a great investment as they will be washed and used time and again. You could purchase a plain light coloured set and write your own personal message on it, hidden until it’s unfolded.
Try and use matching plates and nice wine glasses. Even if you’re drinking cider or gin or a soft drink, a stemmed glass helps create the restaurant experience.
All phones switched off/silent and in another room – except for the obligatory selfie to mark the moment. Keep the music low and if you have time, select their favourites.
Adornments make the eating experience adorable. Better to have a few flowers in a simple vase, (or maybe wild fauna from nearby woods) than a huge vase which takes over the table or even blocks your eyes meeting. A bouquet of roses is lovely as a gift, but that’s separate from your table decoration.
Candles are king. It’s important to dress the table and the room - and you’re spoilt for choice. Long thin tapered candles work well on the table or the fire place or shelves. The same goes for tea lights and pillar candles as long as you use the right holders. You could use candles which are already poured in glass or ceramics but most of all, use the science of fragrance!
It goes without saying the room is clean and tidy but adding fragrance is extremely important. The right fragrance will get the pulses racing, whether it’s from a diffuser or a candle. It’s a scientific fact that smell has a stronger link to emotion than any of the other human senses. The right scent such as jasmine, saffron, ginseng and patchouli can make for a magical evening.
- Add some final touches. Petals sprinkled on the table shows a touch of flare.
You could order small prints of some of your old holiday and socialising photos to look through together. Place them in a small plain photo album, to look like your menu sitting on the table.
Embrace one of this years’ most used words, bubble - get a simple children’s bottle of bubbles and use to create an entrance for your loved one. Note: waft above and around them, not in the face.
Send an invitation. A hand written note left on their pillow; a card sent in the post in advance; a text or video invite. The important thing is to declare your intentions and set the date.
Get dressed up to go out/in - your invite could even set a theme such as full red carpet glam.
We are not food experts so we won’t make culinary suggestions, but a few options to consider.
- Order take away for delivery. It’s ok, as long as you’ve ordered in advance, thought about their favourite dish, not skimped on the extras and put the effort into serving and clearing up.
- Plan and cook the meal together – team work makes the dream work and all that. Keep it fun, simple and indulgent and when ready, you do the serving.
- If you are cooking, play to your strengths. You don’t need to create a full three course meal from scratch and your Valentine would rather have your company at the table, than a sweaty mess stressed waiter/chef running back and forth. You don’t have to be Mary Berry – the best starters are light and easy and for example, strawberries dipped in chocolate are a perfectly acceptable desert.
The food really depends upon the time of day and you might have to work around shifts or waiting until young children are asleep. A Valentine’s breakfast or supper can be just as special as a dinner.
You might have to share your Valentine’s with children – tiny tots, toddlers, tweens or teens. All of the ideas above still work, you just need to factor in a loving family rather than a loved up couple. Fragrance still matters. If it’s a family home, vanilla and sandalwood can help your loved one simply relax and feel loved. Think of Valentine’s in a similar way you do Christmas. Perhaps children can draw or write love notes to peg on a ribbon and decorate the room. A super hero theme could work for the attire. Or give older children an area of responsibility such as creating a family fun music mix for the evening. You could have a video valentines and share with the wider family or friends.
If ever there was a time to fall back in love with Valentine, it’s this year. For centuries it has been common for lovers and friends to exchange small tokens of affection and candles or diffusers make a beautiful gift. They can also be enjoyed together, sent to a friend or other family member or as a Valentine’s treat just for you. In fact, Valentine’s isn’t just for the love of your life or the beau of your bubble.
At the end of 2020, a worldwide survey found that 38.2 per cent of single people continued dating during the pandemic, despite their country being in lockdown. New couples can’t meet up and perhaps don’t know each other well enough to send perfume or jewellery but candles and diffusers make the perfect gift, for all ages, for a man or a woman. A candle shows you’ve put some thought into the gift; they are used and enjoyed for a long time; they can represent traditional gifts such as roses and can be fun or sophisticated. You are spoilt for choice here.
Or maybe you just want to treat yourself to a cosy night, a few candles lit and a box of chocolates, not for sharing. However you spend it, happy St Valentine’s Day from all at Wax Lyrical.
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