Expensive three course dining experiences with expensive bottles of wine has become synonymous with Valentine’s Day. There is nothing wrong with going out for dinner on Valentine’s Day, but with chefs being forced to make the same pre-ordered dishes that often cost diners from £30 – £75 each, with the price of the £25 – £60 wine pairing and £10 – £20 refrigerated cake for dessert, it often costs over £100 for the dining experience alone. In 2016 it was estimated that £958 million was spent on Valentine’s day, and while we at Lark and Larks think it is important to celebrate the love you have for your other half – it shouldn’t break the bank.
The romantic mythology of Valentine’s Day dates back to the execution of Priest Valentine on February 14th 270 A.D. After Emperor Claudius banned marriage and engagement in across Rome, (he believed that unmarried soldiers fought better than betrothed and married soldiers), Priest Valentine revolted against this ideology and married couples in secret. He believed in the sanctity of marriage, and wanted people to spend their lives with their one true love. After his actions were discovered, he was sentenced to death. On February 14th he beaten and decapitated – legend suggests that the night before his decapitation he left a note for a friends signed, “from your Valentine.”
However, you do not need to break the law or your bank balance in order to show the one you love how much you mean to them. Instead, utilise what you have at home and cook a delicious meal. We guarantee it will be a much more romantic experience, cost a fraction of the price and you won’t get interrupted by a stressed out waiter every 10 minutes. Here are five tips to help you prepare the perfect Valentine’s Day Dinner.
5 tips to prepare the perfect Valentine’s Day meal
Organise your Kitchen before you begin
An unorganised and messy kitchen is the key ingredient for disaster when it comes to preparing any meal. From not being able to find a ladle, to panicking because you cannot see the paprika that is hiding behind a four pack of beans, a messy kitchen will turn your romantic dining experience into a stressful mess. So, organise those kitchen cupboards, get rid of those chipped plates and find the lids for your saucepans. Get yourself a spice rack, sort your kitchen bins out and start your Valentine’s dinner with a tidy kitchen and tidy mind.
Clean as you go
Cleaning as you go is the easiest way to keep on top of what is going on in the kitchen – especially when it comes to cooking complex meals. Fill up the sink with hot soapy water and once you’ve finished using a piece of equipment leave it to soak or wash it up. Putting rubbish in the bin as go is another really simple way to keep on top of the mess that comes with cooking.
Create atmospheric lighting
Lighting is essential when it comes to creating a romantic and atmospheric lighting. From installing LED strip lighting underneath the kitchen cupboards and dining room cupboard to safely placing candles in the room, you’ll be surprised at just how beautiful a room looks after the lighting has been changed. Fairy lights in jars also make a stunning centerpiece.
Store your wine in the right place
If you’ve put the effort into choosing the perfect bottle of wine to go with your Valentine’s Day meal, then it is imperative that you store it properly, so that it does not spoil. Red wine should be stored in the dark on its side in a wine rack – make sure you keep the red wine away from any heat. White wine should be stored on its side in the fridge.
Be yourself and enjoy it
This is the most important piece of advice anyone can ever offer you. Make sure that you enjoy the evening and be yourself – and the rest will follow.