‘Tis the season of love…’-—this may be true throughout the world but here, in Trinidad and Tobago, ‘tis the season of fete-ing and soca.’
So, you may not have planned or budgeted for Valentine’s Day, especially since it falls smack dab in the middle of wining season but, not to worry, here are some quick and easy tips to ensure that you have the perfect date night dinner without breaking the bank. Whether you decide to do an intimate dinner for two or to invite a few other couples to join in the romantic festivities, these ideas will not only save you time but, save you money and ensure that each of your guests feels loved and appreciated.
Décor and Ambience
Setting the mood for your date night or dinner party is simple; soft music and candlelight are essential. Find a ready-made romantic playlist on YouTube or Spotify and let the music do the work. Dim the lights and place tea lights and candles throughout your hosting space. If you have vases of varying heights and widths, fill them with water and float a few flowers in each of them.
Even though you’re hosting at home, it doesn’t mean that guests shouldn’t dress to impress. Request that your guests dress as if they were going out to a fancy restaurant.
Charcuterie boards are not only gorgeous but they also contain a combination of flavours and textures for a simple yet, delicious starter! This meat and cheese platter is easy to prepare and your guests will rave about it. The key to this appetizer is variety; choose a few different types of cold cuts, cheeses (soft and hard), crackers, dips, nuts as well as fresh and dried fruit and arrange it beautifully. The array of textures and colours will make it a most inviting platter.
Stick to something that is simple yet delicious. Pastas are easy to prepare beforehand and are often a go-to when it comes to romance—think Lady and the Tramp. A baked pasta dish can be prepared beforehand and placed in the oven 15 minutes before your guests arrive.
Serve a variety of chocolates or pick up your favourite cake or cheesecake from the supermarket. You can pair store-bought cakes with fresh fruit or jams as an easy way to jazz up a basic dessert.
Keep it simple when it comes to alcohol; serve your favourite bottle of wine or prosecco and ask guests to bring along their favourite bottle to share. Frozen fruit dropped into wine or prosecco glasses can keep your drink cold and add a bit of festivity for minimal cost—we love doing this with either grapes or strawberries!
As with any good date, the meal is just the beginning of a memorable date night. The evening should focus on those special qualities that you love about your partner—toast to your special someone, mentioning what you’re most grateful for about that person. Invite your guests to join in and let them toast to their partners as well.
As people, we should remember to show our appreciation to our loved ones everyday, however, circumstances may not always allow this, so on Valentine’s the simplest act, delicious food or even a little love note can remind those special people in your life how truly special they are.
With that in mind, remember to keep your planning simple and most importantly, do not stress. Happy hosting!