One of the most exotic ways to express your love for that special someone is to cook a romantic dinner for the two of you. Food, attractively presented and tastefully prepared, can act as a great inducement to the senses, and thus set the mood for a night of intimacy.
So, whether you are planning to celebrate Valentine’s Day or simply interested in making a date special, set about preparing a romantic dinner for yourselves. No doubt, it will require a certain amount of planning and hard work, but ultimately, it will be an evening that you are sure to remember fondly, for the rest of your life.
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Decide on the menu
This is because you would need to shop for supplies, and certain recipes might need advance preparation. While there are recipes galore claiming to have an aphrodisiac effect, choose something that you are comfortable with, and will not cause you to get hassled. Nothing dampens the spirit of romance, as a host who has to rush to the kitchen every ten minutes to see if everything is alright.
Be creative with the menu
There are any number of resources which will help you to decide on a menu. Go through trusted recipe books, magazines or websites, and put together a creative spread. You could present an assortment of gourmet cheese as appetizers, as well as fancy crackers with unusual dips. For the main course, you could choose from chicken or steak dishes, lobster preparations, a prime rib or even a delicious fillet mignon, for the exotic touch. Chocolates are the traditional favourite in desserts, but make sure you do something special with them, like chocolate-covered strawberries, or chocolate-based European desserts. Finally, keep in mind your partner’s health because you wouldn’t like your date to come down with an allergic reaction to any of the ingredients in your dinner.
Set the mood
After you have gone through the main job of deciding and preparing the menu, pay attention to the setting. Keep the temperature in the room to a comfortable level. A crackling fire in winter will add a romantic touch, while an airy room in summer will create a fresh feeling. You could also keep lighted candles at several places in the room to give a soft, flickering glow. Better still, use aromatic candles to heighten the romantic ambience in the room. Fragrances like lavender, jasmine, vanilla and rosewood are believed to have an arousing effect on the senses.
Decorate the table
For a dinner with your partner, it is necessary that you set the table in an attractive way. Use table linen in soft pastel colours and preferably stick to glass, for tableware. Ornate silver might seem too formal, but light, polished silver will look attractive. Keep a romantic flower arrangement as the centerpiece, and don’t forget to light long-stemmed, scented candles.
It is said that people first taste the food with their eyes and then with their mouth. So make sure that the food is attractively presented. This calls for paying attention to details like spillages and food stains on the rim of the serving bowls. See that the fresh ingredients, as in salads and entrees, do not appear wilted, and keep their colour. Also, do not overcook vegetables or fish, or they may appear mushy. Be guided by photos in recipe books and your own aesthetic sense, while presenting the food on the table.
Choose appropriate music
Shakespeare wrote in one of this plays, “If music be the food of love, play on”. Few things are as successful in creating a romantic ambience, as soft music. You could play the famous tune from the movie, “Love Story” or Elton John’s “You Look Wonderful Tonight”. If your partner is into classical music, explore Mozart’s piano concertos together, or if your date’s interests lie more towards modern pop, then how about “Could I Have This Kiss Forever” by Enrique Iglesias and Whitney Houston. So, even though you are spoilt for choice in music, stick to something soft and romantic. However, make sure that the volume is kept to a level where it will not hinder conversation. The main purpose of the dinner date, after all, is to have a romantic time together and not to turn it into an indoor rock concert.
Don’t forget the wine
While choosing the wine to start off the evening, be guided by your lover’s preferences. There is no need to go bankrupt, by settling for the most expensive wine in the market - just a light, flavourful rose or red wine should be adequate to set the evening rolling. However, if you are celebrating something and if your pocket permits it, go for champagne, by all means. At the table, choose wine according to the menu that you have planned. Finally, you could settle for a nice peach or coffee liqueur, to round off the evening.
Decide what to do after dinner
Since you both will be spending the rest of the evening together, plan some after-dinner activities beforehand. This is so that there are no awkward pauses after dessert and your date does not feel it is time to leave. Do something romantic, like taking a walk outdoors or snuggling together to watch a movie. If you are comfortable, then get intimate in a scented bath, or with a sensuous massage.
Finally, enjoy yourself
Remember that this dinner date is special for you both. Don’t feel pressured to make everything go off perfectly. Also, don’t fret about the mess in the kitchen or the dirty dishes in the sink. After you have done your best, sit back with your lover and enjoy.
Planning a romantic dinner is nothing short of an artistic enterprise, and like all works of art, needs skill as well as inspiration. However, it is not as unnerving as it sounds, if proceeded with a bit of thought and planning. So take out your recipe books and turn a simple dinner date at home into a feast for the senses, which is sure to set the evening sizzling for you both.