Simply Celebrate Life!
Fireside Dinner for Two
A few years ago, Chris and I found ourselves trying to decide how to celebrate Valentine’s and enjoy some much needed time to ourselves. We had three very young children, with no family close by and a baby too young to leave with a sitter, so going out was out of the question. On top of that, it was a weeknight… and as most families with young children will attest, money is almost always an issue as well. Yet, I was determined to make the night special in our own little way. I made Chris a special dinner, and set our little table with candles, we put the kids to bed, and enjoyed a late dinner with just the two of us. That started our very own little tradition, while most go out for dinner on Valentine’s, we always stay in now. And the past couple years, we’ve added a new tradition, we order Chinese take out and keep it even more simple. So whether it’s hard for you to go out, money is tight, you don’t want to fight the Valentine crowds, it sounds like fun to mix it up, or you just want a new tradition … try creating your very own romantic night IN this year!
I decided to make our dinner for two more special by setting it up by our fireplace. I brought in a smaller table and two chairs from another room, and put them in front of the fire. I put on a crisp white tablecloth and started gathering red pieces to set my table in keeping with traditional Valentine colors, and to help set the mood. And I didn’t just think about the table, I set the mantle with a couple special touches to tie it all together. I used some Vinyl letters to spell out “Valentine” on the wall behind the mantle. I continued with red candles on the mantle and brought in a framed picture of the two of us to make it more personalized. Simple, but special in a beautiful way.
For my table setting, I used a Red Charger to bring in the foundation and some color. I topped that with a simple Porcelain white plate and topped that with a Red and Pink Salad plate. I love to just buy Salad/Dessert plates in fun patterns and colors to mix and match with simpler settings I already own. I brought out some Crystal glasses and a pretty napkin and I had a simple, elegant, and festive table perfect for two. To bring in some romance, I used two red taper candles set on silver candlesticks and set a red glass votive at each place setting.
And don’t forget that romance is all about the senses, we’re working on the visual, and bringing in taste is obvious. But also, think about touch and texture especially with your linens, and silverware. Scent can come from the food, but think about scent with your candles and flowers as well, making sure they don’t compete with each other. Turn on your favorite mood music and you’ll have a night to remember.
If you want to bring your table a notch, consider adding an extra special touch… I created a cute, simple name tag with scrapbook paper and a punch. I tied on an antique key to bring in a more personal element.
I decided since this was a dinner for two, it would be perfect to bring in some personal remembrances. When Chris proposed, before he gave me a ring, he gave me a key, the key to his heart …
So, keys have been a special and simple reminder of our love ever since. When I found this stamp set, I had to get it and thought it would add a simple detail to my table. It could be nice to set a simple, handwritten love note at your “guest’s” setting as well.
What is more iconic for Valentine’s than roses? This simple little arrangement brought some life and color to our little table, and the figurine was a Valentine’s gift a few years ago, so I thought it was a very appropriate personal touch to my tablescape. Think of gifts, or collectibles, or symbols of your own love story to bring to your table, and make it more personal and romantic for you.
Whether you make his favorite dinner, try a new recipe, or order in … you can set a simple, personalized table to set the mood for a night of romance and make him feel like the special man in your life!
And if that still sounds like too much work, run a nice, hot bubble bath and order some Chinese Take-Out… and you’ll still have a great night IN.
Happy Valentine’s Day!