Valentine’s Day might be cheesy but we will make it as exciting as possible. And that said, here’s a guide for the perfect date, that fuels the fire, instead of blowing it out. Whether it’s your first date or your 55th, Team FNL’s got you covered.
Couples drunk in love, romance in the air, shops across the country stacked high with heart-adorned cards, bumper boxes of chocolate, bouquets of red roses, teddy bears wearing t-shirts emblazoned with cutesy messages and when the skyline of every city around the world is full of red balloons, it can only mean one thing — Valentine’s Day is here. And thus, is the pressure of planning the perfect date for your beau.
There is enough pressure in life without having to stress on how to pamper that special someone in your life on V-Day, the day of the year that is dedicated to love and romance. Usually, the question comes up around the last week of January, when suddenly every place from gift stores to eateries come up with huge posters and promotions for February fourteen, and all of a sudden — ding! A spark! And a pang — the hope of a grand romantic gesture, the confusion about what to gift, how to make the day exquisite and the guilt of not remembering about this day a little earlier.
Even if you hate the dreaded V-day, it’s all about the gesture. One of the hardest parts of Valentine’s Day is deciding what the hell to do to make it PERFECT.
On Valentine’s Day the last thing you want to do is get stuck in a Netflix and Chill rut — or worse, end up at a cheesy, overpriced, and decidedly unoriginal prix-fixe dinner. Whether it’s hanging with your forever partner or that new dreamboat you met on Tinder, ensure your V-Day is free of clichés.
If you need a little help stepping up your game in order to heat things up this season, we’ve got you covered. Blow your bae away by surprising him or her with the best Valentine’s Day date ever! We’ve done all the hard work for you, from what to gift your better half to a list of aphrodisiacs in order to spice things up.
Decor and Ambience
Whenever we think about 14th Feb, the first thing that we envision is a candlelight dinner with that special person in a restaurant decorated with everything that screams romance. So, how about in twenty-eighteen you throw the rule book out of the window, and up your game a little. This Valentine’s Day, don’t fight for a reservation at a fancy restaurant if you want to treat your loved one to a fine dining experience — instead plan a cosy night in.
No, not talking about the clichéd movie and takeout kinda thing, but rather a date that your beau will remember forever. Firstly, you need to create a romantic vibe and for that, you’ll need to put in a wee bit of effort. Whether you plan on setting up the date indoors, on the terrace or the lawn, over the top arrangements won’t impress your bae. Keep it simple, classy and intimate.
The space should feel inviting and warm enough so your date can unwind into a night of pure romance. Think fairy lights, LED tea light candles or scented candles, lanterns, flowers, and a few helium balloons in strategic areas. Set up a table with cutlery for two, a pretty tablecloth, a rose in between and a scented candle in the centre.
A good playlist is extremely important. If you’re confused where to begin, consider a mix of the latest romantic Bollywood numbers, a few classics, and your favourite songs.
Just remember, the key is to not go overboard.
Food And Beverage
As the adage goes, “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”, the same can be said for women too, which means what you serve has to be delicious.
Hors-d’oeuvre or small bites served hot or cold are a great way to get the ball rolling. For when hunger strikes, arrange for something that your partner loves. You could cook it yourself or order it, that’s totally your call. However, stick to one cuisine. Don’t make your partner choose between Aglio Olio and mutton biryani!
Oh, and for sure don’t forget dessert!
For drinks — ensure that you have your basics – a bottle of your partner’s favoured red and white wine, beer, vodka, gin, and whisky. You’re obviously not going to drink them all, but sometimes making your partner feel like they’re spoilt for choice often sets the mood for the night. Apart from your bar staples, you could add a little oomph to your date by adding two-ingredient cocktails to your mix. They are easy to make at home, a good break from a Vodka with cranberry juice, but most importantly they add a little legitimacy to the date.
Here are a few of my favourite concoctions:-
- Bellini – combine sparkling wine with peach purée.
- Shandy – combine one part beer with one part of another beverage.
- Black Russian – vodka with Kahlua
- B&B – Brandy with Benedictine
- Minimalist Margarita – tequila (60 ml), lime juice (30 ml) and syrup (22 ml).
- Manhattan – whisky (60 ml), sweet vermouth (30 ml) and 2 dashes of Angostura bitters.
- Old fashioned – Bourbon (60 ml), dash of bitters and a sugar cube
- Dark & Stormy – Rum (60 ml) plus ginger beer or ginger ale
- Mimosa – Champagne or sparkling wine with orange juice
- Sangria – Red Wine + Orange Juice (15 ml) + Brandy infused fruits (Apples, pears, peaches)
And if your partner doesn’t drink alcohol then keep juice, ice-tea or prepare their favourite mocktail.
In the mood Foods – Aphrodisiacs
Talking about food and Valentine’s Day, how can we possibly not talk about aphrodisiacs?
Couples who want to get into the loving mood on V-Day know that aphrodisiacs can help spice things up. The oldest way of boosting your libido is to eat certain foods to put you in the mood. Many ancient civilisations attributed aphrodisiac properties to specific foods which have developed a mythical status.
The search for sexy foods is an ancient pursuit, and we’ve rounded up 5 aphrodisiac foods considered sexy for their suggestive shape, texture, or colour.
- Asparagus –The high amount of vitamin E in asparagus can increase blood and oxygen flow to the genitals. There are also high levels of potassium — which is linked to sex hormone production.
- Chocolate – It contains phenylethylamine — a stimulant that elicits excitement and a sense of well-being.
- Almonds/Walnuts – Not only have these been a symbol of fertility in art forever, they’re a prime source of beneficial fatty acids like omega-3, which, again, helps with hormone production.
- Coffee – Similar to chocolate, coffee’s caffeine increases stamina and can elevate mood, and coffee increases dopamine levels in the brain, which in turn increases desire and pleasure.
- Strawberries – They’re loaded with vitamin C, which is important for the production of sex hormones and chemical neurotransmitters in the brain to increase libido.
V-Day Gifts for Him & her!
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it’s probably about time to think about what to get your significant other. To be honest, buying a gift that sums up all your feels for the one you love, without breaking the bank, is a bloody challenge.
We know what you’re thinking: Valentine’s Day is a manufactured day created to pressure you into buying things for your other half that he/she doesn’t actually want. Whilst you might be half right, there’s nothing wrong with a little gesture that your beau might actually appreciate. And with that, undoubtedly comes a whole load of unnecessary stress. “How much should I spend?”, “How much will he/she spend?”, “Have we been together long enough for V-Day to be a thing?”, “Does he/she want it to be a thing?” etc, etc.
Don’t worry, this is where we come in handy. Know which cliches are fair game — teddy bears are generally a bad idea, chocolates will work just fine, and sex toys, um, definitely not! If there’s something that your partner has been wanting for a long time and never really got around to purchasing, then you should for sure buy that for them. Handmade cards or gifts work wonders, and will surely strike a few chords in your bae’s heart.
Don’t forget, no matter how clichéd, you’re probably going to want to pick up some flowers this Valentine’s Day. Better yet, order them in advance so you don’t have to fight like a junkyard dog for the last bundle of orchids. Keep your gift as simple and personal as possible. You might even go completely old school and write your beau a love letter!
As long as your gift isn’t too cheap, not too expensive, not too over-the-top and not too uncaring — it’ll be just right!
Our mantra for a perfect Valentine’s Day date is — skip the cheesy parts and get to the good stuff. Sure, Valentine’s Day might be a consumerist holiday invented by Hallmark, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use this day to show some affection towards your partner.
V-Day is that day of the year where you relax with your partner, spoil them rotten and hopefully get some goodies in return. But often what ends up happening instead is a completely blank mind, almost forgetting the whole damn day and rushing to the supermarket to grab some average chocolates and a sad bunch of flowers.
The classic holiday of romance isn’t hard to nail with a little bit of planning. And if you follow all or few things that we’ve told you then for sure you’ll have your beau dropping L-bombs all over the place!
Featured Image Credits: Pinterest
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