With restaurants, pubs and bars still closed, this Valentine’s Day is set to look a little different from what we’re used to. But even though we can’t head to our favourite restaurant for a romantic night out, that doesn’t mean we can’t make this February 14th as special and romantic as possible.
We’ve put together some ideas for Valentine’s Day this Sunday, whether you’re celebrating with your other half in person or virtually, or catching up with friends for ‘Galentine’s Day’.
The Perfect Dinner
Cacio E Pepe
With a silky, creamy and very cheesy sauce Caio E Pepe is the ideal dish for a cosy night in at home.
- 230 grams pasta
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- Coarsely ground black pepper
- 95 grams freshly grated pecorino, plus more for garnish
- 95 grams freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
- In a pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. Reserve ⅔ of a cup cup pasta water, and drain the pasta.
- In a large frying pan over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter with the olive oil. Add a generous amount of black pepper and toast until fragrant (about 1 minute).
- Add ⅓ of the cup of the reserved pasta water, and bring to a simmer. Whisk in the remaining butter and then, using tongs, toss the pasta into the butter mixture.
- Add the cheeses and toss constantly until cheese is melted, removing the frying pan from the heat when about half of the cheese has melted – if the sauce is too thick, loosen it with more pasta water.
- Serve, garnish with more cheese and pepper.
The Perfect Cocktail
Strawberry and Champagne Margarita
No Valentine’s Day evening in would be complete without something tasty to drink, and this pink, sparkling Strawberry and Champagne Margarita is Valentine’s Day in a glass:
- 130g strawberries (hulled)
- 180ml champagne
- 180ml tequila
- 60 ml fresh lime juice
- 60 ml triple sec
- Pink crystallized sugar (or salt if you prefer)
- In a blender, puree the strawberries until they’re smooth.
- Combine the pureed strawberries, champagne, tequila, lime juice and triple sec, and mix.
- Dip the rims of two margarita glasses gently into a bowl of water, and then into the pink crystallised sugar or salt, and fill the glasses with ice.
- Pour in your margarita mixture.
Perfect things to do:
Grab a fancy at-home pizza making kit – Franco Manca and Pizza Pilgrims have great offerings that taste amazing and won’t break the bank. You and your other half can have fun decorating your pizzas (and even making them with cute heart-shaped bases).
A fun and creative way to switch up an evening, and it’s something you can do in person or virtually. Put on some chilled music, pour a glass of wine and spend some time expressing your creative flair. Even if the results aren’t something you’d frame, you’re guaranteed to still have a laugh – you could even have a go at drawing each other.
A Personal Quiz
A great way to reconnect and reminisce about more normal times, as well as to test yourselves about how well you really know each other.
Cook Your Favourite Meal Together
Whether you’re hanging out in person or over Zoom or FaceTime, you can still cook and eat your favourite meal together as an evening’s activity.
Wine tasting is a great way to pass the time and provides something to focus your attention on when there isn’t much going on. Online wine tastings with professional sommeliers are available, or you can choose a few bottles from the supermarket and use a free app to tell you about what’s in them.
Go For A Stroll
Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday this year, so why not wrap up warm and go for a long romantic walk – you can chat, get some fresh air and blow away the cobwebs with your favourite person.
Turn Your Living Room Into An At-Home Cinema
Watching TV might not exactly feel like a novelty at the moment, but you can dim the lights, lay out some blankets and cushions and make it feel different and special. Plus, watching a classic will feel like a warm hug, whether you’re watching with somebody or by yourself:
- When Harry Met Sally - two old friends fall for each other, with a few hiccoughs on the way. It's quirky, funny, and very 80s.
- Bridget Jones’ Diary – the unlucky-in-love Bridget's life is hilarious pretty much from start-to-finish, and who wouldn't love a fight scene between Hugh Grant and Colin Firth?
- The Notebook – tissues at the ready, this classic love story will have you weeping for all the right reasons.
- Gone Girl – for those among us who don't go for romance on Valentine's Day, Gone Girl is a murder mystery, meets psychological thriller, meets revenge story with an amazing twist.
Go Big For Galentine's
Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be about romantic relationships – having a fun catch up or virtual drinks with your best friends is always guaranteed to lift the spirits and make you feel good about life.