The food has been ordered, now it’s time to set the table for date night at home. We call on food and table stylist Lucy Tweed to share some hot tips on jazzing up your dinner table.
The Star At Home offering has the food handled. So, you don’t have to worry about burning the main course. But how do you set a romantic atmosphere for date night in the same ole’ living or dining room that you’ve spent the last few months in lockdown in? We’ve called on food and table stylist of @everynightoftheweek, Lucy Tweed, to help set the right mood.
The essential extras
Yes, we know the basics: knife, fork, plate, wine glass. But date night is special, which means there are those essential extra things you can do to put on a fancy dinner date.
“Linen napkins are an absolute must,” says Lucy. “Pre-wash them so that they are soft. Setting a napkin on your lap is such a small, but important step to the ritual of dining.”
Condiments from a jar or tub are not going to cut it for date night says Lucy. “Freshly cracked pepper or good sea salt, plus any sauces, should be placed into smaller dishes with spoons,” says Lucy.
“Don’t put a jar of mustard from the fridge on the table, put it in a little dish.” This will help add to the illusion that you’re dining out rather than in.
Another handy tip is making sure you have all beverages decanted and ready. “Wine should be table ready,” says Lucy. “In an iced vessel or open and airing. This is about you and your date not needing to get up for anything.”
You want the night to emulate the experience you’d get at one of your favourite restaurants and not have to worry about a thing once beginning your meal.
Why stop there? Little decorative elements are a great way to show that you’ve put in the extra effort. “You can print off a simple menu, or handwritten note, tie the napkin in twine, or maybe leave a single hand-picked flower on each napkin,” says Lucy. “Anything that allows your date to experience a little extra surprise once seated is that perfect touch.”
Get the light right
Lighting is very important. There’s a reason you don’t walk into a starkly lighted restaurant at night. There’s a mysterious element that comes with dimly lighted rooms. Which is why you should ditch the lights and opt for romantic (and environmentally friendly) candles.
“There’s nothing like the twinkle of real flame,” says Lucy. But if you do plan getting lost in your partner’s eyes over candlelight, Lucy recommends you ditch the scented candles. “Scented candles should be left for another time, not when the delicious aroma of food is around.” If you don’t have any candles on hand, Lucy suggests opting for reducing additional light around the house. Try use a lamp where possible or leave the lights off directly above you but keep surrounding lights from other rooms on to give the illusion of dimmed lights.
According to Lucy, background music can be a total game changer. “Of course, it depends on your date and you know them better than anyone else,” says Lucy. “Go for something upbeat, romantic, instrumental, and not jarring.”
Ensure the volume is not too high as it will make it hard to converse over. If you want to go that extra step, you can even create a special playlist for the night to suit both your tastes. Creating date night at home has never been easier, reckons Lucy. “With all the best restaurants in town now offering their dining at home experience, you can really impress without too much stress.”