Love is in the Air… and the Oven!

Aside from red roses and romantic gestures, Valentine’s Day has always been associated with enjoying a meal with your loved one.

This is all very well if you are as adept in the kitchen as Mary Berry, but not all of us can whip up a passion-inducing feast for our sweetheart with ease.  So, we’ve been looking at some different ways to share a Valentine meal that doesn’t take a culinary genius.

From simple yet impressive recipes, eating out options and a few ideas that are a little more unusual, read our food-lovers guide for some romantic inspiration.

Staying in – recipes to impress

Waking up to breakfast in bed on Valentine’s morning ensures a perfect to start to the day.  It’s a different and thoughtful way to treat your loved one to a meal and will be sure to put a spring in their step for the rest of the day.

It can be something as simple as toast and jam, served on a tray with a single red rose, or for real indulgence try a modern twist on Eggs Benedict with these tasty Lobster Muffins, which can either be made from scratch, or by using shop-bought muffins to save time.

For a evening meal for two, this sea-bream with fennel and lemon recipe is easy to prepare and fast to cook. It’s even created using just one pan, which means less time spent washing up and more time for romance! We recommend serving with Tesco’s Finest Pinot Grigio which perfectly compliments the delicate flavour of the fish.

Vegetarian Valentine couples who are planning a stay-at-home feast have a wealth of tasty options too. These simple Mushroom and Spinach Pancakes served with a generous dollop of crème fraiche are a true treat and simply melt in the mouth.

Chocolate holds the key to almost every heart, so what better way to round off your evening than with a decadent dessert. This Valentine’s Day sweet-treat combines layers of chocolate brownie with a creamy strawberry filling, topped with an extra layer of melted chocolate. For the ultimate in indulgence, serve with soft whipped cream.

Of course, no romantic meal is complete without a glass of something sparkling and many supermarkets are offering some great deals on fizz!  We’re really impressed with Aldi’s Prosecco at just £4.99 – just don’t tell your date that you’ve gone for the cheapest option – and they’ll never know as it tastes great and the bottle looks impressive too.

Eating out – There is still time to book

It’s not to late to sweep your partner off their feet with a table at one of the best restaurants in town. Book-A-Table shows the venues that still have availability and there are some fabulous options to choose from.

For fun informal dining Planet Hollywood in London are offering a Valentine’s day menu at a very reasonable £35 per head. The meal includes three courses (including a sharing platter starter) and a choice of a glass of fizz or bottle of Amstel.

For steak-lovers, The Marco Pierre White Steakhouse & Grill in Birmingham is offering a Valentine’s menu that stays true to uncomplicated British cooking. The menu includes 28-day aged Chateaubriand with all the traditional trimmings and a special offer on two-for-one French Martini Cocktails.

Café Rouge have locations across the UK and their Valentine’s Day menu includes a glass of Prosecco and a starter, main and dessert for just £29.95.  As an added treat they are running a competition to win a trip for two to France as well.

Supermarket meal deals

If cooking really isn’t your thing, but you still want to impressive your date with some fabulous food without going out, then most of the supermarkets are offering some tempting meal deal options that can simply be put in the oven and served to your candlelit table.

Morrisons have made it super-easy for would-be chefs with a pick and mix range of starters, mains, two sides, desserts and a choice of chocolates or fizz – all for just £15. Our favourites are the glazed lamb shanks with a red wine sauce served with a medley of buttered green vegetables.  The food looks and tastes home-made, so if you chose to hide the packaging and claim it as your own – we won’t tell!

For a sophisticated meal, this isn’t just any Valentine’s supper… it’s an M&S Valentine’s supper. The popular lovebird’s meal deal is back for 2020 with over 200 possible food combinations to choose from.  The main course of a Pulled Beef & Truffle Love Parcel sounds sumptuous and will surely put you in the mood for romance.  We recommend accompanying your meal with the M&S passion fruit Mojito which includes edible gold leaf to make your evening shine.

And now for something a little different…

If you like to have fun with your food, treat your loved one to the ultimate food gift. Cooking with Cupid is a Valentine’s cookery class designed for couples who enjoy hands-on cooking (and eating!) or even as first-date idea that will break the ice and make you feel relaxed.

You and your partner will be served drinks and nibbles upon arrival whilst you watch a professional chef demonstration before attempting to cook a three-course meal together.  All ingredients and equipment are included – as is unlimited wine! So even if your food doesn’t go to plan, you’ll have terrific fun and enjoy bottomless booze.

If your partner is a curry-lover them give them the gift of a Curry Club Recipe Kit Subscription. Every month your loved one will receive, direct to their door, a goodie-box containing a different curry recipe plus all the fresh spices and side dishes you need to create an authentic curry. The subscription lasts for six months, so you can share many romantic meals together long after Valentine’s day is over.