By the time Valentines Day floats around this year, it's likely that many people will opt out of the traditional date night concept of going out to a fancy restaurant to swoon at one another from opposite sides of the table. The current pandemic conditions coupled with personal comfort levels for outings is of course the driving factor for rethinking how to celebrate this year. A lot more preparation and research are involved with finding a restaurant that still has reservations available, as well as understanding their modified service levels and menus. A decision has to be made if this is the year to navigate all of these details.
Is it really worth spending the time and money, or do you just stay home?
Everyone's circumstances are unique, and for those that decide the holiday is worthy of the experience, then I say cheers to your bravery, love for one another, and thank you for supporting your local restaurants.
However for those that decide on a cozy night in, think about getting innovative, and bring your own private dining experience to life at home. Whether you cook as a couple, or order carry-out, sharing a romantic dinner can easily be created in our own homes by setting a personalized and romantic Valentine’s table.
So how do you set the scene? A little bit of pre-planning is still required if you don't typically keep certain elements in your house. It's important to "inventory" now what you do/don't have to work with so on February 14th you are not rushing to a store. By "shopping" your own home, and partnering with a local table design specialty shop, such as R Table Studio in Orlando, you can grab everything you need for a thoughtful and custom tablescape.
Rosalba Toribio, the owner of R Table Studio, started her businesses in 2020 after being furloughed from her hospitality career and realizing there was a gap in the table design space for the everyday consumer. Her brand is designed around offering collections and custom pieces that can be reinvented throughout the year, mixed and matched, and blended with elements you already own. As an H&F Redefined Innovator and a new entrepreneur, her services offer approachable solutions to set tables that feel special to you as a host and for your guests.
Here are a few pro-tips she and I crafted together offering step by step advice to set you up for success on the holiday for love.
6 Step Guide For Setting Your Romantic Valentines Table
1.) "Dress" Up Your Table for the Occasion, With Table Linens:
Take out those fancy linens you have stored away for special occasions, celebrating LOVE is a special occasion. Give your table a clean elegant look by dressing it up with a classic solid white or solid red tablecloth to give yourself a blank canvas to build from. You can also use a runner down the center of your table to add to the romantic look. Use what you have.
2.) Create a Romantic Atmosphere, by Incorporating Candles:
Adding candles to your table immediately creates an ambiance that feels romantic and warm to help set the mood. The twinkling light of the candle flame, helps us feel relaxed and comfortable. It's recommended to use taper candles, which emit a more than romantic look and are also trending right now.
3.) Tie In a Universal Symbol of Romance, Using Fresh Flowers:
Including fresh flowers is a must to create your romantic table setting. Flowers are a symbol of romance and help express feelings and emotions. The red rose especially symbolizes a love that is passionate and intimate. Remember that less is more. You can work with a local florist for a professionally designed centerpiece. Gift the floral to your loved one that morning, and then transition it to the table in the evening. However, if you are feeling creative, you can pick up 1-2 bouquets at your market or grocery, deconstruct, trim, blend, and repurpose each stem to fit your own vases and vessels to display your custom work.
5.) Bring Out The Bubbly:
Whether it's champagne, sparkling wine, or prosecco, a bottle of bubbles gives you a reason to make a toast to LOVE. Display it on ice on the table with your flutes, as part of the table setting so not only is it in reach when you are ready to pop the cork, but it gives the visual cue that the evening will be special. Champagne, or any bubbles, add a luxurious and prestigious feeling to your romantic table and dinner and will help you both feel as though you are truly having a private restaurant dining experience. This is also a great opportunity for the married couples to use their wedding flutes. If you don't have a pair, you can tie a simple red ribbon on the stem, or use a bright raspberry or strawberry for a colorful garnish.
6.) Serve a Four-Course Menu and Plate Each Dish
Keep the anticipation running and the romance flowing throughout the dinner by having a four-course dinner. Appetizer, Soup/Salad, Entree, Dessert. Go for it because this where you get to use that fancy china. Instead of grazing on an appetizer in the kitchen, or moving to the living room for dessert, stay at your beautiful table and experience each course together as if you were in a restaurant. The thought of what is coming next keeps us wanting more and will make the dinner one to remember.
Whether you implement all or some of these tips into your upcoming Valentines night IN, the most important piece of advice is to remember that it doesn't matter where you are, it matters who you are with. Raising my virtual glass and offering up cheers to everyone in creating a Romantic Valentine’s Table to remember. Don't forget the soft music for the background!
For the story behind the brand on R Table Studio click here.