How to make Valentine’s Day special at home

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    Celebrate Valentine's Day at home lockdown covid Easy Food

    Like everything else that’s happened over the past 11 months, Valentine’s Day will look different this year. If you’re into the whole Valentine’s malarkey, we’ve compiled our best suggestions for celebrating the day of love without leaving the house. (If you’re not, just use these ideas to treat yourself to a really great Sunday!) Read on to bring a taste of love into your home…

    Breakfast in bed

    Start the day on a romantic note by bringing your partner breakfast in bed, whether that means classic eggs Benedict or something sweet like this stuffed French toast. Don’t forget to make yourself breakfast too — you’ll want to climb back in and enjoy this little luxury together.

    Berry swirls Easy Food
    These berry swirls are a superb way to start your special day.
    Make a special coffee

    Whether it’s the Dalgona coffee that was an Insta-hit last year, something a little more adult or simply a really well-made French press, make a little more out of your morning perk-me-up.

    Perfect pot of coffee Easy Food
    Follow our guide to the perfect pot of coffee, every time.
    Get the tunes pumping

    You and your loved one can have fun creating your own playlist of songs that remind you of each other, bring back fun shared memories or make you feel all gooey inside. Compile your list ahead of time and you can have it playing through the day.

    Make your own spa day

    With covid putting a stop to hotel breaks, why not bring the spa to you? Create a little treat-yourself hamper for your loved one and/or yourself with face masks, a bath bomb, body lotion, chocolates and a pair of fluffy socks for after your “treatments”. Light a candle, get your diffuser going if you have one, and find a playlist of soothing music on Spotify. Add two glasses of chilled cucumber water or Prosecco, aaaaand relax.

    Get dressed up

    Yes, we’ve all been in leggings for months. No, nobody can remember what they look like with a full face of makeup on. While we’re big, BIG fans of keeping comfy and casual — especially these days — we reckon it might be a nice change to get the gladrags on for one night. It’ll give you something to do, mark the evening as a special one, and maybe even rekindle some sparks.

    Make dinner plans

    Maybe one of you is the cook, and one does the washing up. You could try splitting the courses — one person does a starter and dessert, one takes care of the main — or maybe you’re one of those rare couples who can cook dishes together without feeling murderous (if so, please share your secret). Perhaps ordering a meal kit from a fancy restaurant is your idea of a really special treat… or it’s possible that just ordering a good takeaway is your ideal Valentine’s Day dinner because, with zero work involved, you can both put your feet up. No matter what your perfect romantic meal looks like, be sure to get a plan in place so you can start looking forward to something really delicious.

    Coq au vin Easy Food
    Coq au vin is always a winner.
    Cosy up casual

    If you fancy keeping it more casual, build your own cheese and/or charcuterie board instead of having a proper sit-down dinner; bonus points for enjoying it on the couch. Add whichever treats you like, and don’t forget to add some good vino, craft beer, port or sherry. Not a fan of cheese and cured meats? Create a board of sweet nibbles for dessert, instead!

    How to put together an Irish cheeseboard Easy Food

    Think drinks

    Whether you’re keeping it classy with bubbles, opening that posh bottle of red or getting creative with cocktails, you’ll want something extra special to sip on. Mocktails will keep things feeling fancy for non-drinkers. Be sure to add a creative touch to your drink — a lime wedge, a celery stalk, a salt rim, maybe that cucumber that’s been languishing in the vegetable drawer — because everything feels swankier with a garnish. There are some really lovely wine boxes available now from companies like boxofwine.ie and winelab.ie, too, so be sure to check those out if you’re a wine lover. And, if your budget is on the small side, have a look at our tips for getting the most of a cheap bottle of wine.

    Espresso martini

    Double date with your best friend-couple

    You know that couple that you spend loads of time with under normal circumstances? Make a virtual date with them, even if it’s just sharing a pre-dinner drink over Zoom.

    Create an at-home cinema

    Snuggling up for some Netflix and chill is always a great way to relax with your partner. Of course, you’ll need popcorn, but how about some seriously good extras? Treat yourselves to some Buffalo chicken nachos, a spicy queso dip or these mini pizza puffs; get stuck into some edible raw cookie dough; or pair sweet with salty for ultimate satisfaction, with chocolate-covered pretzels or toffee popcorn. Deck the room with candles, turn out the lights and cosy up.

    Toffee popcorn - Easy Food
    Homemade toffee popcorn — there’s movie night sorted!
    Get gaming

    Sometimes it’s nice to take a break from the telly and plan a different activity. If you’re a competitive couple, then plan a fun game night for Valentine’s Day, whether it’s killer Scrabble, card games or a few fierce rounds of MarioKart.

    Or… ignore it completely

    Maybe you think Valentine’s Day is a load of nonsense, or maybe you’re single this year and ready for it to be over already. Whatever the case, if you’re not feelin’ the vibes, may we suggest Galentine’s Day instead? Made famous by the excellent Amy Poehler’s excellent character Leslie Knope in the excellent Parks & Recreation (can you tell we’re fans?), Galentine’s Day falls on February 13th and is all about celebrating the special ladies in your life. Being a gang of top-quality ladiez ourselves, Team Easy Food goes hard for Galentine’s Day every year, and we recommend you do the same. Send your girls little love notes in the post, decide to cook the same meal and eat together over Zoom, or give them a quick video call on WhatsApp for a good old Wine ‘n’ Whine session.

    Leslie Knope Galentines Day Easy Food

    Remember that it’s just another day.

    Whether you’re alone or celebrating with your partner in a way that you hadn’t imagined, remember it’s just another day. The less pressure you put on it, the better. If all else fails, pop a bottle of bubbly and drink it in your pyjamas. Maybe while watching some Parks & Rec. You can’t go wrong.

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