The Best Romantic Gift
A romantic gift. Don't break the bank - but don't break a heart!
Many of us scoff at the idea of romantic gifts - I know I do. But nevertheless, there are occasions on which you want to show your partner how much you love and appreciate them - but without breaking the bank.
I'll tell you a secret - every time it's Valentine's Day, or my birthday, I always warn him ... 'Look, don't go spending any money. These occasions are just commercial ways of getting people to spend money so don't you go buying me anything.'
But do you know what? I'd be appalled if he took any notice! We do need to celebrate our love.
You know how they say that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach? I think that's definitely the case, but what about us? I think that we girls feel exactly the same way.
Treat me to a meal that I don't have to cook and I'm delighted. What's more, the penny-pinching side of me definitely agrees with the idea of food - a special meal to be exact - as the perfect way to celebrate love.
But what could be better than spending quality time together?
Photographs © Andy Royston.
Where to have your special romantic meal
A restaurant is out of the question. Not only is dining in a restaurant expensive, it's also very public. For a truly romantic meal, you'll want the two of you to be alone. A romantic picnic that you've carefully selected is perfect but where should you have it? That's the first job; selecting the venue.
Ideas for picnic locations
- If your celebration picnic is during warm weather you have plenty of choice - the beach, a local park or a nearby beauty spot. But if you're celebrating Valentine's Day, the chances are that the weather is cool so let's have a further look.
- If you have a patio heater or a fire pit, then your job is done. Have your romantic picnic in your own yard. Set aside some cozy blankets so that you can snuggle up.
- Spread a blanket in front of your fire in your lounge, turn the lights low and you have a splendid venue for a perfect picnic a deux.
- How about a picnic in bed? It doesn't get more romantic than that! Set the scene with candles and music.
- Or, if it's large enough, your bathtub, complete with bubbles, is a lovely place to share your romantic meal.
- In the car - drive to a romantic location and hope that there's moonlight.
Food for your romantic picnic
You don't want to break the bank but neither do you want foods that you'd eat every day.
- Finger foods - there's no need to pack silverware and you'll probably soon be feeding each other. Try strawberries, slices of a special cheese, cherries, grapes ... a trip to your local deli will inspire you.
- A tub of your favorite dip - something creamy and luscious.
- Gourmet cookies.
- A stick of French bread that you can break apart with your fingers.
- Chocolate is a must!
- To drink, buy wine or champagne. If champagne would be way off budget, make Mimosas with orange juice and sparkling wine.
Extras for your picnic
- Candles. If you're concerned about the fire risk of candles (who knows what you might do to knock them over?) use battery powered versions.
- Music. Be sure that your iPod has the right sort of playlist for your romantic occasion.
- Scent. Wherever you're having your picnic, make sure it smells good.
- Don't forget the corkscrew and glasses!
Now you've planned your perfect picnic
You have your venue selected and you've made sure that it's prepared.
You've chosen the perfect finger foods and have them hidden in your fridge or ready to collect from your local deli.
You've chosen what drinks you're going to have and you have glasses and a corkscrew at the ready.
You have your blanket to place on the ground, candles, soft music and suitable lighting.
TRANSPORTING YOUR PICNIC
You probably have a cooler already but if not, you can buy cheap, disposable ones.
Napkins, bottled water ... and of course, a single rose.
Are some foods really more 'romantic'?
Can some foods have a positive effect on your love life? Look at it this way - imagine that you'd had a heavy, stodgy meal. How amorous (and energetic) would you feel? Now imagine that the two of you have been eating finger foods - delicious fresh strawberries and other fruits, delicate cheeses ... what else? The books below will show you more.
All photographs copyright Andy Royston and used with written permission.
© 2013 Jackie Jackson