the millen-gordon guide to… the perfect valentine’s day date night at home

Perfect Valentine's Day date night at home
8th February 2022

There’s not a day that goes by where Ali and I aren’t grateful for the fact that we’re in jobs that have taken us to some of the most romantic locations around the world.

Be it curling up beneath the stars in a glass topped igloo in Finland; sipping cocktails on the shores of Bora Bora as the sun melts into the ocean; or wrapping up in blankets with steaming coffees in hand, somewhere high up within the treetops of the English countryside; I have no doubt that if Shakespeare was still alive today, he’d have a field day with the material the two of us could offer when it comes to romantic settings!

That being said, since moving out to the countryside four years ago, when Valentine’s Day rolls around each year, there’s no place we’d rather be than together at home… with the fur babies for company too of course!

With that in mind, given that February 14th is fast approaching next week, I thought I’d share how we plan to take an ordinary evening at home up a notch and turn it into the perfect Valentine’s Day date night at home.

Set the mood… 

When home is the office and you’ve both been rushing around all day, I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that switching off and instantly feeling relaxed is sometimes (/often) a lot easier said than done… Which is why, we do our best to put boundaries in place and turn the house into a calm oasis post-5pm.

Especially when a Valentine’s date night is a few hours away…

Whether it’s lighting a candle that provokes a special memory for you both (as soon as we light the Peony & Blush Suede candle by Jo Malone, it transports us back to our wedding night), pressing ‘play’ on a favourite playlist that provides the perfect backdrop to your conversation (hello Ludovico Einaudi) or even doing something as simple as dimming the lights (wink wink!), taking the time to make your environment as relaxing as possible early on, helps to set the tone for the rest of the night.

Don the lipstick…

If there’s one item in my make-up bag that instantly makes me feel like a goddess, it’s a coating of Charlotte Tilbury’s Hot Lips in shade ‘Carina Star’. A peachy coral that glides on with ease, it transports you from day to date night in an instant. Feeling braver? Russian Red by MAC is my go-to red lip if you want to take it up a notch and are going all out!

Dress to impress (yourself!)

Once upon a time, I used to associate wearing matching underwear with how it made Ali feel, instead of associating it with inner confidence and a chance to feel good in myself. I’m pleased to say that at 33 however, I now dress to impress myself first and foremost (and Ali benefits from that confidence as a result!)

With that in mind, there’s yet to be a matching underwear set from Intimissimi’s Valentine’s Day collection that I’ve put on and haven’t felt anything but amazing… and I’m relieved to say that this year is no exception. Coupled with a few spritzes of Cedar Violet by Aerin, I’ll be feeling all the romantic feels all day, I’m sure.

Pop the bubbly…

No date night is complete without a glass of the good stuff in my opinion so ensuring that freshly chilled Moet’s on standby is a must! Served in these champagne flutes that I picked up on our last anniversary trip to Thyme, I add fresh raspberries to mine to make it that bit more sweet.

“Where from?” I hear you ask.

Waitrose darling, of course!

Keep it simple… 

It’s no secret that Ali and I are trying to raise our game in the kitchen but we all know that we’re not going to be on Masterchef anytime soon! With that in mind, I’m mastering the art of delegation this year so that we can relax and enjoy the night instead of faffing over timings and over flowing pans! At the moment, I’m thinking of ordering something special from Waitrose so that prep is non-existent and we just get to plate it up and eat.

The best kind of cooking if you ask me! Bon appetit!

Start as you mean to go on…

Despite all of the above, I’m a big believer in the fact that we shouldn’t need one allocated day of the year to show the people we love that we love them.

With that in mind, it should come as no surprise to you that a perfect Valentine’s date night for us, starts with an ordinary day filled with all of the simple, often overlooked gestures that make our marriage work. Whether it’s making the effort to get up at dawn and watch the sunrise across the fields together; offering to make one another coffee throughout the day no matter how busy we are (we go through Union’s coffee beans like there’s no tomorrow FYI); or never forgetting to find time to laugh together (or at each other); I think we’d both struggle to just turn on the charm and ‘feel romantic’ because it’s Valentine’s Day so don’t overlook the little things and start your day off right too.

Whether you’re spending it with the girls, with the lucky person in your life or having a solo night in, happy valentines day lovely reader, from me to you.

Lydia x

PS. Fancy catching up on what I’ve been up to lately?

Watch my latest vlog here…

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