Enjoying a meal in a romantic, candle-lit restaurant may well be cancelled for the foreseeable future, but ‘date nights’ certainly aren’t. With 16,929,007 posts captioned ‘#datenight’ on Instagram (and more being uploaded every few minutes), as well as the new related hashtags: #quarentinedatenight (8,781 posts) and #datenightathome (44,960 posts), it’s clear that people are feeling as loved-up as ever, despite the circumstances.
Recent reports from YouGov have shown that 35 per cent of respondents express their belief that the coronavirus pandemic would bring people close together (only 17 per cent think it will leave us further apart). In these difficult times, it seems that we’re valuing our loved ones more than ever, and many are expressing their love to their other half in romantic and creative ways. If you’re looking for a bit of inspiration to show your loved one how you feel and create the romance of a Michelin star restaurant in the comfort of your own home, try out these romantic lockdown date night ideas.
Perfect the picnic
Whether you choose to recreate a romantic picnic in your garden or your living room, make sure to pull out all the stops. We’re talking a quaint picnic basket, checkered blanket, flutes of champagne, and romantic music in the background.
For dinner, choose small finger food and plenty of sweet treats. You could even put a Mediterranean spin on it and create a variety of tapas dishes to lay out beautifully on your blanket. Dress up nicely for each other and drink wine under the (vividly imagined) night sky.
Recreate a restaurant
If you’ve ever thought to yourself: “I’m craving a Nando’s” at some point or other during quarantine, you’re not alone! In fact, this term has been typed into Google a lot recently. Nando’s, Pizza Hut, and McDonald’s are the eateries with the highest interest on Google right now — clearly, the places people are missing the most!
Now, as you’re probably craving your favourite food establishments, but why not try and recreate the restaurant experience at home? If there’s a particular restaurant your other half is really pining for, look up some of their favourite recipes online and surprise them. Nando’s and Wagamama’s are just two of the eateries who have decided to publish some of their no-longer-secret recipes online so that people can emulate their all-time favourites during lockdown.
Enjoy your steak over Skype
Planning the perfect date night is harder than ever if you and your other half aren’t isolating under the same roof. It’s recently been announced that you can go on a socially distanced walk together, but that’s still not really the same as tucking into a shared souffle at the end of a romantic meal at your favourite restaurant.
Try organising a date night from a distance — you’ll be surprised at how romantic it can be! First off, decide on a meal together so you can prepare and enjoy the same cuisine. Looking back over Google search trend data, it seems that steak is a popular choice at the minute! The phrase, “how long to cook a sirloin steak” has seen a whopping search increase of 160 per cent recently. Searches for steak are closely followed by searches about how to cook curry and how to cook pizza — all of which have rocketed since we’ve gone into lockdown. So, whatever your taste buds are telling you, plan your ingredients list and cook together from a distance, on Skype, Zoom, or FaceTime.
Distance makes the heart grow fonder
This is certainly something we’ve all come to realise over the past few weeks and months, but what about those living together 24/7? If you live with them in quarantine, your partner has most likely had a recent promotion to co-worker, exercise buddy, sous chef, and just about every other character in your life.
If you’re planning on having a date night, why not spend a day separately beforehand to make it feel extra special? Do your own thing for most of the day and get ready separately. That way, you’re bound to take each other’s breath away when they see you all dressed up and ready to enjoy a romantic evening together after those long hours apart.
It may not be perfect, but until we can head back out on the town, restaurant discount card in hand, to enjoy some fine dining, these alternatives work as super-romantic alternatives. Even if it’s just a small gesture, your partner will appreciate your effort and creativity and it’ll add something extra special to lockdown life.