Going out on Valentine’s night might seem like a romantic idea at first, but in reality, it’s expensive, crowded, you can’t order your usual favourite because there’s a ‘special’ set menu, and you have to worry about whether anyone around you is going to get down on one knee, making your evening look slightly poor in comparison.
Stay in with home-cooked food and a film, and you don’t have any of that to contend with. But instead of just cooking something from your usual rotation of weekday meals, why not make the evening extra special and have a themed food and movie night?
Now, don’t argue about what film to watch. Remember that if you don’t get your own way, you’ll still get to eat some excellent grub, and compromise is the key to a good relationship.
Be as creative as you like and let your movie choice inspire your food. Here are a few ideas from us to get you started:
Lady and the Tramp: Spaghetti and meatballs for two
Possibly the most famous romantic film food moment of all time is when Lady and the Tramp share that plate of spaghetti and meatballs as Bella Notte plays in the background.
If you want your evening to be dripping in romance (and tomato sauce), recreate this moment with Kitchen Sanctuary’s recipe for one-pan spaghetti and meatballs. Simply place the pan in between you both, and dig in with a fork. Soppy gazing into each other’s eyes and sharing the same piece of pasta so you have to kiss are both compulsory.
When Harry Met Sally: "I'll have what she's having"
Sally, played by Meg Ryan, is something else when it comes to deciding what to have to eat. Think your other half’s fussy? They’ll have nothing on Sally. But hey, she’s a woman who knows what she wants, and surely that’s something to be applauded.
Who can forget the infamous diner scene where she’s telling Harry (Billy Crystal) that he cannot ever be 100 per cent certain that no woman has ‘faked it’ with him, as she’s tucking into her turkey sandwich – with Russian dressing and ‘slaw on the side, naturally.
Sally delivers an outstanding fake orgasm, leaving Harry gobsmacked and the lady on the next table saying “I’ll have what she’s having”.
If you want your Valentine’s evening to be just as orgasmic, cut some thick slices of homemade white bread and absolutely fill them with turkey. Make your own Russian dressing and ‘slaw, and serve on the side. Obviously.
Breakfast at Tiffany's: Breakfast pastries
It might be called Breakfast at Tiffany’s, but there’s no real iconic breakfast scene or fuss about fry ups or anything in this Audrey Hepburn classic. However, there are some Danish pastries eaten, and making these for your other half for breakfast will help to get your Valentine’s Day off to a lovely sweet start.
Patisserie Makes Perfect has a recipe for almond Danish pastries that will literally provide you with that sweet start to your day, and leave your partner thinking about how amazingly romantic you are all day long. Perfect patisserie indeed.
The Inbetweeners Movie: Pizza in your pants
Now, The Inbetweeners Movie probably isn’t the first film that comes to mind when you think of a romantic flick. But it’s a cracking laugh if you’re both big comedy fans, and it does have some (sort of – in its own unique way) romantic moments.
Take the bit where Jay realises he actually does fancy Jane, despite what his mates might think, and they spend the evening eating pizza in bed together, in their underwear. That sounds like the foundation of a pretty strong relationship to us.
Pizza is the way to many people’s hearts, and a homemade effort is extra special, so take inspiration from Life Made Simple and cook up your very own pepperoni pizza to wow your other half. Of course, if they hate pepperoni, the reaction might not be so great, so change the toppings to match their faves.
Sex and the City: Sexy sushi
In the first Sex and the City movie, Samantha – played by Kim Cattrall – decides to cover her naked body in homemade sushi as a Valentine’s treat for boyfriend Smith. You can take this idea as far as you like, but remember that, in the film, Smith was late and Samantha spent hours lying there covered in all that raw fish…
Put that to one side though, and making homemade sushi for your significant other has to come in pretty high on the romance-o-meter. And even more so if you take their dietary requirements into account and make a gluten-free version, which Gluten Free Cuppa Tea has an excellent recipe for. Whether you serve it on a plate or your own body, that’s up to you.
Casablanca: Take your tastebuds (and date) to Morocco
Incidentally, Casablanca happens to be the favourite movie of the title characters in When Harry Met Sally. As we know, she can get pretty excited by things, and we always want what she’s having, so a night in watching this while tucking into some tasty Moroccan cuisine sounds fantastic.
Casablanca does feature a lot of gin-drinking, but not a great deal of eating. But Morocco’s most famous dish is the tagine, and Cook Sister has a lovely recipe for a spicy chicken tagine that’s a real labour of love. Gin to follow is compulsory.
If you and your partner’s favourite film is not on this list, get your creative thinking cap on and conjure up a menu to keep you in their good books for the rest of the year. Big Harry Potter fans? Marinade chicken in beer and pan fry in butter, and you’ve got Butterbeer chicken! Love Star Wars? Boba Fettuccine anyone? What about Game of Thrones? Who’s for Jon Snow cones…?