Valentine’s Day is posed to be one of the most romantic days of the year, but often the pressure of such a daunting holiday can spoil all the fun. If you’re partnered up with someone, the thought of buying a gift, writing a card and planning the perfect date can be extremely stressful – especially when you’re in a new relationship and want to impress. Your first thought may be to spend Valentine’s Day out on the town and to that I say – stay home.
- Restaurants hosts, servers and additional staff will tell you that reservations for Valentine’s Day start pouring in as early as December. By the time February 1st comes around, most restaurants worth going to are going to be completely booked. Not only are restaurants usually packed on Valentine’s Day, which takes away from the atmosphere and intimacy of your evening, but they often will have set menus to deal with the high volume of customers; these set menus can cause problems if you or your significant other has dietary restrictions and can make the meal feel less special.
The quality of your meal is also subject to suffering when the kitchen is pumping out so many plates at the same time. Mass production means that kitchen staff will be making many components of your dish in bulk, often compromising flavour and leaving a wide margin for error.
Let’s get honest for a second, Valentine’s Day can get really expensive too. Restaurants take advantage of the fact that thousands of people will be killing themselves for romantic reservations and will gladly pay $60-100 for a pre-set menu that would cost them $30-50 on any other day. Take Winterlicious in Toronto for example – many high-quality restaurants in the city stop their pre-set lunch and dinner menus the week before Valentine’s Day…coincidence? I think not. If you really want to celebrate Valentine’s Day at a restaurant you love, be sure to take advantage of the dining deal before it’s too late.
Eating at home truly trumps any restaurant or bar for quite a few reasons.
1. It’s all about you and your partner – not the snobby hostess or waiter that’s forgotten your appetizer for 30 minutes. You can appreciate each other’s company in the comfort of your own home.
2. There’s no dress code. Which means pyjamas and sweats are perfectly acceptable attire for whatever you plan on eating that evening.
3. Your dog/cat/hamster/baby can also get in on the V-day action. If you feel guilty about leaving your furry friend or tiny human behind, they can be just as involved or uninvolved as you’d like them to be.
4. Canada is fricken cold this time of year – which means you really don’t want to leave the house unless you absolutely have to. Fireside Chinese food in your slippers is pretty hard to beat.
5. You’re able to have dinner and a show, whether it’s catching up on Grey’s Anatomy or streaming one of the hottest new Oscar movies, food and t.v. goes together like Netflix and Chill. And you and your partner, of course.
Ultimately, the key to a great Valentine’s Day is to keep it simple. At the end of the day, it’s a holiday that celebrates who you love. As long as both you and your partner feel happy and appreciated, you’ll be sure to have an amazing day together.