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How to Add Romance to Ordinary Meals

Let’s face it most couples these days don’t have either the time or the energy for a well thought out and planned gourmet meal, especially mid-week. Add kids to the equation and well honestly, its pretty impossible to spend some quality time together.

However, creating a little romance at dinner time with even the most ordinary of food doesn’t have to be hard or expensive.  The best bit of advice my mother-in-law ever gave me early in my marriage (when I was struggling to even boil an egg) was “even if the food is lousy, as long as you have a beautifully set table, you can probably get away with it”.  Using a few of these little tips can help couples to focus on each other and enjoy each other’s company at the end of the day. 



1. Set the Mood 

Take a few minutes to set the table nicely with table cloth or placemats, napkins, and perhaps a simple flower or petals from the garden.  Add some candles to the table and room and there you have it! Instant romance!

2. Bottle of wine

A good bottle of wine or bubbly always sets a romantic tone. Take out your best wine glasses or champagne flutes and enjoy while you cook together or simply stare into each other’s eyes over the top of those wine glasses.

3. Music

Add to the romantic mood of the meal with your favourite music.  It doesn’t have to be slow or sensual music, just a favourite artist or tune that you both enjoy as a couple. 

4. Presentation

Take a bit of time to arrange and serve the food nicely on the plates or on a platter. Add an appropriate garnish or sauce. For example: Dizzle some caramelised balsamic vinegar on the plate, or a sprinkle of shaved parmesan, or wrap proscuitto around  boiled carrots or beans and put under the griller.   Check out some cookbooks to see how food is presented to give you some ideas.    

5. Food

It doesn’t matter what you prepare and it doesn’t have to be a gourmet meal.   It’s the effort you have put into trying to make it a little bit special. Some examples:  BBQ chicken purchased on the way home from work can make an amazing casserole or pasta dish. A simple antipasto platter, takeaway pizza served with crispy bread, homemade salad, bottle of red wine served beautifully can be romantic.  Desserts can be shop bought cake, cut out in heart shapes, and served with dollop of cream, rose petals, or ice-cream and strawberries just served in glass dessert bowl.  Just use your imagination and think about how to present it beautifully.   

6. Kids

Ideally a romantic meal doesn’t include kids, however here are a few tips so that it can still be a little romantic.
Get the kids to assist with setting the table.  Give them special glasses and fill with sparkling apple juice. From experience they often enjoy helping with this and enjoy sitting at the table with candles etc.
Try to get as much done as possible ie. Homework, baths, before sitting down for the meal.  Younger children can have their meal and be in bed before parents sit for theirs. This way all can relax and hopefully the romance will continue on after the meal!
It’s also a great example to your kids by showing them your love for each other through a simple dinner such as this. Holding hands, telling them how much you love each other, tell them stories about how you met, your first date or some other special time together. Older kids will appear to not be impressed, but deep down they are listening and learning and they will remember. 

7. Lastly...

Turn off the TV and phones.  Make a rule to leave them well away from the table.  Don’t answer the phone if it rings. They can wait.  Make an effort to talk together about things other than kids or work.  Talk about things you both enjoy or make you laugh.  Things you have done together, good memories.