Thursday, 18 February 2016

A night in, just you and me

Usually M. and I go out for a meal on Valentine's Day or book ourselves into a hotel, but with pending financial obligations (read: wedding and buying a house), this meant we wanted a bit of a cheaper one this year. We decided on a no gift policy and opted for a night in instead, looking to create - in our words - "restaurant tasty food" for a fraction of the price of what you would pay in a restaurant. Firstly we failed massively on the no gifts rule. I bought M. a box of his favourite macarons from Ladurée (salted caramel and chocolate no less!) and some high % dark chocolate which I figured we could melt down and use as a fondue for the strawberries I'd bought. Whereas M. treated me to flowers - a purple orchid in a beautiful curved top glass vase, dip-dyed in a light blue colour at the base, which contrasts beautifully against the colour of the flowers.

As much as I love freshly cut flowers, it was a nice change to have a potted plant as it's something that should last longer than a week. It's also something that can come to the new house with us

Whilst out and about we picked up some groceries for our home cooked meal. We opted for a scallops and chorizo starter, paired with Marks & Spencer's organic Chilean Malbec, which perfectly complimented the sweetness of the seafood and the spice of the chorizo. The chorizo was pan fried until all those delicious golden juices had escaped and coated the pan, placed to one side, and then we cooked the scallops in the chorizo oil for two minutes on each side. Meaning that they were golden on the outside, but with a melt-in-your-mouth middle. I don't have restaurant grade food presentation down, so the scallops and chorizo were messily artistically scattered onto the plate, Lucy style

For the main course we wanted a French bistro style meal to go with the French film we were watching. We decided on long tender stem broccoli (who knew that broccoli could be so pretty?!), duck and roasted sweet potato for lovely, bright, contrasting colours. A tried and tested trio that we've tried before, and will repeat time and time again, because of the winning combination of saltiness from the duck, the crunch of the broccoli and the lovely charring of the sweet potato (it always tastes better this way!)

My gifts to M. meant that dessert was already in the bag! We snacked on strawberries and chocolate and salted caramel macarons, feeling very French indeed, whilst watching our French film (with English subtitles on for M.!)

One of my best discoveries last week was a candle holder that I found in Sainsburys when I picked up the chocolate and strawberries for M. At just 80p this was an absolute steal and I've been using it non stop since the weekend. I love anything to do with forests / the woods so the fact that this looked like a hollowed out tree stump meant this really caught my eye.

For those of you who want one for yourself (particularly for an amazing 80p!!), I'm really sorry, but I can't link to this online as it doesn't look like Sainsburys have this on their site... Perhaps it was a Valentine's specific in-store only affair? Feel free to check your local Sainsburys though to see if they still have!

So in summary the point of this post being.... although it's nice to treat yourself on Valentine's Day, and so easy to spend ALL THE MONEY, you really don't need to. Because if you're with the right person, it doesn't matter what you get up to, or how much you've spent. My orchid was over £30 cheaper than most of the bouquets we saw (ah, gotta love those specially inflated Valentine's Day prices...) but will last so much longer than freshly cut flowers. And just 80p for a candle holder? Now we're talking business.


  1. I think a night in is really popular these days. Congrats on the wedding and house buying - recently went through a similar thing so feeling your anxiety and cutting corners for money saving! The bits look super cute even if it was cheap x

    The Fairytale Pretty Picture


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