You’ve got the outfit and the gift sorted, but on one of the busiest nights of the year in the restaurant calendar it can often be difficult to get a table for two.  

So, why not treat your loved one to an intimate home cooked meal this Valentine’s Day instead? ‘But I’m stuck on ideas on what to cook!’, you cry. Well, don’t worry, as Head Chef of Michelin starred Bohemia restaurant, Steve Smith, has got you covered. Here he shares his tips on the 7 IDEAL tips on cooking the perfect Valentine’s Day meal.

CREATE AMBIENCE

We like to create a sense of occasion at Bohemia so have low-hanging pendant lights suspended over the dining tables, perfectly illuminating our exquisite plates of food. Aim for the same by creating a romantic ambience using dim lighting – perhaps through the flicker of candes – sultry, smooth background music playing, and of course, by using your best cutlery!

DRINK PINK

At Bohemia Bar we serve a variety of Lanique based cocktails.  It’s the perfect drink for Valentine’s Day due to its pink colour and rich and floral taste, given this hue and flavour profile as it’s made from a secret recipe that uses Attar of Rose. Try a signature serve of Lanique over crushed ice with fresh lime juice, or add it to Champagne or Prosecco for a twist to your fizz.

DON’T FORGET THE NIBBLES

Plan ahead and don’t forget appetisers to begin the evening. Think of them as the foreplay prior to the main event; equally as important and sometimes the best part. You don’t want to make yourselves too satisfied at this early stage, but it’s always nice to have a few nibbles on offer to get the juices flowing.

APHRODISIAC DISHES

Try to include dishes and ingredients commonly thought to be aphrodisiacs on the home menu, such as oysters – perennially popular on Valentine’s menus and they pair really well with Champagne.  February is the perfect time to serve oysters, they’re bang in season and eating on is a sensual experience.

SWEET AND SAVOURY

Lobsters and chocolate are two items which are instantly thought of when it comes to a Valentine’s dinner. If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try combining the two? It’s not so crazy as it sounds! In fact, at Bohemia we serve Butter Poached Lobster, Cauliflower and White Chocolate, with Sorrel & Caviar. Luxurious and damn delicious.

DON’T STRESS

After a fancy starter, try to keep the main course simple but also impressive, as you may need to be away from the candlelit table to finish it off, and you don’t want to leave you partner sitting alone for too long. Go for pan-fried fish or steak served with a colourful side dish, if you wish to keep things simple. Remember, presentation is always important; after all, we eat – as well as other things – with our eyes first.

INDULGE IN CHOCOLATE

For Valentine’s Day, chocolate is a must on any menu, and it makes the perfect elegant dinner dessert, especially when served with a classic dessert wine. Simply go with a nice box of chocolates or try your hand at making chocolate mousse or a Black Forest gateau.