How To Decorate Your Dining To Make Valentine's Day Special?

As Valentine's Day approaches, the air fills with anticipation for a day of love and romance. While dining out at fancy restaurants is a popular choice, creating a memorable Valentine's Day experience at the comfort of your own home can be equally, if not more, special. This year, why not transform your dining area into a romantic haven, complete with tantalizing food and enchanting decor, to sweep your loved one off their feet? 

As couples prepare to celebrate their love over a sumptuous meal, the art of decorating the dining space takes centre stage, setting the tone for an unforgettable culinary experience. Here's what the chefs and mixologists say about elevating your dining decor to make Valentine's Day truly special.

When aiming to create a truly romantic dining experience, consider dishes like steak with a red wine reduction or shrimp scampi, recommended by Gaurav Anand, Director of Culinary at Hilton and Hilton Garden Inn Bengaluru Embassy Manyata Business Park. Other excellent choices include lobster tail, chocolate fondue, and strawberries with whipped cream. Additionally, shaping your pizza or pasta into a heart adds an extra special touch. To set the mood, Anand suggests setting the table with candles, lowering the lights, and playing soft music. 

Anand also emphasizes the use of ingredients like aphrodisiacs such as oysters, chocolate, and chilli peppers to enhance the romantic appeal of a dish. Ingredients known for their sensual aromas, like vanilla and lavender, can also contribute to a more romantic atmosphere. Incorporating visually appealing elements such as edible flowers or heart-shaped designs further enhances the ambience. 

For drinks, Anand suggests using edible flowers like rose petals or lavender, experimenting with unique ingredients such as rosewater or hibiscus, and incorporating heart-shaped ice cubes or garnishes like strawberries, cherries, or raspberries. Presenting drinks in beautiful glasses or using fancy cocktail stirrers adds sophistication to the overall experience. 

When planning a romantic Valentine's Day dinner at home, attention to detail is key. Set the mood with soft lighting, romantic music, and special touches like personalized place settings or handwritten notes. Plan a menu that caters to your partner's preferences and dietary restrictions and prioritize spending quality time together. Anand recommends using fresh, seasonal ingredients for the best flavor and visual appeal, and encourages experimentation and personalization in decorations to reflect your unique love story. Ultimately, have fun and let your creativity flow to create a truly special and memorable evening. 

Fay Barretto, Head Mixologist at Sao by the Shore, Goa says, “I would use ingredients like edible flowers, fresh berries, exotic spices, flavoured syrups, infused spirits with romantic notes like vanilla or lavender for an extra touch of sophistication. Use garnishes such as heart-shaped citrus twists or rosemary sprigs that will elevate the visual appeal as well.”    

“I believe that soft lighting, elegant table settings, and soothing background music are important considerations to keep in mind. Attention to detail matters – use quality ingredients, coordinate flavours between dishes and drinks, and of course, consider personal preferences. Create a cosy atmosphere with scented candles, she adds.”   

Chef Sufeeyan Khan, Head Chef at Sao by the Shore in Goa, offers creative suggestions for partners to decorate the table with edible items for a Valentine's Day surprise dinner at home. He emphasizes the importance of thoughtfulness and creativity, urging individuals to incorporate elements that reflect both partners' likes and their relationship. 

Khan recommends starting the meal with delicious treats like Chocolate Covered Strawberries and a Fruits Platter cut in heart shapes. He suggests adding colourful and aromatic flowers to the table and keeping the lighting low, accompanied by subtle scented candles for a romantic ambience. Personalized cakes with a special Valentine's Day card and love note add a sentimental touch to the occasion. 

In terms of dishes, Khan emphasizes simplicity and presentation to create a romantic atmosphere. Some of his favourite Valentine's Day dishes include Parma ham mixed melon salad, Slow Roasted Honey Rosemary Duck Breast, and Lava stone Grilled Lobster Tail served with parsnip fries and orange chili sauce. For dessert, options like Chocolate Fondant Cake or Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting Cake are sure to delight. 

He encourages taking the time to plate dishes beautifully and suggests adding candlelight, flowers, and romantic music to enhance the mood of the dinner. By paying attention to detail and creating a visually appealing and heartfelt dining experience, partners can make their Valentine's Day celebration truly special. 

"Scatter chocolate-dipped strawberries on plates or arrange them in a heart shape to decorate the table," advises antiSOCIAL Goa chef Aaftaab Mullick. To make it more sophisticated, you may drizzle some white chocolate on top. In addition, he offers a fascinating and easy way to add a decorative and practical accent to your drinks: simply freeze edible blossoms in ice cubes. 

While antiSOCIAL's head mixologist Razvan Zamfirescu recommends making chocolate, raspberry, and strawberry-flavored cocktails with edible flowers as garnishes. Glassware that is one of a kind and decorative touches like raspberry powder or rose petal garnishes can take an experience to the next level.   

Head Chef Soumojit Sinha of Shelter by Javaphile, Mumbai, suggests trying out some delectable dishes such as Lobster risotto, fillet mignon with red wine reduction, and chocolate fondue with strawberries and marshmallows. The chef recommends incorporating elegant ingredients such as caviar, chocolate, strawberries, champagne, and edible flowers into your recipes.   

In addition, Pastry Perspective by Head Pastry Chef Ameek Kaur suggests adding a touch of elegance to your desserts with heart-shaped cookies, a sprinkle of edible gold leaf, and delectable chocolate-covered strawberries. Indulge in the delectable delights of red velvet cupcakes, raspberry macarons, and molten chocolate cakes. Set the mood with dim lighting or the soft glow of candles for a cosy and intimate atmosphere. Personalise the experience by writing heartfelt messages or creating a photo slideshow. 

Ameek Kaur emphasises the importance of simplicity to minimise stress and suggests planning alternative options for partners with dietary preferences or restrictions. And consider the presentation for an Instagram-worthy meal.