It’s already past the midway point of February! What the what?
I had (what I had originally thought were) fairly realistic plans to get some Date Night blog posts done to coincide with Valentine’s day; but in the way of things, work and life got busy, and I need to sleep. But I realized that posting after what I know some call a ‘Hallmark holiday’ works better.
Why? Because Date Night isn’t just for Valentine’s Day. Date Night is for whenever you want it to be: anniversaries, birthdays, other special occasions, and my favourite, the just because! Why keep the romance and hygge coziness of things compartmentalized? One of my favourite novels is based at a winery, and their marketing person talks about tagging something as ‘celebrate Tuesday’. And why not?
The Brit and I love to go out for dinner, but Date Night IN is the favourite. Because, sometimes, when you get home after a long day at work and it’s cold outside, you just want to stay snug inside your own home, curled up on the couch with your person. Which is how we spent Valentine’s Day. Neither of us had any desire to go to a restaurant and I told the Brit all I wanted was a nice dinner and for him to actually sit through a romantic comedy with me. Ask and ye shall receive. He made a tasty paella (recipe from Jamie Oliver), and he managed to get through most of ‘Paris Can Wait’ (starring the lovely Diane Lane; not really a traditional rom-com, but a good movie) without sneaking onto his BBC news app.
Yesterday was The Brit’s birthday and his wish was to stay in and have Chinese takeout because a) he loves sweet and sour pork, and b) he knows I get home later than he does and likely wouldn’t have the energy to cook. My man is very astute, and we thoroughly enjoyed our steamed rice and broccoli and that sweet and sour pork!
(Some of my favourite Date Night Ins have also been while travelling. Like this one from when we were on the Sunshine Coast.)
So what makes a great date night in for us? These are mine and the Brit’s favourite components for a cozy evening together.
Okay, so we are not super great with this one, simply because we like to watch movies and documentaries on Netflix and Amazon Prime. But we try to put the phones DOWN. If you’re keen to really unplug and not involve electronics, check out some of the stay-at-home date night suggestions on this list from the fantastic Jake and Taylor from The Relationship Project.
I really, really love candles. They look lovely, they set the mood for (both the early and later portions of!) the evening, and they make our apartment smell fabulous. The general rule is that when candles get lit, the phones go on the coffee table. Soy-based candles are my go-to – partly for health reasons, but mostly because I feel like they burn better and last longer. My current favourite are:
- The Bees Knees from the Vancouver-based gals at French Seventy Six
- Vanilla Fig from the Skye Candle Co. in Scotland (my absolute favourite and they ship internationally, or you can use your Amazon account!)
- The Sapperton from the New West District candle collection that my local boutique, Mila & Paige, commissioned from Canadian company Charleston & Harlow
We also have an electric fireplace, which also adds to the coziness of the evening.
A Bottle of Something Lovely
This is generally reserved for weekends. But there have definitely occasions where a Tuesday (or whatever weekday) has been particularly ghastly, or something is totally worth celebrating, and a glass of red has done the trick.
The Brit likes a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Shiraz (as do I) but tends to roll with what I choose. I’m currently fond of the Reserve Pinot Noir from an urban winery near our house called Pacific Breeze, a lovely organic Spanish wine called Lobetia (originally bought solely for the butterfly label, but it’s a gorgeous Tempranillo at a very #GetThrifty price of $12.49 CAD – we have bought many a bottle in the last year and a half…), and this fantastic Cab from Joseph Phelps Vineyards in Napa. This one was a gift that I fully appreciated when I looked it up. If you’re buying it, be prepared for the not #GetThrifty price. 😉
Whether it’s cooking or ordering takeout, food is such an important part of an evening in for us. The Brit loves to cook, as do I, but I know it makes him happy to be in the kitchen and whip something up. He also gets home before I do, so it usually ends up being his thing. Yes, I am spoiled, and very lucky.
This is where I struggle a bit because I don’t necessarily want to be watching a screen all the time. But we really enjoy watching movies. I love to haggle with The Brit over what we are going to watch, and I love us getting cozy on the couch with some popcorn, my glass of that Spanish Tempranillo, and the Brit with a glass of his favourite IPA.
We haven’t done this very often due to weather and wanting to stay inside, but as the weather gets warmer (and less wet!), we are looking forward to taking more Date Night strolls along the boardwalk outside our house. It follows the along Fraser River and the sunsets are pretty spectacular.
What are your favourite date nights?
“Two people in love, alone, isolated from the world, that’s beautiful.”
~ Milan Kundera