How to Do a Romantic Dinner for Parents

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Organizing a romantic meal for your parents is a thoughtful idea, whether you choose to do it randomly or for an occasion such as an anniversary. Organizing a romantic meal involves making sure your parents are not busy, preparing a meal and making sure the room is romantic and your parents feel relaxed. All the effort is worth it, and if you work to a schedule it's much easier than it sounds.

Things You'll Need

  • Dinner ingredients
  • Tablecloth
  • Flowers
  • Vase
  • Candles
  • Music player
  • Wine, if they drink

Preparation

  • Find out when your parents are available. If your parents use a calendar to mark their schedules, look for a date that they are both available and reserve it. Mention it to your parents to be sure they both keep the evening open, but try not to give away the surprise.

  • Decide what you should cook; this will depend on your cooking knowledge, your confidence in the kitchen and your parents' preferences. If you are confident, a meal such as Steamed Mussels, crab and salmon or Chargrilled Steak is a great idea. You could also make a desert, such as Rhubarb Fool or Chocolate Mousse. If you aren't confident enough to cook, you could order food from a restaurant or get delivery.

  • Write an ingredients list. Think of everything you will need to make the night go well. For example, you might want to buy candles, wine or a table cover to make the room look more romantic. Also, include the ingredients you need for the meal, if you are cooking it.

  • Research when you'll need to start cooking the meal. Add together the preparation time and the cooking time, and give yourself an extra 10 minutes. If you are ordering food, call, and discuss your requirements with the restaurant. Most will offer a delivery service, or you could pick up the food yourself. Remember to give yourself time to serve the food.

On The Day

  • Tidy the room as much as possible. Remove anything that looks messy or out of place, and put it elsewhere. For example, remove boxes of toys and temporarily house them somewhere else.

  • Clean anything that looks dirty. For example, dust mirrors to ensure they are smear free, wipe any surfaces and make sure the table and chairs are clean.

  • Cover the table with a tablecloth if you are going to use one. This changes the look of the room and gives it a more romantic feel.

  • Put flowers in a vase and arrange them. Tall flowers should be in the middle, with shorter flowers or flowers leaning over on the outside. Make sure you give the flowers some water to keep them looking vibrant.

  • Place candles around the room. Small candles could go on the table and larger candles on the floor. Candles in front of a fireplace can look striking. Do not light the candles until later.

  • Set up a music system, if possible. Play songs you know your parents like. Keep the volume low.

  • Set the table. Put out the cutlery and wine glasses, but leave the plates in the kitchen so you can serve the food on them. If you use place mats, make sure these coordinate with the tablecloth.

  • Start cooking, or pick up the food. If you are serving white wine, put it in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes. If you are serving red wine be sure to take it out of the refrigerator at least 20 minutes before serving.

  • Light the candles and dim the lights. Turn on the music.

  • Invite your parents to sit down.

  • Pour a glass of wine for each parent. Leave the wine bottle on the table.

  • Serve the food. Look at any illustrations which accompany the recipe for ideas on how to place the food on the plate, then carry the food through and place it down in front of each person.

  • Leave the room. It might help your parents relax more if you leave the house for a while. Take a phone so you can be contacted, and tell your parents when you'll be home. Also make sure you tell them if you have prepared desserts and where they are.

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References

  • "Love Bites: Romantic Food for Two"; Jennifer White; 2000
  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images
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