I love eating out, but sometimes it’s not possible for one reason or another. But just because we can’t always go out to eat at our favourite restaurant, there is no reason why we can’t enjoy the experience of eating out at home!
For those of you who want to try something different for your date night or if you fancy making your dinner extra special, here are my favourite 5 tips on how to bring your favourite restaurant experience right into your dining room!
1. Choose your dinner menu
First of all, you need to choose your dinner menu. You can go with recipes that you are familiar with, but the whole point of this restaurant experience is to try to recreate your favourite restaurant dish at home. Browse your cookery books for something new to try, or you can check out recipes online.
Whilst on holiday in Turkey, we’ve tasted a whole range of local foods, but I found it difficult to source them in my local shop. I wanted to surprise my husband with his favourite meal, so I searched online and had found turkish market that had everything I needed. Buying the right ingredients makes a real difference to recreating a truly authentic dish.
Recently I found that SquareMeal started to share restaurant style recipes, which are easy to follow even for beginners. If you want to try a more complicated recipe, do a test drive and try to make the recipe before your special night to avoid any hiccups on the day.
Depending on the complexity of your recipe, you can prepare elements of your dinner the day before (e.g. stew or marinate the meat, make the pudding) to save time on the day.
2. Surprise your partner with booking a real restaurant meal for the near future
As an extra surprise, why not book a meal reservation at a restaurant in the near future and present this to your partner as a little gift at your dinner date.
You can try something new and book safely online through SquareMeal. You can easily search the website and find restaurants near me, choose from different cuisines and check the restaurant’s food hygiene ratings, which are mentioned on each restaurant listing.
3. Set the scene & decorate your dining room
To make the whole experience extra special, set your dining room or kitchen table with table cloth, napkins, set of glasses, a small vase with a fresh flower, candle and condiments. Make sure that you have the right cutlery, set of plates and anything else you might need to recreate your favourite restaurant at home.
Don’t forget to choose background music and have soft lights around the room to complete the atmosphere.
4. Prepare & write your menu
Like in a real restaurant, type the menu out and print it on a large piece of paper. You can add your own personalised message for your partner, change the date to a meaningful date you both have a special memory of, or write a little joke on the menu. It will make the whole experience extra special, and I’m sure your partner will appreciate the effort.
5. Dress up to go out
I know that you’ll be eating your food at home, but I promise you if you dress up like you are going to the restaurant, you’ll have an amazing night. It somehow elevates the whole experience and makes you both think that this is a very special dinner date!