Valentine's Day is less than a week away and like previous years, I was having trouble thinking of what to do for my husband. I have heard people say that this is a holiday for women, but that just seems like a poor excuse to get out of having to do something for your significant other to show them how much they mean to you. Yes, you should show your love and appreciation for your partner every day, but its nice to have this holiday to really go all out with a nice and romantic gesture.
Brainstorming what to do for my husband….well immediately I knew what I didn't want to do--anything super traditional. I am not a big fan of overloading on the hearts/cupid decor. I can understand a touch of hearts decor, but after this holiday is over, when else are you going to be able to use this stuff? The answer…next valentines day. I just cannot justify spending that kind of money on stuff you are only going to use one day out of the year (Christmas Decor is up for an entire month in my house so don't even try to argue that one with me).
What did I come up with? I came across these Scalamandre Placemats by Caspari while perusing Amazon.com and was immediately hooked! My valentines idea suddenly became clear, I was going to make a romantic cocktail hour for my husband (with a mini cheesescape of course) and then round out the evening with a dessert and champagne bar (*I will be sharing those details on Wednesday).
- Votives- I used my Tiffany & Co. Crystal Rock Cut Votives, which I have talked about in my article on Coffee Table Candles. Other great votive suggestions for this coffee tablescape would be:
- Flowers- I kept this aspect of the table very traditional with deep red roses.
- For the large rose bowl, I used slightly over a dozen roses. If you don't have a rose bowl, I highly recommend getting one. I am not an expert at flower arranging, but having this rose bowl has made this arrangement look professional. Additional bonus- you can buy rose bowls very inexpensively like this rose bowl available at Amazon.com.
- For the bud vases, I used CB2's Ai Bud Vases and suggest filling them with either African Roses or Spray Roses.
- Placemats- Scalamandre by Caspari (Set of 4)
- Napkins- CB2 Restaurant Dinner Napkins (Set of 4)
- Napkin Rings- I had purchased my horn napkin rings from Williams Sonoma on sale. They no longer carry the napkin rings, but here are a few similar options:
- Coasters- I used my Brass Chilewich Dahlia Coasters.
- Stemware- Pictured are my William Yeoward Fanny Champagne Flutes. A few additional champagne flute options would be:
- Cheese Board- I used the Godinger Plume Cheese Board with Server
- Cheese Knives- The Godinger Plume Cheese Board does come with a cheese knife, however I opted for a set of 2 silver cheese knives. Here are a few different options if you are looking to grow your cheese knife collection:
- Small Serving Bowls- The crystal bowls pictured below are actually antiques that I inherited, but here are a few small bowl alternatives:
Food & Drink:
- For the Cheeseboard:
- Camembert Heart Cheese- The only heart on this table! I was perusing the cheese section at Whole Foods and came across this Camembert Heart from the Old Chatham Sheepherding Company. I couldn't resist! Pictured above I have garnished it with fresh julienned sage, because I felt it needed a little color for presentation purposes. I've actually noticed a fair number of grocery stores carrying heart shaped cheeses right now, like Trader Joe's. Even if you can't find a heart shaped cheese, there are still so many great cheese options available for your Valentine's Cheesescape.
- Cypress Grove Midnight Moon- This is a personal favorite of mine. I cannot get enough of it and it's definitely a cheese that you will see time and again in my cheesescape photos. Why do I love it so much? This gouda has delicious nutty and brown butter notes, pairs beautifully with a variety of preserves/ chutneys and always seems to be a crowd favorite (especially for my husband and myself).
- Chutney- I went with a personal favorite of both mine and my husband (since we are going to be the ones eating it), Virginia Chutney Company's Hot Peach Chutney. I love the combination of sweet and heat, plus it pairs beautifully with the Midnight Moon.
- Fresh Red Currants- I am totally in LOVE with currants at the moment. Not a common choice, but their tart/slightly sweet taste is fantastic. They pair beautifully with a variety of cheeses and are a great addition to your glass of bubbly (as you will see in Wednesday's Post). It is towards the end of their peak season, but I am still able to find them in some local grocery stores.
- Cheese Accompaniments:
- Whole Grain 34 Degree Crisps- Available in a number of grocery stores, specialty food stores and online.
- Dried Pear Simple & Crisp-Available in specialty food shops, Whole Foods and Online.
- Sea Salt and Rosemary Crostini- Available at Whole Foods.
- Tart Dried Cherries- Available at most grocery stores and online at Amazon.com
- Nut Dish:
- Champagne and Sparkling Wine Suggestions:
- I think champagne or sparkling wine is the perfect Valentine's cocktail. Enjoying a bottle of bubbly with your significant other seems pretty romantic to me! The type of champagne/sparkling wine and price point are totally up to you. If you are looking for suggestions, I would recommend: Domaine Carneros by Tattinger, Moet & Chandon Champagne, Chandon or Perrier-Jouet Grand Brut.
While this is only Part One of my two part Valentine's series, I hope that this concept has inspired you to possibly think beyond the typical Valentine's Day fare. There are so many romantic gestures and home accessories that you can do/use to make Valentine's Day special, thoughtful and romantic for your significant other. Stay tuned for Part Two of my Valentine's Series on Wednesday, where I show you how to round out this cocktail party with a very sweet ending.