So the hard part is over – you’ve scored yourself a date. But instead of suggesting the two of you wine and dine at that great new restaurant down the street, you’ve invited you’re love interest over for dinner and now you have to entertain (oh the horror!). I mean, as if the first few dates aren’t already nerve racking enough.
Before you decide to reschedule, or worse – cancel, Steph Peet from Eat now has provided us with a few of her fool proof tips on how to host the ultimate date night. So breathe a sigh of relief, ladies, you’ve got this!
Unless you’re quite the whiz in the kitchen or thoroughly enjoy cooking, take a load off and order in. The more relaxed you can be, the more you’ll enjoy yourself. Save the potential food disasters for the second or third date when you’ll be more inclined to laugh it off.
Don’t eat too early
Plan for your delivery to arrive after 8pm, says Steph. “This allows enough time for a glass of wine and a catch up prior to dining.” What’s more, if you and your date happen to run out of conversation early on in the evening, you can chat about the meal when it arrives. And in dire circumstances, at least having a mouthful of food minimises any awkward silences!
What to eat
Deciding on what to eat can require deep thought. Thankfully, Steph has recommended a few dishes that are perfect for date night. Her first pick is risotto, because “it’s filling and easy to eat, even with the early dating jitters,” followed by a garden or Greek salad. “No one likes to over indulge when on a date, so it’s the perfect fresh side option.”
There’s something to be said for saving the best until last, so as far as dessert goes, Steph insists opting for a choolate mousse or tiramisu. “Nothing is more romantic than a touch of chocolate or coffee when on a date.”
What not to eat
Regardless of what people might say, first impressions really do count for something. Leaning in for a kiss at the end of the night with bad onion breath might not go down the way you’d imagined. Steph agrees: “Anything heavy on garlic or onion – steer clear! A big ‘no-no’ when getting close to someone new.”
She also insists that you skip on messy dishes such as spaghetti bolognese, taco’s and ribs. “[They] can be difficult to eat when sitting in your pjs on the couch, let alone when trying to impress someone. Make your choices wisely.”
Create a nice atmosphere
Lighting a few candles while you sip (or skull) your wine is a great way to set the mood and relax as you get to know your date a little better. Furthermore, if you’re meal arrives in plastic bags and containers, pull out the fine china – so to speak – and serve your take out in a few nice bowls and dishes, says Steph. “[It] will create a better dining experience, even if you’re just eating on the lounge.”
Get the bill
By ordering takeout you still have to endure that dreaded ‘who gets the cheque’ moment. Therefore, Steph recommends that the person hosting date night – so in this case, you – should take care of the bill. “The invitee should bring a bottle of wine,” she says. “It’s a nice gesture that everyone will appreciate.”
“If your date isn’t a big wine drinker, bring dessert.”