How to plan a cheap but romantic surprise meal (thanks M&S)!

On Friday the boyfriend was visiting for the first time in a few weeks, so I decided to go ultra-girly and make a lovely evening of it!

You’ll need:

  • Candles (tonnes)
  • Marks & Spencer 2 Dine for £10 Meal Deal (+ potatoes?)
  • 8tracks
  • A nice dress
  • The opportunity to surprise!

It was all very simple really, and M&S did the hard work for me but the result was a cute evening for both of us.

So I would definitely advise checking where the nearest M&S is. And not only that, but remember to exclude all station M&S’s because they don’t do the deal! I ran from Euston, to King’s Cross, to the other King’s Cross, then chatted to a girl who worked there who happened to work in Camden and knew they did the deal there! I was quite desperate / running out of time by then so I pegged it over!

The selection once I arrived was fab, and I ended up going for:

Main: Chicken in red wine with mushrooms

Side: Garlic mushrooms (maybe not such a great shout if you’re newly together… or maybe it’s an excellent place to lay down food / attractiveness priorities, your call!)

Pudding: Millionaire shortbread layered desserts

Wine: Raso de la Cruz Rose (honestly, it had cute heart-trees on the label..)

I also grabbed a bag of potatoes, so that I could make mash. (I already had frozen veggies in the freezer at home to round the meal off).

So with the food in tow, I headed home to get myself and the flat in order! Luckily my housemates 1) were out, and 2) own an absolute lorry-load of candles, so I borrowed a few and lit them around the place (inside the front door, living room table, bedroom) and had alternate main room lights on so we could actually see. Candles just add a bit of a special atmosphere, and if they’re scented even better!

I popped the wine and a stray beer I had floating around in the freezer, and popped the starter (I used the garlic mushrooms) in the oven so that it would be ready for when he arrived. I peeled and chopped the potatoes so they could just be boiled for the mash, and then really everything else was a matter of oven timings. I threw on a nice dress I haven’t had the chance to wear since graduation, spruced up the hair and make-up and spritzed on a little extra perfume – I feel like if you’re going to set the scene for a surprise romantic meal, he has to know as soon as you open the door that you’re playing the part!

Next, music. I put “dinner” into the 8tracks search, and this beauty came up first…

http://8tracks.com/caciagarra-dc-4/a-night-in-italy

It might seem a little cheesy, but actually I found it worked perfectly! Good background music that doesn’t interrupt but again adds a little to the atmosphere. I laid the table, put out a couple of glasses of cold water with the wine and beer…

…And voilà! The scene was set for a cheap-and-cheerful but perfectly well-formed surprise romantic meal for two.The cold beer to start went down particularly well (ha, boys) – the more thoughtful the better, I think! Cute place-mats, candle-holders and dishes will always add a nice touch. He loved it 🙂 I thought I’d share because I’m sure your boy (or girl) would too!

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