Romantic Dinner Recipes

Starters - Main course - Desserts

Valentines Day is traditionally a day for romance so let me whet your appetite with some romantic dinner recipes, just for two.

Serving a romantic dinner at home is about more than just the food, you will want to create the right atmosphere to go with the perfect meal.

The extra care taken to provide a beautifully laid table, fragranced candles and soft lighting and music, all help to make it a night to remember.

The most important advice I can give to a new cook is to stick with simple recipes and not to try something new on the night. If you are tempted by new romantic dinner recipes you might like to have a trial run beforehand, and take notes of the timings.

Rather than do all the preparation yourself, you might like to share the experience, even if you only have a small kitchen to work in!

Romantic meals are best eaten at the table, rather than on a tray in front of the TV. Take time to lay the table nicely, with a clean, ironed tablecloth (perhaps a red cloth if you have it), napkins, candles and maybe a small vase of flowers or a single red rose. Try to keep your centrepiece low, so that you don't have to peer round it to have a conversation with your dinner partner!

If you are going for the full three course meal then the cutlery needed for your dessert is positioned closest to the plate, followed by the main course and those for the starter on the outside.

Remember to leave room for the plate on which you will serve your main course, so that you don't have to go fishing around under it to find your cutlery!

Keep in mind the condiments you will be serving with each course. Presenting these in the containers in which they were bought, is not ideal.

There are some really interesting salt and pepper shakers available. I especially love the two peas in a pod set shown when you click on the previous link.

An egg cup can do double duty as a container for ground ginger to sprinkle on melon for your starter, or for mustard to accompany a steak main course.


The key to a good starter is that it needs to be light, tasty and something that sets the tone and style of the meal. To save time on the night, you can prepare some starters in advance and serve them chilled. 

Some simple starters to consider are...

  • Prawn Cocktail (very 70s but still tasty)
  • Melon
  • Exotic fruit salad
  • Camembert
  • Fresh orange juice
If you fancy being a little creative you could use heart cutters to cut shapes out of red peppers or tomato flesh to garnish your first course.

The Main Course

The main course is where it can be tempting to try to impress your dinner partner. But whereas a not-so-perfect starter can be brushed off, wrecking the main course is not something you want to do. 

Just don't mention honey-roast duck to my husband, or you will still be told all about my own disaster even though it happened over 30 years ago, before we were married! I doubt I will ever live it down, even though I have served him many a tasty duck since.

Again, I would beg to remind you, to try any new romantic dinner recipes out before the special occasion. You can then make any adjustments to taste or timings so that everything is "all right on the night".

Top Tip

Don't forget to warm the plates when serving a hot dish

Here are some suggestions for the main dish...

  • Steak with accompaniments
  • Pan fried or baked trout
  • Spaghetti Bolognese
  • Curry (but do check how hot your partner likes it first!)
  • Coq au vin (chicken in red wine)
  • Hungarian Goulash
  • Risotto


There is, of course, every possibility that you will never get as far as dessert when enjoying your romantic dinner for two, but if you do, the following options always seem to go down well...

  • Lemon or ginger syllabub
  • Thinly sliced strawberries (which look like hearts) and cream
  • Moist chocolate cake (perhaps served with custard)
  • Old fashioned rice pudding
  • Homemade apple pie
  • Pancakes

In summary

I hope these romantic dinner recipes have whetted your appetite and that your special night is a success.

Remember, keep it simple sweetheart (KISS), don't overcomplicate things if you are new to cooking, and enjoy yourself.

Oh and after your meal don't forget to make some of these homemade valentine candies, to share when you cuddle up in front of the romantic movie on TV.


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