A romantic Valentine’s Day dinner

Create your own romantic table for two and make this Valentine’s Day special.

Enjoy a more intimate atmosphere with a special candle-lit, homemade, romantic dinner for two. You’ll need to plan ahead, buying ingredients and preparing the dishes the day before, but the result will be well worth it.

Here’s a menu from Taste, with links to recipes to help you make the most of your romantic evening. You might even consider printing the menu on a card to display on the table.

Nothing sets the mood like like champagne, so start with romantic champagne cocktails. Buy a special bottle of bubbles. It doesn’t have to be a French brand, as there are plenty of good Aussie sparkling whites to enjoy. Add a fresh strawberry, or make a Kir Royale, which is roughly nine parts champagne to one part Crème de cassis.

The ultimate romantic, Casanova, said oysters were “a spur to the spirits and to love”. So if you both enjoy oysters, why not continue the theme. You can also put the remaining bubbles to good use. Prepare oysters with champagne sauce as your first course. Here’s an easy recipe from Taste.

For your main course, introduce some game, accompanied by a salad and potatoes, but with way more fancier names.

The main dish can be roasted duck with red wine spiced pears and shallots. The richness of the roast duck is complemented by the sweetness of pears and the crunchiness of walnuts. Here’s the recipe.

The salad is an exotic radicchio and pecorino salad with hazelnuts, in which the salty yet fruity tang of the Italian hard cheese matches perfectly with the bitter lettuce and the rich, woody-flavoured nuts. Here’s the recipe.

There’s no mashing of potatoes with this meal. Instead, these individual creamy potato gratins have a deliciously crispy top with layers of moist potato underneath, complemented with garlic and subtle sweet, nutty flavours. Here’s the recipe.

For dessert, try this mouth-watering passionfruit and white chocolate mousse with shortbread hearts and, if you have room for coffee, you can enjoy a cup with these coffee meringue kisses.