This post first appeared on the Safety Net Yorkshire blog in February 2013, but as romance is in the air again I thought it was still relevant.
A romantic meal at home for two can be the perfect Valentine’s treat if you are on a budget or have small children.
You may have got the menu planned, the candles and red roses at the ready and prepared the perfect play list.
But you may have forgotten your table setting? By planning ahead you can really dazzle your Valentine.
A couple of days before-hand check out your tablecloth and napkins. You may need to check that they have been ironed since they were last used. A beautiful crisply ironed tablecloth can really impress.
Are your wine glasses sparkly-clean? If they have got drying marks or wine stains in the bottom, give them another wash. For either glass or crystal wash them in the sink one at a time. Hold the bowl of the glass and put in a tiny bit of washing liquid. Fill with hot water and take a sponge, preferably on a handle, and clean well inside and out. Rinse them really well as odours can linger (particularly on crystal) and them dry either with a lint cloth or unscented kitchen towel.
And what about your cutlery? Knives and forks do stain over time and you don’t want to eat with grubby cutlery. There are a number of ways of removing stains – here is the simplest. Line a tray with aluminium foil and fill it with hot water. Add a teaspoon of baking powder to the water. Put the cutlery into the water and leave for about 30 minutes. Rinse in cold water and then leave to dry naturally, then rub with a dry cloth.