“The Climax Of Seduction Is To Give The Illusion That You Are Not Trying To Seduce.” – Mathias Malzieu
Let’s Blog Over Setting The Scene For Seduction…
What constitutes a romantic dinner? How can we create a romantic, and sensual setting where we can indulge in a decadent meal and truly be present with our lover? I’ve never had the chance to fully celebrate this day, but now that I’m able these are the questions racing through my mind.
Devoid of inspiration, this wine lover took to Pinterest. Upon entering “Valentine’s Day” in the search field, I was appalled by the cheesy images and ideas that flashed in front of me. I mean, I get the whole hearts and Cupid thing for starry-eyed teens, but for adults who have a more elevated aesthetic and palate, how exactly can we create an intimate spread at home?
As per usual, when I could not find precisely what I was looking for, I drew on disparate images and scribbled down concepts, then filtered them through my own vision. The end result is this dark and moody scene. I think the vibe evokes sensuality, just the tone one seeks for a quiet dinner for two.
The design choices are simple, but with thoughtful execution. The overall objective was to evoke seduction. So rather than the typical candy colors, begin with deep, dark focal hues, expressed in the form of tonal grey table linens, black ceramics and flatware. Lighting is an important component as well, so select dim candlelight to play into the dusky ambiance. The setting is not too fussy with the florals — some winter branches counterbalance the moodier tones and a few saturated blooms are just enough to set the scene while offering the accent palette. And the setting all comes to life in the details. Rich wine toned velvet ribbon, makes a sophisticated statement wrapped around each napkin, and completed with a wild sprig of greenery.
In addition to the visuals, I had another important Valentine’s Day dinner consideration: I wanted to be able to focus on the one I love, not be a slave to the kitchen. To satisfy that criteria, much of this meal can be prepared in advance. The braised short ribs can be made a day ahead. It will also taste better since the flavours will be able to sit and really come out.
And that brings us to the best part of any meal — the food! The celebratory beauty of the braised short ribs. It sure is a showstopper. Accompanying it is a rather intoxicating mashed potatoes with butter cream and chives.
With decadent, delicious results, there you have it! Creating a Valentine’s Day dinner without the cheesy clichés may require a little extra preparation on the front-end, but it is a labor of love, after all.
Special thanks to A. Cald for the inspo!