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Hayley Gilbert

Dinner for two

Posted by Hayley Gilbert Monday, 1st February 2016

February is a time for romance and with Valentine’s Day on the 14th, many of us will be planning an intimate dinner for two in a fancy restaurant. But this year why not cook something really special at home, and create a romantic setting to go with it? Whether you have a compact kitchen and separate dining room or a large open-plan kitchen-diner scheme, there are plenty of ways to inject a little love and romance this month…

If you’re going for an all-out investment, update the cabinetry with a painted or high-gloss finish in an eye-catching red or pink design. Painted units are ideal for a classic setting while lacquered doors create a more modern feel and are easier to wipe clean (perfect for families with young children). If wall-to-wall colour isn’t for you, consider mixing it up with contrasting shades or a similar palette and choose a standout feature such as an island and make that the focal point of the room. Harvey Jones has a variety of handmade traditional and contemporary styles that can be made to your exact specifications. Their handpainted kitchens are also easily refurbished in the future, enabling you to change the look of the room without replacing the furniture. Their Linear kitchen below starts from £18,000. www.harveyjones.com


1 Harvey Jones


Another way to make a statement is with your appliances and by choosing a Rangemaster range cooker in a Cherry Red finish, you’ll not only be showing the colour of romance, but you’ll also have everything you need to cook the ultimate Valentine’s dinner. The Elise 110 comes with two A-rated ovens (one multifunction), drop-door grill, Handyrack for easy access, catalytic liners for easy cleaning, wok cradle and storage drawer. Check out the Rangemaster recipes section on the website too, for delicious menu inspiration.


2 Rangemaster


A fresh coat of paint on the kitchen walls creates a quick and easy freshen up and our favourite colour chart is Crown’s Cheeky Wink Easyclean, from £20.23 for 2.5 litres, and Scooter Red Solo Gloss, from £17.42 for 750ml (www.crownpaint.co.uk). Covering the entire room may be a little too much love, so consider painting a feature wall, chimney-breast or alcove then adding splashes of matching reds or pinks with toaster, kettle, utensils and even window dressings. It needn’t break the bank and even something as small as a new tea towel and oven gloves can really enhance the look.


3A Crown Cheeky Wink 3B Crown Red Scooter


We also couldn’t resist this Bialetti coffee machine, which costs £190 at Caffé Italia (www.coffeeitalia.co.uk). With a 20 bar pump pressure, it’s perfect for creating an after-dinner espresso. And for breakfast, how about this heart toast rack from Joanna Wood, priced £47 (www.joannawood.co.uk)


4 Bialetti


5 Joanna Wood


Show your loved one how much you care with a special gesture. A good home-cooked meal goes a long way but you could also add the finishing touch by wearing your heart on… the window? The Window Film Company has plenty of innovative ways to create instant privacy if your room is overlooked – this Corazon white printed design is perfect for this special occasion, with prices from £30 (www.windowfilm.co.uk)


6 The Window Film Company


However, and whoever you’re celebrating with this month, here’s to love, romance and good home cooking.


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