Whether it’s a first date, or an evening with your partner of many years, Valentine’s Day is a chance to show your significant other just how significant they are, as well as give you an opportunity to brush up on your chivalry. However, before any elaborate plans take place, one must take care of their appearance. The subtle nuances of style play a big part in the success of an evening, so we decided to share our tips in three idyllic date night scenarios.
Date #1: A Drink (or two) at The Ned London
There’s no better place to impress your Valentine in the city than The Ned. Wonderfully romantic, the dim lights and mellow jazz evoke all the senses necessary to start the evening off right. Perch yourself in a booth adjacent to the Nickel Bar, with a view of the live band, and let your date order her drink first. Their sizeable collection of whiskies should be enough to bring out your inner Don Draper, before sauntering over to Cecconi’s for a candle-lit dinner.
Aim for the smarter side of smart-casual for this evening. A cashmere jumper is both luxury enough but lightweight, and pairs wonderfully with a classic jacket in a muted colour tone. Now that’s done, it is time to brush up on your table manners. She orders first, keep your mobile phone at bay, and your jacket on. If she gets up to go to the bathroom, a gentleman should stand as she leaves, and again as she returns. Hold the door open. When it comes to settling the bill, decide how you wish to cover this before the evening begins. You should politely insist to pay for the evening (particularly if it’s a first date). There’s nothing wrong in splitting the bill should she insist, however.
Date #2: A Night at the Opera
A little bit of culture can go a long way. There’s nothing quite like an evening at the English National Opera – particularly if your significant other is an aficionado – with a pre-theatre menu dinner. Your attire here should be black tie. When indoors, it is imperative that you remove your hat. Team a tuxedo (or smoking jacket) with a bib-front dress shirt and classic bow tie.
Date #3: A Night at Home
If you’re one of those couples that don’t see the unnecessary fuss behind Valentine’s Day, there’s nothing stopping you both from having a romantic night in. Should you be a dab hand in the kitchen, go all out. If you’re not, order in. After the afters, it’s time to open up your favourite bottle and settle down in front of the fireplace (or TV) in your favoured pyjama set and gown. We’d suggest a piped cotton pyjama set, with a silk gown to mark the special occasion with a touch of luxury.