Wondering how to do Valentines this year and on a budget? Don't worry, we've got you covered. If you are struggling for date ideas and in a long distance or close contact relationship read on for our Top 5: Don’t Break The Bank Dates, to give you some lovespiration.
1.) Lovingly Long Distance
Distance may get in the way of close connection at times, but it doesn’t mean you can’t have as much fun as if you were in the same room. If you are in a new long distance relationship or seasoned pros across the miles, or even self isolating due to the dreaded ‘C’ word, then get your laptops ready for some quality virtual cocktail fun and bring a little spark back into your vday plans.
Firstly, order you and your significant other one of our limited edition ‘Come Together’ Valentines cocktails. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, then we have a wide range of other delectable offerings to wet your whistle.
To make your date that extra bit special, write yourselves a shopping list to get ready beforehand, include a cocktail shaker, jigger, hawthorn strainer, some snacks of your choice and a game. Some of our faves to get to know each other better or perhaps learn something that you never knew all these years; Lets Drink To That, The Skin Deep, The School Of Life. Find a comfy spot in your homes with your kits and snacks, get shaking your cocktails and enjoy where your virtual night of fun takes you.
This gorgeous pair of bottles is purchased as one and can be enjoyed separately or mixed together to become one luxurious libation. We don’t do anything by halves, so complete your V day plans this year with some love. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ COME - Cocktail bottle one⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Club crafted hibiscus infused gin, shaken with falernum and topped with soda water.
TOGETHER - Cocktail bottle two⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Sipsmith london dry gin, shaken with our club crafted rhubarb & cardamon cordial, coconut cream and a dash of rhubarb bitters.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Pour the two cocktails bottles together or separate over ice, garnish with a pressed flower that’s included and serve with our inhouse crafted lavender white chocolate and cherry milk chocolate hearts and enjoy your finale cocktails.
2.) Home Cinema
Surprise your loved one with a romantic cinematic experience in your back garden or living room. You can get some reasonable projectors these days and hang a white bed sheet up, but as we are on a budget, your TV or laptop will suffice. Try to choose a romantic movie or perhaps a movie that means something to you both. Set your chosen location up with all the romantic trimmings; ambient lighting using candles and fairy lights and blankets and cushions to make a cosy snug area, if you are outside and have a heater use that too.
Get your snack station set-up with your favourite goodies, such as; popcorn boxes, smoked nuts and olives, a sweet stand and maybe even a pimp your ice cream station. Of course, we recommend enjoying some classy TCDC cocktails to elevate your evening some more to have fun with shaking them into life together and toasting your night. This is an easy way to get romantic while relaxing and indulging a little.
If you have kid’s set them up their own version in a different room to distract them, or if you are happy for them to join in, then you can have a family friendly version.
Home Cinema with TCDC Cocktails
3.) Get Adventurous
We know you may be on a budget, but if you can spare £45.00 then we recommend grabbing yourselves The Adventure Challenge Book. You may or may not have heard of this, but it has brilliant reviews and gives you a whole host of date ideas to get adventurous with your one and only with. It allows you to find something new and fun that you may not necessarily have opted for in the past and allows you both to explore new paths together and create new memories.
It’s a great way to make a scrap book along the way too, noting down your journey after each date, creating memorabilia to look back on for years to come and reminisce when you are old and grey. You can even add a polaroid camera in for good measure for some photographic memoirs to add to your pages.
4.) Disconnect to Connect
We are always on our mobile phones, so what better way to disconnect for some well earned quality time with your ride or die. Pull out your finest cookery book and make an old favourite for nostalgia’s sake or get creative and try something new. Asian inspired is usually a good route to take as it has many elements you can do from scratch together and it won’t put you in a food comer before the stroke of midnight.
If you enjoy a little pre dinner beverage to get the mood going, make sure you have ordered yourself a cocktail from our website, to enjoy while creating your lovely meal together. Put your phones on flight mode for the entire evening and promise not to look at your them again until morning to truly disconnect to connect.
Set the table for a romantic evening, and if you have children get them to bed first. Pour yourselves a glass wine and enjoy your beautifully crafted banquet together. If you want to elevate your conversations, why not try one of the games that we mentioned in idea one as well.
Need some inspiration? Then the Tantanmen Ramen is a favourite dish of ours and is quick, healthy and oh so delicious, and it can easily be converted to a vegan version.
Tantanmen is a Japanese version of Chinese Sichuan Dan Dan Noodles. It consists of fresh wheat-based ramen noodles served in a savoury broth of fresh and creamy peanut flavours. It’s topped with crispy pork or soya mince, and includes a mouthwatering blend of seasonings including garlic, ginger, chilli and fermented bean paste.
· Fresh Ramen or Udon Noodles
· Tahini or Peanut Paste or a mixture of both
· Sesame Chilli Oil - if you can’t find this just use regular sesame oil with a sprinkling of chilli powder to taste
· Soy or Coconut Unsweetened Milk
· Minced Pork (or for a Vegan friendly version use; minced Tofu or Quorn mince)
· Doubanjiang (fermented bean paste) - if you struggle to find this then you could substitute with red miso paste to give you that delicious umami zing
· Cooking Sake or Chinese cooking wine - if you struggle to find this use a regular dry white wine and 1 tsp coconut sugar.
· Bok choy
· Spring onion
· Sliced baby sweetcorn
· Shredded carrot
· Shredded white cabbage
· Fresh Garlic
· Fresh Ginger
· White Rice Vinegar
· Soy Sauce
· Low Salt Vegetable Stock
· Chinese five spice
· Fresh lime
· Crushed peanuts
How to Make:
1) Start with cooking your minced in a tsp of sesame oil, add 1 tsp of Chinese five spice and fry until golden and cooked, then set aside.
2) Gently fry some shredded carrot, cabbage and sliced baby sweetcorn to a pan with 3 cloves of garlic, fresh ginger and Doubanjiang or red miso paste and cooked until the vegetables are slightly soft but still al dente.
3) Add a squeeze of lime juice and then add your milk and vegetable stock and simmer until warmed through. Then add your bok choy and noodles in next and warm through for a few of minutes until both are soft.
4) In a separate bowl mix together your tahini or peanut paste, soy sauce, vinegar and Sesame Chilli Oil, then add a little to the bottom of each warmed ramen bowl.
5) Gentle heat through your fried mince and thinly slice some fresh spring onion.
6) To the ramen bowl add your vegetables and broth mix through and then top with your fried mince, crushed peanuts and fresh spring onion and enjoy your bowl of goodness.
You can also serve this dish with pickled mooli (Japanese root vegetable) which is super easy to make.
Pickled Mooli Recipe
Start by thinly slicing the mooli using a mandolin if you have one or vegetable peeler. Pop into a large jar and add ½ cup of apple cider vinegar, ½ cup white rice vinegar, ½ cup water, 2 tbsp coconut sugar, 1tsp of salt, squeeze half lemon juice, fresh chilli without seeds. Then shake and mix together and leave in the fridge for at least 1 hour before serving. Keep in an air tight jar to use again. It may smell funny, but honestly it taste great and adds a lovely fresh zing to any dish.
5.) Get Lost Together
Sometimes getting lost doesn’t have to make you anxious, sometimes it can mean something exciting and that of discovery. We say Get Lost Together and look on Google maps or lay out a map in front of you. Find yourselves a reasonable perimeter that you are happy to travel to. Once you have this, both put your fingers together and close your eyes and then point to somewhere on the map, and hey presto you have found yourselves your date location.
Zoom in further to find an exact location and research the area to see if there is a local event that might be going on or if it’s just in the middle of nowhere, even better you can enjoy finding yourselves and exploring somewhere new that you never knew existed.
Grab yourselves your favourite take out on the way and eat it on top of your car bonnet under the stars. This is a great way to reconnect with each other in this crazy world and take solace in the peaceful countryside, along a river or on top of a hill or bridge, take a rug and play the music from your car and enjoy a candlelight take out on the road. You never know this could end up being your new favourite spot and past time.
Note: none of our recommendations are sponsored.