It’s time for a romantic date…but you’re on a budget. It’s happened more times than you can count. You want to go out and splurge at a fancy restaurant but money’s tight (there is a global recession after all!). Well, forgo the restaurant and stay at home – you can easily add some extra fanciness to your dinners at home with these quick and easy tips. You’ll get the 5 star experience all in the comforts of your own house.

Tea candles

What do all restaurants have in common? No, it’s not a red hue on the walls…all restaurants have dim lighting. Either switch off the lights or dim them and light some tea candles at the table. It’ll add some real intimacy and romance to your evening and it really looks lovely – plus, a pack of tea candles costs less than a bottle of wine!

Folded napkins

That’s right. Pull out the nice cloth napkins, then fold them up, as if you’re really having a night out. You may not have a waiter, but you can always pour the wine yourself! If you’re feeling particularly daring you could fold the napkins up into cute origami shapes – your own little swan at the table. Cute.

The nice cutlery

You know you’re really pulling out all the stops when the silver cutlery comes out. Yeah that’s right – the kind you received as a Christmas present but thought it is just too precious to use? Well, there’s no time like the present to give yourself a treat and Dining at Hometrust yourself with the fancy cutlery and plates. Why have all these stuffs if you’re never going to use them?

A vase of flowers

You can either get your partner to bring a lovely bouquet home, find some yourself at the local florist or at the flower market, or pick some wildflowers. Just pulling out your favorite vase and putting a single rose plucked straight from the garden adds some real understated beauty to your dinner.

A bed of spinach

Never underestimate the value of good presentation. It’s just like on Masterchef or Hell’s Kitchen – a lot of thought goes into plating up and making your dish look nice. An appetizing piece of chicken on a bed of spinach might just ‘wow’ your man. Try and find some spinach at local produce stores – some around a new land release have the freshest stock.

This looks even better than your local classy food joint, right? You’re up there with the best chefs and hubby knows it. So sit back and relax with a nice home-cooked meal, leave the dishes and go take a long hot bath afterwards. You know you deserve it!

Jill Yarnich loves her patch of real estate in Maitland is where she calls home) but is currently looking for a nearby land – she needs a new property to throw some fancy dinner parties.