If love’s in the air, it’s a shame the air won’t be fresh this year. With no restaurants, cinemas or mini golf courses to visit with your special human, Valentine’s Day isn’t just a quick booking anymore. It’s a creative challenge at home.
What are you going to do? How can you spice it up without settling back into routine – bickering over Amazon Prime documentaries, plucking nose hair compulsively while carving out your half of the sofa with a firm foot?
Well, Valentine’s can be a DIY project. You just need to make the most of simple resources and local assistance. Who knows? This could be the most valuable, validating Valentine’s Day of your life. Couples who’re able to make their own home feel like a honeymoon have a lot going for them. And we have a few ideas in mind . . .
Work on your décor
Ask your guy or girl to walk the dog for an hour. If you don’t have a dog, ask if they don’t mind pretending. Then dress up your house or apartment with some choice amorous decoration.
Rose petals are the go-to – you can find packs of 1,000 for less than a tenner. Other dried flowers are available though. Lilies, peonies and lavender lay their distinctive touch to a bed sheet or dinner table. Speaking of which: consider a red tablecloth. Something fit for Mayfair.
You can hang garlands around the living room, or ad hoc sculptures made (for instance) out of wire and heart-shaped cookie cutters. Alternatively, visit Oklahoma online. The ‘everything’ store has paper pom poms and even a blossom chandelier for overhead ebullience.
Turn the lamps to reflect high on the walls. Buy some sepia, pink or red bulbs if you like, or paint ones you already own. Play with shading indoors to get that intimate feel exactly right. Our apartments are spacious enough to let contrasts fall dazzling against your same-old furniture, by the way. Residents have a little more room to experiment, versus most places in the city.
Order a five-star meal
You could just cook your absolute peak meal – the carbonara of the century, the kiev to ends all kievs. But remember, it’s your night off as well. Wouldn’t a restaurant kit be better? Something you can finish readying together, yet is basically 80% done and tastes like The Ritz put an extra star on your plate?
If you hurry, order tapas from Evuna, a stack of patties from Honest Burgers or Elnecot in Ancoats. Bookings will be tight as the day itself nears. But meal kits are a great middle ground between a takeaway and sumptuous dining, ensuring you get the fresh restaurant experience at home, for a bit less than the norm.
Plus, we’ve thought ahead for a special complement . . . You can win a two-person package of 500 ml Manchester Gin, with six mixing options!
All we’re asking is that you send in a selfie with bae. That’s it – a single picture! Then tag us on Instagram or Facebook. We want to see how lockdown’s brought you closer, cheek-to-cheek. The winner receives the luxury Manchester Gin set, which’ll be delivered by Valentine’s Day.
Prep massage and/or bath time
Ever tried a double bath? It’s fun even if one of you has double imprints from the taps. So run the water after dessert. Stir a bath bomb in there. Light a candle in the corner, away from the towels, and turn the main light off. Stick on an album you both love. Check out some sensuous bath products with coconut, jasmine, camomile or popping candy fragrances. Leave an open box of dark chocolate on the side for continued indulgence.
Afterwards, lay out the massage parlour. It helps to have a tidy, clean bedroom, sensualised once more with ambient lighting. Turn up the temperature. Find some loose-fitting clothes that’ll make you feel your best too.
You can order 100% vegan massage oils from Buddha Beauty & Holistic Treatment in Chorlton, packed with orange, sage and geranium. Watch a couple of YouTube videos for a deep-tissue technique and you’re on your way to being a professional, at least for one night and half a bottle of wine down.
If you’re lucky – like our residents – you’ll have a glittering city view to accompany the rest of the evening. Maybe a balcony. Our apartments are made for late nights and dreamy introspection. There, hand in hand, hundreds of couples will be doing their utmost to help Valentine’s land hard. And it will. You just need to forget the fact you’ve been in the same space for almost a year. Treat the home like a hotel suite you’ve been looking forward to.
As for the rest of the year, you might want to make a bigger move to a home you’ll both enjoy more – a new measure of commitment or inner city living.
Chat to us about the hi-spec apartments we have left! There’s a resplendent en suite somewhere with your names on the doormat.