Tag: valentine

Valentine’s Night Out Planning Pointers

Many couples go out for a night on the town in celebration of Valentine’s Day. Romance typically prevails on such nights, but there’s more to planning Valentine’s Day dates than just roses and chocolate. The following are a few tips to make sure this year’s Valentine’s Day date night goes off without a hitch.

· Make a dinner reservation. Restaurants fill up on Valentine’s Day, so make a reservation no matter how frequently you may patronize the place you want to go to. Nothing derails a dinner date more quickly than being told there are no tables available.

· Cancel the reservation if you must. If plans change and you cannot make it, be respectful of the restaurant and call to cancel your reservation. No-shows cost restaurants substantial amounts of money, especially on popular dining out nights like Valentine’s Day.

· Arrange for transportation. If you plan to open a bottle of wine or make a champagne toast while out on the town, arrange for a car service to pick you up after dinner or use public transportation. Drinking and driving is dangerous, and local law enforcement may even have checkpoints set up to protect residents from drivers who might have celebrated a bit too much.

· Bring cash. Few restaurants remain cash-only, but bring cash with you anyway just in case your card won’t swipe correctly. You don’t want to embarrass your date by leaving the restaurant to go get some cash, so prepare for this in advance.

· Review the menu. If you or your date has special dietary needs, peruse a restaurant’s menu before making a reservation so you know there’s something for both of you. If Valentine’s Day is a first date, ask your date in advance if he or she has any food allergies or dietary restrictions.


Make the Most of Valentine’s Night Out

Chocolates and flowers may be staples of Valentine‘s Day, but many couples take it one step further and dine out on February 14.

According to the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association’sValentine‘s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, 34.6 percent of respondents indicated that dining out would be part of their Valentine‘s Day agenda.

A romantic dinner is an ideal capper for a day geared around love and affection. But Valentine‘s Day is a busy night for many restaurants, so it pays to heed the following advice to ensure this special night is memorable for all the right reasons.

roses· Make reservations well in advance. Dining out is especially popular on Valentine‘s Day, so call several weeks in advance to secure your spot. Also, do not underestimate the draw of all types of restaurants on Valentine‘s Day. People who were not able to get a table at their first choices may trickle into chain restaurants or smaller establishments in search of an easy meal. If you think your lesser-known haunt will not be packed, think again. Always play it safe by making a reservation early.

· Expect some crowding. Restaurants tend to add extra tables onValentine‘s Day, when they expect an influx of customers. Dining rooms may be more packed than usual, and you may not have a choice of where you will be seated. Even a reservation does not guarantee you won’t have to wait for a table. Be patient upon arriving at the restaurant, and consider wait time when factoring in childcare.

· Be flexible with the menu. Price-fixed menus are commonplace on nights when there will be a large turnover of customers in a short amount of time. These menus allow restaurants to stock up on the necessary ingredients and cook en masse. Diners may find that price-fixed menus offer a limited selection, and their favorite dishes may not be available. But knowing this in advance can reduce feelings of disappointment. Rest assured there should be several options that appeal to different palates.

· Be patient with servers. Valentine‘s Day is a busy night for staff at the restaurant, particularly servers who must be the liaison between the kitchen staff and diners. The sheer volume of customers can test the skills of even the most veteran servers. Many Valentine‘s Day diners do not eat out regularly and will need extra guidance. Servers may be called on to snap photos of couples with cell phones or linger at certain tables. Use idle time at your table to engage in romantic conversation and plan the rest of the evening.

· Consider your budget. Diners can expect to pay a premium for dining out on Valentine‘s Day. Select a lower-priced restaurant if your budget is on the smaller side.

· Be on time. Being respectful of your reservation will not only benefit you, but also it is a courtesy to fellow diners who will be sitting at your table later in the evening. While you may want to linger over dessert, try not to linger too long.

· Promptly store leftovers. If you take a doggie bag home from dinner, stash it in the refrigerator as soon as possible to prevent foodborne illnesses. If you will be going out dancing or to a movie after dinner, it may be best to skip the doggie bag altogether.

Valentine‘s Day is a busy night for dining out. Patience, courtesy and flexibility are traits that can keep your evening moving along smoothly.


Romantic Movies for Valentine’s Day

Couples celebrate Valentine’s Day in many different ways. For some the idea of dinner out followed by a stroll arm-in-arm seems the epitome of romance, while others may want to go out dancing or engage in a favorite hobby.

Valentine’s Day also can be a romantic endeavor if a couple chooses to spend time at one with each other watching a romantic movie. The following are a handful of love-inspired movies that can add a special something to Valentine’s Day festivities.

· The Notebook: Author Nicholas Sparks has a way of taking the everyday experiences in a person’s life and making them relatable and heartbreaking in a pluck-at-your-heartstrings sort of way. His novel “The Notebook” won the hearts of many and seemed a natural to be adapted to film. Starring Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams, the movie illustrates how love can last through the years and even survive an Alzheimer’s diagnosis.

· The Proposal: In order to remain in the country, a demanding New York-based book editor (Sandra Bullock) asks her brow-beaten assistant (Ryan Reynolds) to marry her. Their tumultuous relationship involves a trip to Alaska to meet his family.

· An Affair to Remember: Romantic melodramatic master Cary Grant falls in love with Deborah Kerr aboard a cruise ship while they are traveling with other people. They agree to meet at the top of the Empire State Building in six months if they have ended their relationships and are ready to commit to each other. Grant makes it to the rendezvous spot, but an injured Kerr never shows as Grant assumes she has rejected the proposal.

· Say Anything: In pursuit of a woman he believes is out of his social league, Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack) creates hope for the underdog in us all. The movie inspired teens to raise their boom box radios over their heads and blast romantic tunes to illustrate their love.

· The Wedding Singer: This quirky movie about a wedding singer who falls for a banquet waitress highlights the importance of loving each other for what makes you unique.

· Once: Attraction between the main characters comes by way of creative musical collaboration. Music proves to be an aphrodisiac, making the film and the song “Falling Slowly” from its score so popular. This romantic tale helped take the film from the big screen to the Broadway stage.

· West Side Story: “West Side Story” is yet another homage to “Romeo and Juliet.” But the film made Shakespeare’s tragic love story relatable to audiences of the 1960s.

· My Best Friend’s Wedding: Julianne (Julia Roberts) is called on to be the “best man” for her friend’s (Dermot Mulroney) wedding. Only when the wedding planning is underway does Julianne realize she is in love with her friend and needs to get him to fall for her instead.

· Never Been Kissed: A reporter goes undercover at a high school to discover something controversial and ends up being the subject of her story when she falls in love with her English teacher.

· Harold and Maude: A man in his twenties and a much older woman begin a romantic relationship and challenge social norms along the way.

· Annie Hall: Winner of four Academy Awards, “Annie Hall” follows a comedian who is trying to maintain his relationship with a woman.

· Bridget Jones’ Diary: A modern adaptation of “Pride and Prejudice,” the movie tells the tale of a self-conscious woman who finds love in a man that seems to be her polar opposite.

· Ten Things I Hate About You: Filmmakers reinvented “The Taming of the Shrew” in this teen comedy starring Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger.

· Casablanca: No romantic movie list would be complete without this wartime drama. Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman are in top form in this movie of chance meetings.

· The Princess Bride: Girl meets boy, girl detests boy, girl truly loves boy, and then girl loses boy. This fairy tale shares the purity of true love and happily ever after.