Darcy Lambton

02 March 2024

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Ideas for the ultimate luxury romantic dinner at home

Forget Valentine’s Day, our yearning to wine and dine those we romantically adore is an all year round affair. Eating out is grand, but it’s an expensive business. So tapping into your inner Roux at home in the kitchen is a rather attractive alternative. And don’t worry if you’re no Michelin-starred chef because help is at hand with these culinary tips to impress the lover in your life.

Thoughtful menu

When you plan a menu for your next luxury romantic dinner at home, make sure you put the thought in at the right places. Think less about bold statements and aphrodisiacs and more about individual taste. There’s no point in laying on oysters if your loved one isn’t keen on shellfish! Similarly, a prime cut of steak may be impressive, but if it’s not favoured by your other half it won’t reflect well on you. So, start with what your partner’s favourite foods are and then work out how you can elevate them into something rather special.

Quality ingredients

This is where we come to ingredients. If cooking isn’t your strong point you really need to invest in excellent quality ingredients. Artisan, well produced foods have a depth of flavour that takes the pressure off you and your cooking skills! How do you allow ingredients to sing, though?

Smoked foods

The wonderful thing about smoked foods is that the process infuses ingredients with a succulent depth of flavour. From cherrywood to juniper, we smoke our salmon using a range of flavours that are designed to delight. Pair smoked salmon with other high quality ingredients like sourdough, Exmoor caviar, asparagus, or clotted cream for straightforward and delicious results.

Setting the scene

Atmosphere is key for a romantic dinner at home. From ambient lighting to aesthetic table settings, the scene for your dinner has the power to elevate the evening to feel extra luxurious. So, co-ordinate your colour scheme, use your best crockery and cutlery, and add table lighting. A great technique to make your table attractive is to layer your plates to reflect the courses of your meal. This adds depth to the table setting and is also practical if your menu suits being served at the table.

Presentation

There’s no need for quenelles and an artistic drizzle of jus – no one is expecting Michelin starred presentation! However, your dish will look so much more impressive if it’s presented cleanly. Take our salmon gravlax, for example. With this pre-cut sashimi style ingredient, your dish will look as pretty as a picture without you needing to have any knife skills!

Sashimi

If the idea of presenting your food leaves you feeling under pressure, why not turn your meal into an activity? Our House of Sashimi range is ideal to use for Japanese inspired sushi and sashimi menus. Constructing and rolling your own ingredients is a great talking point and fun activity to try together.

Our starter selection

A light entree to your luxury romantic dinner at home, smoked salmon paté packs in all of the flavour so that your kitchen skills don’t have to! Cut sourdough into a round and toast to serve the paté, with a classic garnish of lemon and dill. For an even prettier presentation, fill a chicory leaf instead. Pair the paté with diced avocado to give the dish more complex textures and also a splash of colour!

Main course mastery

The highest quality smoked salmon doesn’t need a load of extra kitchen trickery. It’ll shine sliced or flaked on top of creamy linguine or lemon risotto. Griddled asparagus will always work well alongside these dishes. Since your salmon is of the highest quality, don’t scrimp on the pasta – buy fresh if the thought of mixing and rolling your own pasta leaves you terrified!

Celebratory cheese

Served the European way, you’d normally find a cheese course either before or instead of a desert. This is super simple to impress with. Fill delicate ramekins with chutneys, pickles and quince jelly. Present a basket of posh crackers too. Then include a sample of at least 5 cheeses. You’ll need a hard cheese, soft cheese, blue cheese, crumbly cheese and smoked cheese for the widest selection of flavour. Our smoked cheddar is the perfect addition here, and looks really striking. Just be careful you don’t spoil desert by overindulging!

 

Delight in desert

Keep desert light with a chocolate mousse. The great thing about this desert is that it can look as casual or as elegant as you choose simply through the presentation! Chocolate avocado mousse is a lovely twist that will enliven the tastebuds. Blend the flesh of 2 avocados with 3-4 tablespoons of honey, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 50g of cocoa powder. Then the presentation is what’s important: serve in sweet wine or shot glasses and top with chocolate shavings and raspberries. Pretty and delicious!

Flavour matching

When you’re constructing a menu, it’s often the flavour combinations that really make it special. No more is this true than in the wine that you choose. Most of us know that seafood is ideally accompanied by a white wine, but where do you start? We’ve done all the research for you and teamed up with the taste experts at Essex’s New Hall Wine Estate. This fine wine will not only impress by being some of the best that the UK offers, but by tasting absolutely perfect alongside our smoked salmon. You can even purchase the two together from our Wine Cellar section of the shop.

 

Whatever the occasion for which you’re making a luxury romantic dinner at home, smoked salmon is your go to ingredient. From light starters to the star of the show, this ingredient takes all of the pressure off and is guaranteed to impress. Our ranges offer a huge range of smokey flavours to suit your palate and mood. All that’s left is for you to set the scene and enjoy!