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How to nail Valentine’s Day date night at home

Don't fancy fighting the coupled-up crowds for a night out? We hear ya. Here's the next best thing: bar-quality drinks, perfect ambience, and a whole lotta local love.

THE VIBE

Whether you’re in or out, a good date night always starts with atmosphere – and we’ll be setting the mood at home by turning down the lights and lighting a candle from Rugby-based fragrance gurus Twinings’ new Amour collection. Released for V-day, this three-wick candle has a feminine, soft, spicy scent with fruits and florals, and will last all night (wink wink) and then some.

THE DRINK

If gin be the food of love, play on (or, erm, something like that!). Our tipple of choice is a bottle from Muddy Award-winning independent producer Warwickshire Gin Company. Go for the Leamington on Parade Dry Gin (think hints of Ceylon tea, cinnamon and hibiscus) with an aromatic tonic and fresh blackberries and raspberries if you want to make it fancy. Or, if your tastes are a little sweeter, the Philosophers Daughter Dry Gin is a dead cert served with elderflower tonic and a slice of Pink Lady Apple. (Btw, if you hotfoot it and order your gin before the big day you get free boozy choccies – there’s one of your gifts sorted).

THE FOOD

Just because you’re at home, that doesn’t mean you can’t have restaurant quality grub. Local butchers Aubrey Allen have put in most of the legwork with their indulgent three-course Valentine’s Day meal boxes (our pick is vintage cheddar soufflé, beef wellington with dauphinoise potatoes and chocolate fondant for pud) – all you have to do is follow the cooking instructions and enjoy. It’s a bit of a steal too at just £25 per person.

THE LOOK

Well, it is Valentine’s Day! We’re coveting this slinky scarlet set from Warks-based Lottie Loves Luxe with the matching kimono. Or, if you’re looking for something scantier – try one of these lingerie sets instead.

THE ENTERTAINMENT

As well as brilliant shows at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon (Much Ado About Nothing is showing until 12 March if you fancy a date night out), subscribers, members or patrons can also get access to exclusive events including an online Valentine’s Day screening of the 1963 production of As You Like It. Snuggle on the sofa, open the chocolates and get cosy with this timeless performance.

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