Dinner isn’t always the perfect time to have a romantic date – you can do it over lunch too! In today’s blog, we’ll show you three great ideas on how to plan the perfect romantic lunch date for that special someone 😉 .
Picnic dates are a classy, romantic and affordable way to have a lunch date and it’s an idea which Lisa & Scott have enjoyed many times over the course of their relationship.
Location, location, location.
If you live in a city, you can look for quiet areas such as a building’s roof deck and watch the busy skyline with your partner while eating your lunch. But we usually look for a very scenic place such as by the beach or on top of a hill.
This date idea will work very well if you two of you have been a bit stressed out. The fresh air, sunshine and happy atmosphere will chase those worries away!
For picnics, pick items that aren’t too messy ( i.e. can be ruined upon transport). Finger foods and carbs will do! We recommend bringing cheese and crackers/bread, some fruit, deli-style meats, some sweets and drinks. These are tasty enough and also very easy to prepare – perfect for a picnic date!
For the cheese, Lisa and I recommend Époisses de Bourgogne, Comté and Camembert. Choose any of these two (you can do three but it’s a bit much). We love it because these are all very tasty and creamy.
Incorporate something healthy into your picnic lunch date by bringing fruits for you and your partner to munch on. We recommend blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries as these are all delicious! You can also bring apples.
Since this is a one-of-a-kind date, we recommend staying away from the usual meats that you get such as chicken and the usual pork slices. Make it more special by opting to bring Prosciutto, salami, or Calabrese meat.
Prosciutto already tastes good on its own but you can also pair it with the cheeses or eat it with slices of melon. Salami’s great too.
Veggies and Dip
Carrot/celery sticks or even capsicum (cut into strips) are great options for picnics. You can dip it in the cheese or even bring hummus/french onion dip for a bit more flavour.
There are a lot of varieties of chocolates you can choose from. But for Lisa and I, we highly recommend Lindt chocolates. They have every type of chocolate in their line – white, dark, with almonds, etc – name it and they have it!
Since this is just a lunch date, a white wine will do. In particular, we recommend Tyrrells which is a very well-known Australian brand (you’ll find some options here https://www.wine-searcher.com/find/tyrrells).
Pick something under $20 (Verdelho for something more sweet, Chardonnay for someting more dry/acidic) and you’ll be set 🙂 .
Given that this is a picnic date, you’ll need utensils such as knives, forks, plates, and cups. Don’t forget to bring a bottle of water (even if you have your drinks already!), a picnic rug, and a pillow so you and your partner can cuddle up after lunch.
If you’re in an established relationship, you can make the date more special by asking someone to come and serenade you and your partner with an acoustic guitar. Even better if you ask them to play your partner’s favourite song. (Note: for the first date, however, this might be a bit much!)
If it’s rainy outdoors or if you feel like staying in, we can bring date day indoors with a special home cooked lunch for two!
Baked Bread with a circle of melted cheese
This is one of the appetizer ideas that Lisa and I loved to do. For this, you will just need to bake a small wheel of brie with a loaf of bread (preferably round!) until it’s all gooey and looks yummy to taste. You can add thyme and salt to taste and that’s it. It’s pretty simple but we can assure you that it’s very tasty.
For this appetizer dish, you will just need a round loaf of Russian black bread, a small wheel of cheese, sprigs of thyme, and salt. You can get all of this for just under $10!
For vegans: Portobello mushroom stir-fry
This portobello mushroom is very easy to prepare and it will only take about 30 minutes to do so. Its flavour can be attributed to the red bell pepper (aside from the mushroom itself) and broccolini. For this dish, you’ll just need garlic, ginger, maple syrup, red pepper flake, tamari, sesame oil, lime juice, and water for the marinade. As for the vegetables, you’ll need at least 2 portobello mushrooms, broccolini, green onion, and red bell pepper. This dish costs about $15 to $20.
Keto idea: Thai beef salad
This keto-friendly appetizer is really easy to prepare (it only takes 15 minutes!). You will need lemongrass paste, gold sweetener, chilli flakes, half a lime, olive and sesame oil, gluten-free fish sauce, red chili (this gives the Thai vibes), and sirloin. For the salad, you will need salt and pepper to taste, baby spinach leaves, cucumber, red onions, mint, and coriander leaves.
The prep time for this dish is about 10 minutes and its cooking time is 5 minutes. Upon serving, we recommend adding roughly chopped almonds or peanuts! We love that this dish is very easy to make as you can just prep all the ingredients and toss them around. This healthy beef salad costs about $20 to make.
Slow-cooker corned beef and cabbage
You or your partner might be used to the canned – not to mention dry – corned beef. This will definitely make things a lot more special. You do need to put in some extra effort into placing the beef on a slow-cooker all day as this will be the secret to your dish’s success. Cooking time for this is approximately 9 hours but it’s really easy to prepare (only take you 15 minutes).
For this meal, you’re going to need carrots, baby red potatoes, onion, water, beef brisket with spice packet, beer (yes, it’s also one of the “secret” ingredients), and cabbage. This dish costs about $30 to $40 to make. We also suggest serving this with a piece of soda bread to make the meal even more satisfying.
Vegan idea: Breaded, fried, softy spiced tofu
Tofu’s are severely underrated but for vegans but it’s one of the best ingredients to fry. Make sure that you fry the tofu well enough to get that crusty tofu texture. You can also serve it with a relish or plain yoghurt mixed with eggplant as its dip.
For this recipe, you’ll need extra-firm tofu (better as it’s going to be fried), vegetable broth, vegetable oil, all-purpose flour, nutritional yeast, salt, ground black pepper, sage, and cayenne pepper. The prep and cook time for this will be 15 minutes each; rounding to a total of 30 minutes.
Keto idea: Honey soy-glazed salmon
This keto-friendly dish will take you quite some time prepping because you have to marinate it for 30 minutes. But after that, you’ll just need to fry up the salmon and you are all good to go. It’s a fairly simple mix of garlic, honey, soy sauce, and ginger coats but it’s extremely tasty!
For this recipe, you’ll need skinless salmon and olive oil. To make the honey soy marinade, you’ll need garlic, ginger, red pepper, olive oil, soy sauce (we recommend using the less sodium variant), and honey. To make this dish even more special, you can serve the salmon with sauce and veggies, broccoli to be exact, as a side dish! This dish costs about $20 to $30.
Classic chocolate mousse
This is a go-to classic dessert idea that you can never go wrong about. It’s also perfect if your partner absolutely loves to eat chocolate mousse (like Scott).
If you’re not exactly the best at baking (…like Scott), this is a fairly easy recipe that you can follow. You won’t even need to make this in an oven. You just have to place the chocolate and other wet ingredients in barely simmering water and stir until it’s melted and glossy. So, not exactly bad for someone who wants to whip off a sumptuous dessert for their partner!
For this particular recipe, you will need dark chocolate, large eggs, caster sugar, and whipped cream (optional). This will cost about $10 to $20 and it will take around 20 to 30 minutes to prepare.
Vegan idea: Fruit salad
Doubt no more because fruit salads are the best go-to dessert for most vegans. Aside from these are extremely healthy, you can also choose variations depending on what your partner likes. For example, if your partner loves strawberries..then get strawberries and some other in-season fruits!
Slice the ingredients into small pieces and mix them all together! This will cost about $10 to $15 and will only take 10 minutes to prepare.
Keto idea: Chocolate (sugar-free) covered strawberries
Is your partner on a keto diet but you know they also love eating chocolate, as well? If that’s the case then chocolate-covered strawberries are the way to go! Just make sure that the chocolate is sugar-free for it to be keto-friendly.
For this recipe, you’ll need sugar-free chocolate chips, coconut oil, and strawberries. You can also add unsweetened coconut or chopped nuts. This is very easy to do but you have to wait for at least 10 minutes after dipping the strawberry in the chocolate mixture for it to harden.
Adding coconut oil will also make the melted chocolate a bit smoother making it so much easier for you to dip the strawberries in. This costs about $10 to $20 and takes less than 15 minutes to prepare. So easy for a yummy treat!
About once or twice a month, Scott will take Lisa to lunch for their Saturday date day (coupled with other ideas of course). It’s a great way to kick back and enjoy something tasty before getting ready to party on a Saturday night!
Location, location, location
Look around your area and see which restaurants have a view. Call up and ask if it’s possible to sit at the spot with a view since it’s a date. Most restaurants will be willing to grant this request – all you have to do is ask!
At the very least, a view of the city skyline or the outdoors is a good idea. But if you really want to take things up a notch, it’s better to choose restaurants that have a beach or mountain view. Now, that’s a date to remember! Plus, it takes things a little bit more intimate than usual. The view can also serve as a great background for your photos together!
Indoors or Outdoors?
For the venue, if the weather permits and it’s a sunny day outside, we highly recommend that you eat outdoors! If the weather is good, call ahead and ask if the restaurant offers al fresco dining.
This works particularly well with French and Italian food. Imagine the scenario: lunch at a hidden cafe with your special someone on a cobblestone street, on a table with a white cloth and a glass of wine – how European!
There are a lot of cuisines that you can try for your date (or you could also ask your partner what cuisine they’d like to try, if they say ‘I don’t know’ then you can pick something).
If you’re running out of ideas, we suggest eating French, Italian, or Japanese food. These are not too heavy to eat so you can still enjoy trying out a variety of foods without feeling too full. After all, steak can be a bit much, you can’t have Chinese without ordering the whole banquet, and whilst we love (so so much) Vietnamese rolls, it’s not what normally what we’d picture eating on a romantic date!
We have to warn you, though – not everyone loves Japanese food. Scott didn’t when he first met Lisa and it took him a few years to get used to it. So it’s definitely a new bonding experience to get to try new cuisines with each other. Who knows, it might actually be your next favorite cuisine to eat?
The average tip is 15 to 20% of the total bill. If the servers did a really amazing service, then it’s at 25 to 30%. Gentleman, listen up! You MUST tip on a date. If the service was bad…you’ll get over it. Those who don’t tip get dumped. Trust us!
To sum it up
We hope our ideas have helped you plan a fantastic lunch date for that special someone! If you’re looking for some great ideas to help you burn off all those lunch calories, how about an active date? We wrote a blog on this which you can find right here!