Couples at a Valentine's Day Party
Jean Allsopp

Fireside Dining

Charter a romantic Valentine’s Day rendezvous for a few close friends, or just the two of you. Celebrate with a special menu featuring newly affordable lobster as the mainstay, and set your course for an evening of merriment and affections by the warmth of a toasty fire.

Handmade invitations
Jean Allsopp

A Personal Invite

Handmade invitations will entice dinner guests and create great excitement and anticipation for the evening ahead. Use the wide assortment of papers found at stationers or crafts and hobby shops. The invitations can be handwritten or computer generated. Try using sealing wax in the shape of a heart, and hand-deliver to guests’ mailboxes.

Chocolate martinis
Jean Allsopp

Martini Madness

Valentines and chocolate are almost synonymous. From the beginning of the evening to the end, a taste of delicious chocolate will be certain to please.

Chocolate martinis
Jean Allsopp

A Warm Welcome

Greet guests with a cozy fireside dinner, inviting all to linger long past the completion of the meal.

Faux coral limbs wrapped with rustic rope around a tall spray of votive candles give just enough nautical flare without interfering with table talk. Use a plant stand to make a wispy floral design of coral-colored roses and sweet-smelling eucalyptus.

Ecru-and-red dish towels imprinted with lobsters hang on the back of each guest’s chair to present a dressier approach to the traditional plastic lobster bib.

Hostess tip: Be inventive when you share your home with friends; it’s much more personal than dining in a restaurant and will bring friends closer together in a more comfortable environment.

Coral centerpiece
Jean Allsopp

Portable Setting

Create an intimate setting by bringing guests to your living room or study.

This portable dining table can seat up to eight. To make the tabletop, use a 48-inch-square, precut piece of plywood found at home supply stores, and cover it with felt using a staple gun. Use a smaller pedestal table or card table underneath for support.

Cover the table with heavy craft paper to allow for easy cleanup. To fit the 48-inch table, simply glue together two 5-foot pieces of 30-inch paper. Lay it over a pressed, white linen tablecloth, and crease the surrounding edges tightly for a sophisticated bistro look.

Hostess tip: Portable tabletops and pretty folding chairs can store easily and be moved around the house to create an instant dining area anytime, anywhere. Square tops allow hosts to increase table length to suit the number of guests.

Couples' placesettings
Jean Allsopp

Perfect for Couples

Classic and clean, create a table design that is natural and beautiful, yet does not compete with the elegant presentation of the food.

These oversize square plates are the perfect backdrop for our menu. Use a mixture of stemware to bring warmth to your table. Handmade napkin rings (made of twine, shells, and coral) and white polka-dot napkins tie up the nautical theme.

Hostess tip: Seat couples very close to each other to encourage romance! To mark each place in a most personal way, frame a "couple" photo of your guests and place it in the middle of the two settings. Here, an inexpensive set of coasters with a photo window and a stand are used.

Boiled lobster dinner
Jean Allsopp

Dinner Menu

Succulent and sweet, there is no greater delight than a lobster dinner. Keep the menu simple. This rich seafood delicacy could almost stand alone.

Treat your friends to a feast of fresh Maine lobsters. Shipped for overnight delivery, they can arrive in your kitchen live from New England. Prices for lobsters have never been lower, making this indulgence a little more attainable.

Valentine’s Dinner Menu

FedExed box of fresh lobsters
Jean Allsopp

Lobster 101

Many think enjoying fresh lobsters is reserved for fancy and expensive restaurants. Think again! Home delivery is fast and very reasonably priced. The shipment comes with full cooking instructions and helpful hints. Our lobsters were shipped by Captain Tim Handrigan, The Lobster Guy.

Serving whole lobsters is fun but messy. Learn the cracking and picking techniques, and help your guests with the process.

Two tools are very important for eating lobster -- the cracker and the picker. And, there also needs to be plenty of drawn butter. Special butter warmers have tea lights to keep the heat up and provide a little extra glow to the setting.

Seafood Serving Accessories and Tools
$3 to $16
Available at World Market

Wine table
Jean Allsopp

Perfect Wine Pairings

Choosing a fine bottle wine is most important. Here are perfect selections (some frugal and some not) to complement the meal and dining experience.

Valentine's Wine Selection
2007 Benton-Lane Willamette Valley Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley, Oregon
Benton-Lane Winery

2007 Calera Chardonnay Central Coast, California
Calera Wines

2007 Treana Central Coast 53% Viognier and 47% Marsanne, California

2006 Rully Vieelles Vignes White Burgundy, France
Vineyard Brands

Chocolate truffles and raspberry
Jean Allsopp

Lots of Chocolate

A setting of homemade chocolate truffles with a touch of raspberries and fresh mint makes a lovely display in your dining setup. Simply allow guests to help themselves to a final after-dinner bite with a glass of wine, and throw another log on the fire.

Hostess tip: A "drinking table" in the living room is an old English custom and keeps dinner wines close at hand. Arrange an attractive display on a table or cart near shelves, and use the space to showcase the wines for the evening.

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