It’s cold out, but staying in doesn’t have to mean a mundane evening in front of the tube.
While summer offers the opportunity to eat out on the veranda, under the apple trees or next to the pool, sitting hearthside is winter’s antidote to the long and cold evenings that keep us indoors. One thing I love about setting the table in front of the fire is that it is instantly romantic, no matter the day of the week or whether or not it is Cupid’s holiday. By moving the venue from the dining room to the unexpected spot, you can quickly and easily give your dinner a sophisticated air. It’s the perfect place to dip and munch fondue or savor something more sophisticated like lamb medallions in red wine sauce.
Don’t be deterred if it’s not possible or convenient to move a table in front of the fire. I recently converted a hassock into a table by using a piece of plywood on top. First, I covered the cushion with a towel to protect the upholstery, and then set the plywood on it. (Here it is a good idea to have rounded edges on the plywood to avoid sharp corners.) I then covered the surface with a beautiful Austrian tablecloth and created a lovely tablescape complete with a small centerpiece of fragrant roses framed by candlesticks.If you really want to set the tone and let your mate know that there’s a special evening in store, send him an invitation to dinner by the fire. Plan ahead and have the invite delivered to his work, or be more impromptu and leave a love note in a prominent spot he’ll see right as he walks through the door. This simple gesture is sure to help create an evening in that won’t soon be forgotten.