If you are anything like me, I’m pretty sure you are eagerly counting down the days until lockdown is eased and we can hug and hold our families and friends again, travel, share adventures and make memories together.
Even if you are lucky enough to have your loved one by your side, isolation can feel a little overwhelming at the best of times. It can be tricky to keep the spark of romance burning brightly when you are stuck at home, but I promise there are lots of really easy ways to make the most of this time together.
So if you are looking for some ideas and inspiration for inventive isolation date nights to help you cherish every moment, this might be the perfect read for you!
1. Table for Two 🥂🍾?
Remember that time when you had just met and used to pop out to favourite restaurant together – when you used to talk for so long you were always the last ones there?! Well why not shake-up those nights at home eating in front of the TV by planning a fabulous three course meal. You might like to do all the prep and cooking together; or if you are like me (my husband always says he definitely didn’t marry me for my cooking skills!), you could try a delivery from Mindful Chef or Gousto, with everything you need to cook up delicious, ambitious dishes easily at home.
Alternatively, why not opt for a takeaway or restaurant delivery? There are still lots of places offering this option at the moment and it’s wonderful to support a local business if you can. Take the time to dress up, set the scene with candles, flowers, a bottle of fizz and definitely include pudding! After all…love is sweet!
2. You’ve got Mail 💌!
Nothing says I love you quite like a handwritten letter, funny or thoughtful card or poem. Pop your message in the post (yep! even if you live together!), hide a note under a pillow or pin daily ‘reasons why I love you’ on the fridge for your loved one to find. However you do it, I guarantee it will raise a smile and brighten even the longest lockdown day. Have a look at Thortful.com or Boomf.com for some inspiration or get creative and design something special and unique yourself.
3. Memories are made of this 🍹📸
Time to get a little creative here! From ‘glamping’ in your front room with a pop-up tent and fairy-lights, to recreating your favourite beach holiday in your back garden, with homemade cocktails, a hammock and downloaded steel band music . The options are endless! It might also be the perfect opportunity to get out those photos, download and print the ones stored on your phones and look back on all the special moments you have shared together.
4. Virtual Date Night 🕌🏰🎡!
If you are both desperate to get out and about and longing for a bit of variety, how about trying a ‘virtual date’? Lots of places are offering AMAZING online experiences that really allow you to escape and explore via the wonderful worldwide web. Would you believe you can visit stunning landmarks from all around the world, including monuments, lakes, shipwrecks, aquariums, museums and galleries. Take a virtual theme park ride in Disneyland or even see a West End show, all without leaving your sofa with your loved one right by your side! For some of the best, have a look at Good Housekeeping’s most recent list.
5. Try your Hand at Sketching ✏️
Ok…so you might think you are the world’s worst artist, but if you and your other half love being creative, go get your pencils and paper and start sketching each other! You may not end up with a masterpiece, but it’s a fun way to spend an afternoon and you could end up with some very interesting artwork! Alternatively, how about joining in an online painting party (see Buyagift for some fabulous online art classes) or why not try a life drawing class with All The Young Nudes? You can join them on Monday nights for an online life-drawing club. No drawing experience is necessary and they promise excellent music to draw to, some chatter and a guaranteed two hours of tuning out from the world together.
6. A Sky full of ⭐️ S T A R S ⭐️
Stargazing is easy – you just have to look up! So wrap up warm, grab a blanket and some pillows, or snuggle up on a couple of sun-loungers, lay back and chill. It’s the perfect activity post BBQ with some hot-chocolate and marshmallows. On a clear night you can see all the planets out to and including Saturn (although they’re not all visible at the same time). Venus is by far the brightest planet, shining like a beacon in the east when it’s the ‘Morning Star’ before sunrise, or in the west when it’s the ‘Evening Star’ after sunset.
Keep a look out for satellites tracking slowly across the sky and amazing meteor showers. The ‘Lyrids’ are due now! (peak time 21st-22nd April with approx. 18 meteors an hour) and the ‘Eta Aquariids’ will be on the 5th-6th May with up to 35 an hour.
7. Get your Groove on 💃🕺!
Lockdown may just be the perfect time to get your groove on and practice that all important first wedding dance! If you are short of some inspiration for a song or dance moves, take a bit of time to have a look online. I promise it’s easy to find everything you could possibly need, from basic online wedding dance tutorials, to step-by-step shake your booty like Beyoncé videos! For example, have a look at First Dance UK - they are offering virtual wedding first dance lessons via Zoom.us and Skype.
If you want to warm up before you get started on your First Dance, why not join in one of the amazing online ‘kitchen discos’ that are happening at the moment? There are lots to choose from on social media. I totally love Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s weekly kitchen discos on Facebook – just get those sparkly sequins on and P A R T Y together!
8. Tea for Two 🍰☕️!
I’d be the first to admit that I totally love a cream tea. Tucking into mini pastries, sandwiches and yummy scones with jam and cream feels very, very indulgent! A lot of local cafés and bakers have now set up amazing delivery services so you can still treat yourselves with fabulous food. One of my absolute favourites is Yarlbury Café in Dorchester – their full afternoon cream teas for two are just £18 including free local delivery!
Alternatively, if you don’t fancy a cream tea, why not have a look at a ‘Cherry Picked Hampers’. They use the most amazing produce from Dorset including chocolate, beer and cider from local brewers, delectable cheeses, tasty chutneys, olives and snacks, all presented in traditional hampers. Just select your hamper, get that picnic rug out and some comfy cushions and make the most of the sunshine with the one you love.
9. Breakfast in Bed 🥐🥞
Sometimes the simple things in life are the most appreciated. When was the last time you shared a long leisurely breakfast in bed? Maybe for you that means coffee, juice and a pastry, or maybe it’s tea and a full English with the Sunday Times! Lockdown for many people has meant a complete change of pace in the mornings, so maybe now is the perfect time to set the alarm, throw open the curtains and let the sunshine in, and share breakfast in bed snuggled up together. I promise it’s a simply FAB way to start your day!
10. Blissful Spa…and R E L A X 🌸🌺!
Time to swap your favourite kickback clothes for fluffy dressing gowns and freshly laundered bath towels for a night of relaxing and refreshing your mind, body and soul together. It’s the perfect lockdown treat. Have a look at Not on The High Street for some amazing home spa kits that come complete with face and body treatments, massage oils and scented candles. If you have never seen your other half in a face mask, I guarantee it will be a fun-filled experience!
So that’s my Top Ten lovelies! I’m sure you can think of LOTS more, from baking a cake with your loved one, to board game nights and romantic walks together…
And on that note, I will just share my husband’s most recent rather unique idea of a romantic evening walk. There is definitely something to be said for holding hands with a 6ft. polar bear, whilst walking the dog! One thing is for certain, 'Lockdown Love' in our house is definitely not boring!
So, until next time, please stay safe and well and keep looking forward to brighter days ahead. If you are planning your wedding, keep positive and use this time to research all those little finishing touches and ideas for your special day. Choose your dance playlist, write your promises, vows and speeches, research that well deserved honeymoon! We will continue to keep working really hard behind the scenes, adding to our wonderful Wedding Library catalogue of beautiful bespoke wedding decorations and props (polar bear not included!), ready to celebrate with you when the time is right. Pop on over to our Facebook page or follow us on Instagram too @theweddinglibrarydorset to keep in touch...