Love being indoors...

So, it’s Valentine’s Day soon, and the pressure is on. Celebrating this day dedicated to love is going to have to be lower key than usual, but don’t let it stop you pulling out all the stops.

 

Start the day with the kind of shower you have when going somewhere special. Layer on the scent and dress in something that you feel comfortable in, some drawstring flannels with a long sleeve t-shirt and waistcoat? Sliders if you’re just in the house will do.

 

Allow your partner time to wake up slowly while you make breakfast. Take it to them in bed. There’s nothing quite like it. Boiled eggs with written messages on are as welcome as avo toast and ruby grapefruit juice. A card is important and this here writer is not a fan of cut roses, but don’t let me influence you. But a pot that will give them roses perpetually, now you’re talking. Or a rose gin, or vodka … or rosé wine. I’ll move on.

Spending another day at home and making it special, isn’t that hard. There are so many ways to entertain yourselves that you might even make this a normal weekend ritual.

Airbnb Experiences has a ton of ideas to keep you busy / giggle / learning. Try a cooking class from a far flung country or one closer to home to recreate a favourite dish, a guided virtual tour of a place you plan to visit, a workshop on – well, anything – from painting a llama to keeping bees.

You can also have an online dance class, sure there’s tango and salsa and all the sultry stuff, but have a go at K Pop (highly recommended) to lose any inhibitions.

Work yourself up an appetite and settle in to deep and meaningful conversation or a soppy movie and plan a tasty supper that you can eat on the sofa. This vegan one from BBC Good Food is worth a try even for us committed meateaters

Ingredients

  • 2 small aubergines, halved
  • vegetable oil, for roasting and frying
  • 50g brown miso
  • 100g giant couscous
  • 1 red chilli, thinly sliced
  • ½ small pack coriander, leaves chopped

Method

Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. With a sharp knife, criss-cross the flesh of the aubergines in a diagonal pattern, then place on a baking tray. Brush the flesh with 1 tbsp vegetable oil.

Mix the miso with 25ml water to make a thick paste. Spread the paste over the aubergines, then cover the tray with foil and roast in the centre of the oven for 30 mins.

Remove the foil and roast the aubergines for a further 15-20 mins, depending on their size, until tender.

Meanwhile, bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil and heat ½ tbsp vegetable oil over a medium-high heat in a frying pan. Add the couscous to the frying pan, toast for 2 mins until golden brown, then tip into the pan of boiling water and cook for 8-10 mins until tender (or following pack instructions). Drain well. Serve the aubergines with the couscous, topped with the chilli and a scattering of coriander leaves.

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