In normal times, celebrating Valentine’s Day is relatively simple - just book a table at a nice restaurant, grab some flowers and a card and you’re good to go.
Yet, due to the coronavirus pandemic, couples are facing the first 14 February where they’ve not been able to go out to show their appreciation for their other half.
Cinemas, cafes, bars, bowling - it’s all shut during the latest Covid-19 lockdown.
With these classic Valentine’s Day activities off the cards, the only possible way to mark the occasion is by planning something in, or close to, the house.
Have no fear, as we’ve got you covered - here’s 10 romantic-yet-simple lockdown ideas that you can plan from the comfort of your own home.
Valentine’s Day lockdown ideas
We’ve all had enough of making banana bread, but why not look out the baking equipment especially for Valentine’s Day?
Making brownies, crispy cakes, tray bakes or even cookies is maybe not traditionally romantic, but it’s a fun 14 February activity that will keep you both busy inside.
If you have a more competitive nature, spice up the baking by making a batch of something each - then taste test to determine the winner.
A plus of baking means you have plenty of snacks to accompany a movie later on.
Classic date night
The restaurants are closed and the bars are shut - but why not bring your favourite eat out spot home to you?
Dress up like you’d be going on an actual date night, decorate the table (fairy lights and candles are always a good idea) and make sure you’ve got a bottle of prosecco to pop before sitting down to dine like royalty.
Choose a starter, main and dessert that you both love and alternate between who makes what so there’s not one person doing the cooking.
Wine or cocktail tasting
If you’re particularly missing your local bar this Valentine’s, why not organise a wine or cocktail tasting for two - depending on what drink you both prefer.
If you go with wine, you could pick up an assortment of mini bottles at the supermarket before pouring them in multiple glasses for a fancy taste test.
Or, if you fancy some cocktails, pick up the ingredients you need to make your classic espresso martinis, strawberry daiquiris and mojitos and get making to see who can produce the best-looking drink.
Make sure to pick up some snacks to go along with the tasting.
In a reversal of the date night at home, why not make your pièce de résistance in the morning?
You can’t go wrong with making breakfast for your better half while they are still in bed.
Pick up their favourite breakfast options - think pancakes, poached eggs and avocado or a full fry up - and bring it to them hot and fresh when they wake up.
Or, you can organise the breakfast table downstairs, leaving them a note telling them to come down at a time when you’re ready.
We’ve had walks coming out our ears this lockdown, as going outside for some fresh air is just about the only thing you can do for entertainment at the moment.
Still, a jaunt outside can be quite romantic if the right spot is picked - and if it’s not pouring down.
Choose a local route that you can easily get to and don’t tell your partner where you’re going for added suspense.
If you time it right, you might even catch the sunset.
Home cinema night
Everyone’s been binge-watching Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+ at the moment, but a movie night never really does get old.
To make your Valentine’s Day film more like a proper cinema experience, be sure to stock up on snacks - pick and mix, crisps, nachos and popcorn will suffice - and arrange the cushions, sofa and blankets so you can snuggle in to watch something.
If you find it difficult to decide what to watch, make a shortlist by writing down new releases on pieces of paper - and get your other half to pick it out of a bowl.
Treasure hunts may be cheesy, but when there’s little else to do this could be a sure-fire way to make your partner feel loved on Valentine’s Day.
Buy small gifts and chocolates and hide them about the house, giving your other half a clue that will lead them to the hiding places of each.
If they’re not well hidden, it could be even funnier.
If you’ve been together a while, you’ll be sure to have many happy memories as a couple and sometimes it’s easy to forget about the good times.
Upload some of your favourite pictures and videos of you both to a slideshow so you can reminisce about pre-Covid times - and plan for future adventures.
If you’re really tech-savvy, you could even pair the slideshow with some of your partner’s favourite songs.
A classic Valentine’s Day activity is a spa day, and it’s easier than you think to plan one at home.
Pick up some sheet masks, snacks and magazines for your partner to pamper themselves - and if you think your massage skills are good, why not put them to the test?
It’s a minimal-effort activity which will look like you’ve put a lot of thought into it.
Restaurant at home
Finally, if you just can’t forget about the meal that you would usually be enjoying at some fancy restaurant, you can order to dine-in.
Many places have started at-home delivery services where you can order a restaurant standard meal, pre-prepared that only needs to be heated up at home, or fresh ingredients to make your own.
The best part is that you don’t need a spend a fortune - while there are posher places offering the services, there are many others that make meal kits with instructions that can be easily made up in no time.
If you google ‘restaurant at home’ then plenty of options will come up in your area.