Christmas and new year have been and gone, which means that Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. Personally, I think it’s good to do something a little out of the ordinary on this day; since everyone finds different things romantic, it makes sense to break the mould and do whatever you want to do. That said, I think it’s also nice to combine this with a cosy night at home – but this doesn’t have to follow the same old pattern either.

Every year, my partner and I pick something we want to do together – say go for a fancy meal, visit a new place or spend a day at a theme park – and we do this either before or after the big day itself. This way, you get to avoid the usual Valentine’s crowds. On February 14th, we have a lazy night in.

If you do decide to have an evening at home but want to do something a bit different, I suggest making use of your summer house. It might sound a bit odd at first, but summer houses can be fantastic for romantic evenings Рlet me explain how.

Before we begin, let me stress that making your summer house perfect for Valentine’s Day is all in the decoration. Otherwise, you’re just sitting in the garden when it’s chilly, really, aren’t you? So, if you’re going to use the summer house, go all out when it comes to transforming it. Candles are a must (though obviously you do need to be extremely careful with these), but you can also use pretty fairy lights to create the right atmosphere.

Of course, February isn’t exactly the warmest month of the year, so make sure you have a portable heater on hand, as well as lots of cushions and blankets – if these can be Valentine’s-themed, so much the better! You could also have some roses strewn about, but maybe pick your partner’s favourite flowers to make it a bit more personal.

I also think you should pay attention to the garden. Hang fairy lights in the trees, and mark out the path to the summer house with lanterns or rose petals (I might be being a bit optimistic, there – the wind may blow any blooms away, but you can see what the weather’s like on the day!).

Scenario 1: the romantic meal
Now let’s think about what you can do. First of all, an (appropriately decorated) summer house can be great for a romantic meal – whatever that might mean to you. You could surprise your partner with their favourite dish, cook something new together or even be ultra-lazy and get a decadent takeaway – the choice is yours! Whatever you decide, don’t forget the champagne.

Scenario 2: the hidden presents
Another fun idea is to use the summer house as a place to surprise your partner with their presents. Again, it’ll only work well if you decorate, so keep that in mind when you’re planning! As well as having the main presents here, it’s nice to add a few about the room – perhaps some heart-shaped chocolates that can double-up as decoration, for instance.

Scenario 3: the staging area
Finally, you could also use the summer house as a staging area before you go out for the evening. Champagne in candlelight with cosy cushions and pretty decorations all around is bound to start your evening off on the right foot. You can also plan to have some treats here before you go out, such as chocolates or canapes – just try to resist overindulging if you’re going out for dinner afterwards.