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Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse in the middle of the longwinter months to enjoy a beautiful, romantic evening with theperson you love. If you’re trying to plan a soft evening filledwith good food, soft lights and sensuous scents, here are some tipsto help you pull it off:

* Restaurants are extremely popular for couples on Valentine’sDay, but if you’re more interested in the peaceful quiet of yourown home, make sure you set the ambiance for a night of romance.Red is the color of the holiday, so look for dishes, wine orchampagne glasses, table linens or red roses to bring out theromantic mood for the evening. Make sure you match your red colorsand use white – napkins, a table cloth overlay, place cards or evendishes – to help accent the bold reds.

* Turn on the candles and music. Light every candle you own anduse them to accentuate the walkway up to the house and illuminatethe dining area. Choose music that has special meaning to the twoof you as a couple, and have enough songs preloaded for severalhours so you won’t have to get up in the middle of dinner to changea CD or program additional music.

* Valentine’s Day givesyou the opportunity to romantically lure your Valentine’s heartinto your pocket with your excellent culinary skills. Make sure themeal you plan has plenty of aphrodisiacs – chocolate, oysters,honey and strawberries to name a few – which you can easily servewith a bubbling glass of champagne.

* In addition to champagne, decorate your menu with specialdrinks to celebrate the holiday. You can dazzle your valentine withyour drink creativity, show off your ability to perfectly blendliquor with that fabulous dinner you made and enhance the romanticambiance you are attempting to achieve.

* You can’t strike out with fresh flowers, so use them to youradvantage this Valentine’s Day. Websites like can help you withtable decorations and bouquets to make the setting perfect forromance. But don’t forget to welcome your sweetheart at the doorwith an armful of beautiful-smelling flowers to start the eveningoff on the right foot.

No matter if you’ve been married for many years, or are juststarting a relationship, Valentine’s Day gives you the perfectexcuse to have a good time with your special someone. Foradditional ideas on planning the perfect dinner for two,