Al Fresco, With Love 3

A Valentine’s Day Winter Picnic

Valentine’s Day – the most romantic day of the year.  According to a CNN poll, an average of $130.97 is spent per person on this national day of love.  More than 50 percent of people buy red roses, the traditional Valentine’s flower. Around $1.6 billion is spent on candy, $1.9 billion on flowers, and a staggering $4.4 billion is spent on diamonds, gold, and silver jewelry.  Hallmark produces around 1,400 varieties of Valentine’s Day cards and 151 million cards will be given on that day.

The magic is in the delivery of these flowers, candy, jewelry and cards.  What better and more unique way is there to celebrate your love than a winter picnic?

Begin with the location. Pick a local park with picnic tables or grassy areas.  Find a spot near a body of water, if possible. The quiet, soothing sounds will be a perfect backdrop to the romantic meal. Murphey Candler Park in Brookhaven has numerous large, grassy areas as well as shaded picnic tables, all complemented by the large, peaceful lake.

Set the scene.  A large, soft blanket is key. Add some candles, flowers, and some large pillows to make dining more comfortable and intimate. Don’t use paper plates and plastic utensils – real plates and silverware transform a casual picnic into a special dinner.

Make your main dish special. Your main dish should be a favorite food or from a favorite restaurant, whether it be upscale or casual. 
 Invoking a first date or an engagement meal is a good way to go. There Brookhaven suggests their famous There Burger with white cheddar, applewood smoked bacon, caramelized onions and golden raisin jam. Splurge and get two sides to share, such as the garlic parmesan rosemary fries and roasted brussels with house-smoked ham.

Don’t forget dessert. A rustic main dish pairs nicely with an upscale, festive dessert, and Davio’s at Phipps Plaza recommends the decadent warm chocolate cake, paired with cherries, vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce. The rich dark chocolate makes for a special Valentine’s dessert, and the compact size makes it a perfect dessert for outdoor dining. However, make sure to present it with an air of style because after all, we eat with our eyes first.

Valentine’s Day is all about spending time with the one you love, so impress them this year by enjoying some of BuckHaven’s finest restaurants, al fresco, in one of the city’s many amazing parks.

Rumson Gifts & Home Furnishings

458 East Paces Ferry Road in Buckhead

Busatti Italian Linens and Fabric
Donna di Cuori short runner, 100% linen $75; 
Zodiaco napkins, 60% linen 40% cotton, hemstitch $24; 
Hand finished edgings $38-$45
Zodiaco hand fringed towel, 60% linen 40% cotton $50