When you’re in love, it’s easy to lose track of time. And you don’t need just a single day to demonstrate how much they mean to you. Look, we’ve heard all the excuses before, but this year, you can avoid having to defend yourself and instead, delight and surprise your loved one with these last minute Valentine’s ideas.

It may be too late in the day to book their favourite restaurant, or spell out their name in roses on the lawn, but there’s still plenty of time to treat them to a romantic Valentine’s night in. We’ll show you some delicious and quick Valentine’s meals, provide some last minute Valentine’s gift ideas and suggest some other charming gestures which will help you avoid any conflict on Cupid’s day.

Fill the Lounge with Love: Plan a Last Minute Valentine’s Night In

No crowds, no inflated prices, just the two of you in your own little love nest. Valentine’s day is about appreciating time with each other, and there’s no better setting for quality time than in the house you’ve made your home. But this is not a cop out! You will need to go to a spot of last minute effort to make them feel special. Here are a few things you can do:

Subtle lighting: it’s amazing how a few candles can set a romantic tone. You don’t need to create a potential fire hazard, just a few strategically placed lights around the room to make sure that the spot light falls on you both and nothing else. These are easy to pick up on your way home from work, you may even have a few left over from Christmas.

Bring out the memories: thanks to social media, there’s a good chance that many of your favourite pictures together are all in one convenient place. Print off your favourites or bring out the family album – this is especially poignant if your excuse was going to be that your love isn’t about one day, prove it with some pictures of your favourite times over the years. You don’t need to invest in expensive frames or anything like that, print them off and scatter them around the room, tape them to the front door before they get home or sit and look through the album together by candle light.

Indoor picnic: the traditional Valentine’s supper is usually at the table, but a table puts a barrier between you both. Instead, increase the intimacy by throwing a blanket or your duvet on the lounge floor and enjoy an indoor picnic. If the weather is playing ball, you could even enjoy the dining part of the evening out on the lawn looking up at the stars, this is February we’re talking mind you…

Offer a massage: you don’t need to invest in expensive oils or a home visit from a trained professional. Do some quick research online and let your partner unwind with a neck and shoulder rub – intimate and caring, they’ll love you for it. If you’re feeling a bit self conscious, you can always just run them a nice bath.

Dance on the carpet: after dinner or before, move the sofas back, clear a space (it doesn’t have to be huge, the closer you have to get the better) put on a spot of Barry White or their favourite track and gently sway the evening away.

Watch a film: it doesn’t necessarily have to be Love Actually, you could even watch the movie you first saw together, or a mutual favourite. This is handy for a last minute option as you can probably find the movie you want on a streaming service rather than having to go and pick up the DVD.

Dinner for Two That’s Ready in Ten: Quick Valentine’s Meals

What’s that old saying, the quickest way to the heart is through the stomach? Take the haste in this statement more literally by whipping up a tasty meal in minutes that you can enjoy down on the floor. Alternatively, if you’ve got more time, explore these other Valentine’s meals that are sure to impress.

Couples Carbonara: any pasta dish makes for a delicious quick meal that is ideal to share together from the same bowl – if you choose spaghetti, you could even recreate the famous Lady & The Tramp scene if you like! You can pick up a ready made pasta sauce from your local convenience store for a simple pour over once your pasta is boiled, but this Carbonara recipe is ready in just ten minutes.

You’ll need one crushed garlic clove, 150ml of double cream, two eggs and some pre-grated parmesan cheese. Soften your garlic in a pan with some butter, then add to a bowl with the other ingredients and mix well. Once your pasta is ready, drain and return to the pan and pour your sauce over. Leave on the heat for a few minutes until it thickens and serve with a few sprinkles of chives.

Seductive Steak and Stilton: this dish has all the colours of Valentine’s Day and is really quick to prepare. You’ll need two nice sized sirloin steaks, 50g of stilton cheese, a bunch of red grapes, a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette dressing and two spring onions.

Toss your crumbled cheese, 8-10 halved red grapes and diced onions. Grill your steak to your liking (we’d recommend rare for this dish, predominantly for the colour, but it’s up to you), slice thinly and lay on a plate, topping with your cheese and grape mixture. Drizzle with vinaigrette and serve.

Me, You and Fondue: this is a great sharer that’s easy to make and delicious! Your toughest choice will be deciding what to dip – crusty bread, cooked sliced sausage, apple slices – the choice is yours.

In a large saucepan, heat ½ tsp of Dijon mustard, 340ml of light beer, ½ tsp of Worcester sauce, a crushed garlic clove and 500g of grated cheddar cheese – whisking constantly. Once thick and gooey, add to a large bowl and serve with your choice of dippers.

Hazelnut Heart Sandwiches: for afters, there’s plenty of choice – ice cream from the tub, feed each other fruit, or pick up their favourite cake. But for maximum praise, that is a perfect fit with the picnic theme, try these sweet and simple Hazelnut Heart Sandwiches.

Take four slices of white bread – brioche is even better but don’t worry if time is tight! Thickly spread two slices with hazelnut spread, and then add the other pieces on top to make sandwiches. In a bowl, whisk a large egg with 75ml of whole milk, a tsp of vanilla extract and a tbsp of caster sugar. Cut your sandwiches into heart shapes using a cutter or your best knife skills and dunk each side of the sandwiches into your mix. Fry each side in a little butter for a couple of minutes per side and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Just in Time For You to Shine: Last Minute Valentine’s Gift Ideas

You’ve got the setting and the food sorted, now you just need to decide what you’re going to give them to mark this special day.

There are plenty of last minute Valentine’s deals at your local SPAR which you can take advantage of on your way from work. Including chocolates, sweets and wine which you can enjoy together as you watch a movie. We’re not talking every day chocolates either, heart shaped boxes of Ferrero Rocher, limited edition Thornton’s love collection are all on offer, paired with the ideal wines to complement.

Other potential last minute gifts for Valentine’s Day include:

  • Gifts Cards
  • Experience Vouchers
  • Flowers
  • Alcohol
  • Jewellery
  • Subscriptions
  • Cuddly toys

Of course, it largely depends on budget and timings. The beauty of gifts like experience vouchers such as spa days and the like don’t have to be booked there and then and can be in your possession instantly. Simply purchase the voucher online and print off ready to wow your partner and book it at a future date. Make sure you have something else from the list for them to enjoy in the present however…

Find Last Minute Valentine’s Deals and Meals at SPAR

We hope these last minute Valentine’s ideas have left you with no excuse to not treat your loved one this year. Find everything you need for a quick Valentine’s meal, gifts and more at your local convenience store. Happy Valentine’s Day from SPAR.