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The Idea

MadmenI’ve recently spent an embarrassing amount of time watching Mad Men boxsets. And something about watching Betty or Trudy welcome their husbands home with a drink and a meal all ready for them whilst looking dazzling made me want to have a go. Oh I know their lives are locked in domestic boredom and they are stuck in the shadow of cheating partners. But there was something quite tempting about having a Mad Men inspired dinner as a surprise Rob. Because surely if Mad Men’s unfaithful scoundrels get treated like a king returning to his castle every night then surely my lovely Rob deserves a little domestic pampering too.

So whilst I have been on annual leave this week and Rob is at work it seemed like the perfect opportunity to carry this idea out. Normally we cook together but with me being at home I was able to get everything prepared so that when Rob walked through the door I would have our date all ready for him.

The Equipment

It was also a good opportunity to purchase some home-ware goods that I have been eyeing up for a while. I picked up four champagne flutes in TK Max, plus a little silver bucket to use as an Ice bucket. The label said that the bucket is for storing eggs and even has the word ‘eggs’ painted on the side. But I was determined to use it anyway. We have a bottle of champagne that has been sitting in our kitchen since we got married and instead of waiting for a special occasion, I decided I was going to make this occasion special. I covered up the word ‘eggs’ with a purple tea towel and Rob didn’t mention it so I thin I may have gotten away with it!


My final purchase was these beautiful slate placemats and coasters from Tesco. They were quite expensive for placemats but they are made from real slate and I just loved them too much to resist.

Table Setting

The Menu

My menu for the evening was simple but tasty. With it being the middle of an actually sunny July I didn’t want to do anything too heavy.

Starter: Duck liver Pate and spicy fruit chutney on toast

Main: Roast gammon, new potatoes and salad

Dessert: Devonshire vanilla ice cream & strawberries.

Final Touches

The final stages of the plan were to set the atmosphere for a romantic date night. I did this in three steps.

Step 1: Look good. I planned the date in around a hairdressers appointment. So my hair was thoroughly washed, neatly cut and expertly styled. I am beginning to realise that a trip to the hairdressers should always coincide with a social event. Why waste a good hair day? I put on a cute dress and a delicate pretty necklace that was a gift from Rob’s mum.


Step 2: Set up the room. I made sure the dinning room was clean and tidy with every bit of clutter stored to it’s correct place. Then to make the table insteresting I had fun with my serving dishes. I used a big wooden cutting board as a serving platter for the salad, pate and chutney. I then added some grapes for decoration and appatizers. I also served desert in vintage china tea cups.

Chopping board


Step 3: Find your sound track. I used blinkbox music to play music during the evening. The site is excellent, you just pick an artist or a song and it uses what you like to create a personalised radio station. I set it up to play a station based on Etta James so we had romantic soulful music echoing around the house as we ate our meal.

 The Result

A well-fed, pampered and relaxed husband, a happy and proud wife, a long conversation full of laughter, a beautiful evening and some new memories to treasure.

Post script

In an attempt to be fully honest I have to confess that the romantic mood was slightly disrupted when the biggest rat I have ever seen ran past the patio doors outside and spent sometime just chilling in our garden whilst we ate out dessert.


I mean it is typical, isn’t it? You put in all this effort to have a grown up meal with your husband, it’s all going so well, you feel sophisticated and adult-like. Then a rat comes along and you end up pressing your nose against the window pane for 10 minutes trying to get a photo of the little fat rascal.