Passport to Paris: Ideas for Date Night at Home

When is the last time you went on a date? Out to dinner at a nice restaurant or meet someone for a glass of wine? Single or taken, it has been a while for all of us. We are in our second month of quarantine in Chicago and the “new normal” is starting to feel normal right now. I know a lot of people had trips to Paris that they had to cancel for first time trips, birthdays, anniversaries and other celebrations. Since 75% of my audience is quarantined with friends/family/ or a significant other I wanted to share some creative ideas on how you can bring Paris home for a date night experience.

Take these ideas as a blueprint and apply them to who you are quarantined with. Disconnecting from social media and the news and connecting with your loved ones on a different level may be exactly what you need right now.

Plan The Menu:

Cooking together as a family or a couple is a great activity to do together.

For Couples: Pick a recipe or two of a French dish that you love to eat when you are in Paris. Roast Chicken is easy to make and tastes so good with vegetables and potatoes. Beef Bourguignon, French Onion Soup, or Classic Steak Frites.

If you prefer to order out, support your local French restaurant. In Chicago, Brasserie Joe , Le Bouchon, and Mon Ami Gabi

For Families: My niece and nephew love to get their hands dirty and help in the kitchen. Think of small ways the little ones can help. Crack an egg, set the table, or dump in ingredients once it is measured. Fondue with cheese (cut up apples/baguette) or chocolate fondue with fruit is always a big hit.

Quiche, Crêpes, or a Croque Monsieur are easy recipes.

My family loves a good cheese plate. My sister requests a “French dinner” from time to time which just means cheese, baguette, fruit, nuts, and olives. Whatever we can put out to snack on and of course wine. Whenever she suggests this for dinner, I jump at the chance.

passport to paris : ideas for a date night at home everyday parisian

Set The Mood:

I highly recommend serving dinner in a different location that you normally dine. If you are always at the kitchen table, use your dining room, set up a room that isn’t being used and turn it into a French Bistro. Put down a table cloth, use your fancy dishes, and pull out a good bottle of wine.

Burn a candle or light a fire in the fireplace.

Get into the mood with cocktail hour. I just bought Drinking French by David Lebovitz which has 160 recipes of French cocktails and drinks. Kid friendly ones if you are geared more towards family time.

Make a French 75 

If you aren’t into cocktails, pull out a bottle of wine. Fox Trot in Chicago delivers alcohol. (You can get $10 off your first order using my code) I have been using them for groceries and wine this past month.

Paris Playlist:

Turn on some music. I created a Paris playlist with music to play while you are cooking, dancing, hanging out at home to make you feel like you are in Paris. Some of my favorite cafés in Paris stream jazz music and I miss it so much.

Dress the Part:

When is the last time you changed out of sweatpants into real pants? I used to check I fit into my jeans once a week 😉 Now I am back to wearing them daily. Getting dressed up makes me feel so much better and my mood is instantly better. It doesn’t matter what the weather is like outside, you can wear your favorite Summer dress and sandals or even heels to your date night. Here are a few dress ideas if you are looking for something new.

For Underneath Your Clothes:

I swear it makes a HUGE difference. Ask the French!

Take Photos:

How many of you have been documenting your time during quarantine? It sounds silly but this is a big moment in our lives. We are making memories at home with loved ones. We are laughing, cooking, playing games, and dancing together. Sure, there might be a quarantine fight or two but I am sure you have strengthened the bond between family and friends. I have been taking photos with my iPhone over the last couple of weeks and the photos that have come from my family of my niece and nephew are the very best. I love Artifacts Uprising for printing photos at home. Take Selfies, Make Funny Faces, Document Your Date Night.

passport to Paris ideas for a date night at home everyday parisian

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  1. I am doing this this weekend! We’ve been dying for a French bistro night, and why not bring it in the house. Thank you!

    • Yes! Thank you, Dan! I can’t wait to hear how it goes. A French bistro night is a perfect cozy date night at home.

  2. Thank you – I needed this today! We were supposed to leave for Paris tonight to celebrate our 30th anniversary. Our kids told us to expect a dinner surprise tonight so we are def making some French 75s, getting dressed up and using your playlist!

    • Hi Peggy,

      Happy Anniversary to you and your husband. 30 years is a big accomplishment! I hope you have a great night dressing up and celebrating with the playlist. I would love to know what your kids surprise you with for dinner. keep in touch!


  3. Bonjour Rebecca! I am quarantined independently like you, and you’ve just inspired me to take myself on a "French dinner" date! lol Thank you 🙂

    • Hi Lisa! I love it. I hope you have the best time putting it all together. Let me know how it goes and what you end up making!