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Have you just met a vegan and want to impress him/her with a Valentine’s Day dinner? Don’t panic! The first – and best – rule is always to act natural and be yourselves but, if you are not yet accustomed to the vegan philosophy, a few tips could help you plan a successful evening: so here is a semi-serious guide for organizing a perfect vegan date.
First of all, you have to seek out a good restaurant offering a 100% vegetable cuisine. Even a simple aperitif, if offered in the home without the necessary background information, can reveal some unexpected pitfalls: as we have already told you here in one of our previous articles, you need to be careful even when offering a glass of wine or beer, avoiding the casual assumption that “it’s only a drink and certainly contains no animal ingredients!” Even the term vegan can cover a variety of interpretations: from ethnic to fusion, traditional haute cuisine with spectacular presentations, street food or informal meals such as veggie burgers and French fries, vegan restaurant menus satisfy all tastes and preferences and diners are truly spoilt for choice.
Once you have selected a restaurant and made a booking, prepare yourself beforehand by following a few simple tips. If you want to make a good impression from the start, remember to leave your leather jacket in the wardrobe and don’t forget that, since you have extended the invitation you will also be paying the bill and you will not want to find yourself in the embarrassing situation of pulling out your precious crocodile wallet! It won’t take much to bowl your partner over if you follow our suggestions. Instead of going by car to the restaurant, choose public transport for instance: the underground, a panoramic bus tour or, better still if it is warm enough, contact the nearest bike rental service and treat yourselves to a romantic bicycle ride, on a tandem perhaps.
Once seated at the table, ask your partner about the reasons for her dietary choice. Your desire to learn more about this argument is a good way to familiarize, but avoid one of the many questions vegans are sick of hearing. There are plenty of examples: “So, you only eat salad and soya?” or worse still “Don’t you think plants suffer too when they are pulled out of the ground?”. For this reason, and without hesitation, when the rose seller approaches your table, choose the most beautiful flower in the bunch and offer it to her!
You are already on the right track: if your partner has accepted your invitation, it means she is interested in you so don’t let her choice of diet be an obstacle. You may even be fascinated by all that is noble and uplifting in a concept based on respect for different forms of life and the environment. Above all, if the date does not end at the restaurant and you wish to go home together, what could be more romantic that getting breakfast ready together for the first time. You can proudly show off the contents of your fridge and food cupboard, opportunely filled up the day before with plant milk and yogurt, cereals, fresh fruit and a delicious cherry or strawberry jam, with which to draw love hearts on slices of toasted wholemeal bread!