≡ Menu

6 Ways to Create a Romantic Retreat

Make a heart-felt impression. Decorate like this. Better Homes & Gardens, Hooker Furniture.

This Valentine’s Day, make an impression that’ll truly last by making your home a romantic retreat. Instead of  flowers that lack power to stay for more than a day or a card that travels by mail,  try something different. Create a romantic refuge that’ll go straight to the heart of your valentine, not only on the big day, but year-round, too.

Gentle curves add a hint of fashion flirt to this room. Photo: Hooker Furniture.

The iconic lines of the Modern Romance kidney-shaped sofa (coming soon to Hooker retailers!) recall a bygone era of innocence when sneaking a kiss or two with the date of your dreams was a daring thing to do.

Here’s how to make dining in the most alluring thing to do. Photo: Hooker Furniture.

With a nod to Belgian style, the Bohéme Ascension Wood dining Table and Bohéme Garnier barrel back chairs  have a pared down, yet lyrical sense that romances the room and everyone in it.

When it comes to romance, sometimes you need to roll with it. Hooker Furniture.

The Highland Park bar cart   makes it easy  for your party of two to pop the cork of bubbly any time, anywhere. Spacious enough to hold lots of snacks, too.

In this bed, a chic sleep (and likely more than a little romance) awaits.

The essence of comfort and elegant simplicity, the Belgian-inspired Bohéme Bon Vivant De-Constructed Upholstered Bed beckons for you and your honey to snuggle, sleep and watch the sun come up in style.

Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to get a little cheeky. Better Homes & Gardens, Sam Moore.

Do more than flirt with the idea of a late night romantic téte e téte, make it happen with his ’n her Cheekie Exposed Wood Chairs upholstered in sumptuous velvet and surrounded by fragrant flowers.

Done decorating?  Before lighting candle and turning on the music, do one more thing.  Prepare a home made treat concocted by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh, two of London’s most trendy chefs.

If your honey has a sweet tooth, go straight for the heart with a treat like this. Pedun + Munk, Teen Speed Press.

Raspberry Lollipops



by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh

Gluten-free, Nut-free, Makes 12

We make these in heart shapes around Valentine’s Day, but they’re a wonderful way to make loved ones smile all year-round—in a round shape! You can either shape them by hand or, if you’re after perfection, use bottomless cake rings as your mold: 2 3⁄4-inch/7-cm rings are good for regular round lollipops, but there are all sorts of shapes you can play with, such as hearts, stars, and so forth. Whether you are shaping them by hand or using a cake ring, don’t make these on a rainy or humid day: the caramel will weep and you’ll end up with bendy lollipops (which will not be so smile-inducing). 


2/3 cup/60 g fresh raspberries (about 12)

1 1/4 cups/250 g granulated sugar

3/4 cup/250 g light corn syrup

2 tbsp plus 2 tsp/40 ml water

2/3 oz/20 g freeze-dried raspberries, half left whole and half lightly crushed


  1. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper, then lay twelve lollipop sticks out flat on the lined sheets—the lollipops are large so they require some space— and set aside.
  2. Process the fresh raspberries in the small bowl of a food processor, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve placed over a bowl; you should end up with about 2 tbsp of seedless purée. Set aside.
  3. Put the sugar and corn syrup into a medium saucepan and stir in the water. Place over medium heat and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring, until the sugar melts. Increase the heat to medium-high and boil for about 10 minutes, until it reaches 297°F/147°C on a candy thermometer. Precision is key here, but it is better to be 1 degree hotter than 1 degree below. Remove from the heat and add the raspberry purée; take care here, as the sugar will be bubbling. Stir slowly and gently with a metal spoon until combined, taking care not to mix too quickly, as this will create air bubbles that will stay in the lollipops. Once fully combined, lightly stir in the whole and lightly crushed dried raspberries, again taking care as you do so. The caramel should have stopped bubbling by this time.
  4. Immediately spoon 3 tbsp of the mixture onto the top one-third of each of the lollipop sticks. Use the spoon to create a circle if shaping by hand. You’ll need to work fast here, as the sugar mixture will thicken quickly. Divide the freeze-dried raspberries equally among the lollipops. If you are using cake rings (see introduction), place them over the top third of the lollipop sticks and pour in 3 tbsp of the mixture.
  5. Loosely lay a sheet of parchment paper over the top of the lollipops to stop them from sweating. Set aside until completely cool and set; this should take about a half hour. Once cool and set, remove the cake rings (if using) from the lollipops and serve


A candy thermometer is a must here, along with twelve lollipop sticks. The metal cake rings are optional.


These will keep for up to a week in an airtight container, stored between layers of parchment paper.

Reprinted with permission from Sweet by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh, copyright © 2017. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC

{ 0 comments… add one }

Leave a Comment