How to Frenchify Your Valentine’s Day

Joyeuse Saint Valentin (Happy Valentine's Day in French), mes amours! Let's take a journey to the heart of romance – France. Known for its enchanting allure and undeniably romantic language and gestures, France offers a treasure trove of inspiration for those seeking to infuse their Valentine's Day with a certain je ne sais quoi.

Whether you're in a relationship or embracing self-love, let's explore how to “Frenchify” your Valentine's Day and celebrate love à la française.

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Andi in Quince sweater and beret with glass of champagne and eiffel tower

The French Approach to Valentine's Day

A Day for Lovers

In France, Valentine's Day, or la Saint-Valentin, is reserved exclusively for lovers. This distinction sets it apart from many Western traditions, where the day is often marked by friendly gestures and schoolchildren exchanging cards. In France, it's a day for les amoureux – those deeply in love. This focus on romantic love is an intimate way to celebrate the day.

Happy romantic couple in Paris

Celebrating in Person

The French believe in the power of presence. Rather than relying on texts or cards (their favorite way to wish people a Happy New Year), les Français prefer to express their love face-to-face. This could mean a romantic dinner in a cozy bistro, a weekend escape to a picturesque château, or attending an event like a concert. The essence lies in sharing experiences creating memories and celebrating together.

How to Frenchify Your Valentine's Day

Start with a Morning Surprise: Petit Déjeuner au Lit

Breakfast served in bed with coffee, croissants, fresh berries, milk, cream and jam

Imagine waking up to the aroma of freshly brewed coffee and buttery croissants. Begin your day by serving a typical French breakfast in bed. Include pain au chocolat, fresh fruit, and perhaps a glass of champagne to add a luxurious touch. This simple gesture sets a romantic tone for the day.

Dress the Part: Chic and Effortless

Adorable lovely European woman with short hairstyle wearing casual clothes posing at camera in sunshine on summer street in warm sunny day

French style is synonymous with sophistication. Opt for a classic, understated look. Think of a little black dress or a tailored blazer paired with well-fitted jeans. The key is to look effortlessly elegant.

Check out my article How to Embrace Your Inner French Girl for more inspiration!

Indulge in French Cuisine: A Gastronomic Adventure

French Onion Soup

For lunch, choose a French bistro. Savor dishes like French onion soup or a Salade Nicoise with a lovely glass of French wine. Or make a French lunch at home. Remember, it's not just about the food; it's about the experience. Engage in deep conversations, just as the French do.

Afternoon of Art and Culture

Couple in painting gallery

Visit an art gallery or museum, immersing yourselves in French art and history. Appreciate the works of Monet or Cézanne. Immerse yourself in French culture by watching a classic French film. It's a way to celebrate love in its many forms, including love for oneself and appreciation of a rich culture.

A Night of Romance: Candlelit Dinner at Home

Man and woman clinking with glasses of red wine at wooden table with bouquet of roses

End the day with a homemade French dinner. Create an intimate setting with candles and soft music. Cook together a simple yet elegant meal like Ratatouille or Duck à l’Orange. Pair it with a fine French wine.

Here are 25 fantastic French dinner recipes for you to choose from!

Sweet Finale: French Desserts

Close-up of a spoonful of delicious coffee flan

No French-inspired Valentine's Day is complete without dessert. Think chocolate soufflé, crème brûlée, or Tarte Tatin. These sweet treats are the perfect way to end your romantic day.

Here are 25 fantastic French dessert recipes for you to choose from!

Give Gifts and Gestures of Love

In France, the art of gift-giving is steeped in thoughtfulness and elegance. This Valentine's Day, embrace the French tradition of cadeaux, cartes et compliments – gifts, cards, and compliments. A carefully chosen present or a heartfelt note can speak volumes.

Here's my holiday gift guide with recommendations including French-inspired gifting.

The Language of Flowers

Handsome man holding red roses and romantic gift with red bow and gift tag

In France, flowers are more than just a gift; they are a language. The rich floral tradition in France highlights the thoughtful consideration put into choosing the right flowers for every occasion. It's not just about the visual beauty of the bouquet; it's about what the flowers symbolize, the emotions they are intended to convey, and the stories they tell.

In this way, flowers become more than a simple gift; they become a heartfelt message, a poetic expression of love and affection that captures the essence of French romanticism.

For Valentine's, red roses, the eternal symbol of passionate love, are perfect for a romantic partner. For a more playful or tender sentiment, opt for pink flowers, evoking delicacy and charm.

Sweet Indulgences

Heart-Shaped Box of Chocolates

Chocolate holds a special place in the hearts of the French. Not just as a confection, but as a cherished symbol of affection and well-being. For the French, chocolate is far more than a sweet treat; it's a love affair that speaks to the heart and soul. Revered for its ability to uplift the spirits, chocolate is often seen as a delightful elixir that boosts one's mental state, offering a moment of pure bliss and comfort.

This belief in the transformative power of chocolate makes it a quintessential gift of love, both for romantic partners and as a token of affection for friends and family. The process of selecting the perfect box of chocolates is undertaken with great care and consideration, reflecting the French dedication to quality and elegance.

Each box is a curated collection of flavors and textures, often handcrafted by skilled chocolatiers, ensuring that every piece tells a story of artisanal craftsmanship and passion. Gifting chocolate in France is not just about the confection itself; it's a celebration of love, friendship, and the joy of giving, embodying the French adage that the best gifts are those that touch the heart.

Gift a box of chocolates to your favorite Valentine, or indulge in this sweet treat for yourself!

Embracing Self-Love and Self-Care

Positive woman pouring champagne in glass while taking bath

At the heart of a French woman's lifestyle lies an unwavering commitment to self-care, a practice that beautifully aligns with the essence of la Saint-Valentin. To embrace this philosophy, consider a spa day, either surrounded by your closest girlfriends or in the tranquil solitude of your own home. Imagine a day filled with pampering and indulgence, echoing the luxurious treatments found in the chicest Paris spas.

From nourishing face masks infused with the scents of Provence to a relaxing bath steeped in lavender oils, each element of this spa day is a nod to the French art of self-care. I

Such a day offers a perfect opportunity to unwind, rejuvenate, and remember that sometimes, the most meaningful love affair is the one we have with ourselves. Embracing this facet of French culture on Valentine's Day is more than a luxury; it's a tribute to the elegance and grace that is at the core of the French way of life.

Read more about this topic:

Andi in Quince sweater and beret throwing confetti

Savor the Moment

Valentine's Day, through a French lens, celebrates love in its most romantic form. It's about presence and heartfelt expressions. Whether spending the day with a special someone or indulging in self-love, adding a touch of French elegance to your celebration can transform it into an unforgettable experience.

So, let's raise a glass (perhaps of fine French champagne, might I suggest a French75, or other French cocktail) to love, to France, and a Valentine's Day filled with l'amour et la joie.

Joyeuse Saint-Valentin, and may your day be as enchanting and full of love as a stroll through the streets of Paris.

How about you? Have additional ideas on how to Frenchify your Valentine's Day? Do tell!

Don't forget to pin this for later!

Andi in Quince sweater and beret with glass of chamgne and eiffel tower PIN

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  1. Amber Myers says:

    I love all of these ideas. My daughter is all about dressing up. She’s always been a fan of French fashion.

  2. Tara Pittman says:

    After reading this post, it has given me some ideas. A French theme dinner sounds good to me.

  3. love all these ideas, especially the desserts part (creme brulee is one of my fav sweet treats ever!)

  4. Melanie E says:

    This sounds like a fun theme idea for Valentine’s Day. I love the sound of French food. The soup and salad are dishes that we would both enjoy.

  5. Such lovely Parisian ideas for Valentine’s Day! So fun to incorporate these ideas into a holiday that has to do with love. I could go for French Onion soup and nicoise salad!

  6. Frenchifying my Valentine’s Day sounds like a great way to kick it up a notch, they really do seem to have a unique way of celebrating it and applying some of these suggestions would add a nice twist to ours!

  7. What a great way to celebrate Valentine’s Day, I love the theme. I know I would enjoy the soup and salad, and the French Cuisine looks delicious.

  8. Jennifer Prince says:

    These are such fun ideas! After all, who does romance better than the French?

  9. This wonderful guide on how to add a touch of French romance to Valentine’s Day! The idea of celebrating love à la française is enchanting, and your suggestions are both inspiring and practical.

  10. I’m single and don’t have anything planned yet. I’ll probably do something with my son. We usually just pick up dinner somewhere.

  11. Melissa Cuhsing says:

    Loving these tips for Valentine’s Day and I love the idea of doing the French thing to jazz up this fun and wonderful Holiday 😉

  12. I think indulging in French cuisine would be such a delicious idea. Thanks for that!

  13. I love all these great ideas; The desert looks so delicious along with the roses. Thanks for sharing

  14. This post is a breath of fresh air! I’ve always been captivated by the French approach to love and life, and the idea of incorporating that into Valentine’s Day is just brilliant. Your suggestions not only sound incredibly romantic but also seem to tap into a deeper, more genuine celebration of love.