Holidays · Party/Tablescapes

Riddle Me A Valentine’s Tablescape

Back in the dark ages when I was a child, kids exchanged Valentines with everyone in their class. These valentines often featured corny puns or goofy riddles.

So in the spirit of this old-fashioned tradition, I ask, “What is black and white and red all over?” The answer: my Valentine’s tablescape.

After just finishing up removing all of the Christmas red from my winter decor, I now find myself adding quite a bit of red back to my kitchen dining area to create a small but special Valentine’s dinner party for the folks in my COVID bubble.

The Chandelier

The difference between an everyday dinner party and a celebratory dinner party (in my opinion) is decorations. So, with that in mind, my Valentine’s tablescape began with decorating the chandelier. I started by hanging alternating red and cream laser-cut wooden hearts from the light fixture with narrow black and white checked ribbon.

How to bring your Valentine's tablescape decor up to your chandelier using inexpensive craft store items.

The Table

A black linen tablecloth creates a dramatic backdrop for the table setting and allows the black and white checked and red elements to pop. Layered on top of the tablecloth, wide red ribbon and bold black and white buffalo plaid wrapping paper serve as a colorful and inexpensive table runner.

How to create a fun festive Valentine's table with a bonus special dinner menu.

To create a red, black, and white centerpiece, I chose red and white carnations and red gerbera daisies with black centers. This layered arrangement of massed blooms echoes the layered effect of the table “linens.”

How to create a vibrant cheery Valentine's centerpiece using inexpensive grocery store flowers.
To position and keep the flowers where I wanted them in the wide-mouth glass compote, I made a scotch tape grid across the top of the glass. This way, I could lock one or two steams in place in each square of the framework.
Valentine table centerpiece
It’s hard to incorporate black into floral arrangements but the brilliant red gerbera daisies with black centers fit the bill perfectly.

The place settings repeat this layered look with alternating white chargers, red dinner plates, and black plaid salad plates (discontinued–similar here).

Pops of red play off the black and white elements in this fun and festive Valentine's tablescape.

Like the red ribbon on the runner, the adorable red heart ramekins pop off the black and white plaid salad plates.

Adorable heart ramekins pop off black and white plaid plates in this fun and festive Valentine's tablescape.

Buffalo plaid napkins and metal filigree heart napkin rings coordinate perfectly with the wooden heart ornaments.

Lacy red heart napkin rings pop against bold buffalo plaid table linens in this fun festive Valentine's tablescape.

Red pressed glass goblets and clear vintage glass champagne flutes add sparkle while keeping the color scheme going.

Layered plates in alternating colors of white, black and red make a fun festive Valentine's table setting.

Candles always add a note of romance and elegance to any dinner table. So, the addition of a number of votives in different red and white votive holders was a must. The rest of the table decoration consists of a couple of jars of colorful jellybeans and a scattering of the wooden hearts.

Red mercury glass votives and pressed glass goblets add color and sparkle to a special Valentine's dinner table.
Rich red goblets and mercury glass votive holders add a vibrant sparkle to the table.
How to create a fun festive Valentine's table with a bonus special dinner menu.
How to use vibrant pops of red to create a stunning Valentine's tablescape.

The Buffet

As crazy as I am, I do not decorate my whole house for Valentine’s Day. But since the sideboard is right next to the table, of course, it has to be decorated too. On each side of the buffet, I placed groupings of red and white lanterns. The charming red house luminaries are from Michaels’ Christmas collection a few years ago. In the center of the buffet, I displayed a large black and white platter adorned with a striking red heart wreath.

How to carry the theme of your Valentine's tablescape onto a buffet or nearby countertop.
The Valentine wreath is attached to the platter with command strips.
How to create a fun festive Valentine's table with a bonus special dinner menu.

The Menu

If you don’t feel like cooking, it is nice to support your local restaurants during these difficult financial times by ordering a take-out Valentine dinner. However, we have done this quite a bit lately, so I am planning to show my family some love on Valentine’s Day by cooking. Below is my menu with links to the recipes I’ll be using.

Valentine Dinner Party Menu


5 from 1 vote

Poached Pear Salad With Goat Cheese And Sherry Vinaigrette

Servings 4



  • 1 bottle dry red wine
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp crystallized ginger chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 Bosc pears, pealed, halved lengthwise, and cored


  • 1 package baby arugula
  • 1 cup halved toasted pecans
  • 5 oz. crumbled goat cheese
  • ½ cup dried tart cherries


  • ¼ cup sherry vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste



  1. Bring the first 5 ingredients to boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add pear halves. Return to boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered until pears soften, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool completely in the syrup cover and chill.

  2. Drain pears. Slice each pear lengthwise into thin slices.

Vinaigrette and Salad

  1. Whisk vinegar, mustard, and salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl. Slowly add the olive oil and whisk until emulsified.

  2. Toast pecans in a dry skillet until you can smell them.

  3. Place arugula, pecans, goat cheese, and dried cherries in a large bowl. Toss with vinaigrette to coat. Portion out the salad on plates, and top with the poached pears arranged in a fan.

How to set a fun and festive Valentine's table with a bonus special menu.

If Valentine’s Day during a pandemic seems like a riddle you can’t figure out, I hope that this black and white and red all over tablescape and dinner party menu provides you with inspiration to come up with your own Valentine solution.

How to create a fun festive Valentine's Tablescape plus a special dinner menu

If you enjoyed this post, you may be interested in:

Valentine's Dinner/Valentine'es Tablescape/Language Of Flowers Tablescape

How To Use The Language Of Flowers To Create A Blooming Valentine’s Dinner

Sharing this post with: Tablescape Thursday

14 thoughts on “Riddle Me A Valentine’s Tablescape

  1. Hey Lisa,
    The tablescape looks so festive. I love the flower arrangement with the black center gerbers. The menu reads absolutely yummy. What is it about lobster and mac that is so irresistible!
    Stay safe,

    1. Thanks so much for your kind comment, Deborah. You are always such a faithful reader. I really appreciate it. I hope you are hanging in there and are not snowed in–not that there’s anywhere to go! Happy Valentine’s Day!

  2. 5 stars
    What a gorgeous table! I particularly like how you were able to tie the table and the buffet together. Wishing you a happy Valentine’s day!

  3. Your decor is inspiring! We all need something to boost our spirits during this anticlimactic time after the holidays. Black and white gingham is so versatile–it can be fancy or casual. I think I will take stock of my “valentiney” things and put something together. I have black and white china so that is a start!

  4. Alejandra and I just finished loving the images and everything you so nicely wrote. I note my loving wife’s wheels are turning. She loves decoration whether it be a table setting or making her fondant cakes picture perfect. Lisa, you have sparked a fire into her for this Valentines Day. I will lay low and silent. Certainly she will create some yummy vittles. I do have one question for you, dear. As the royalty arrives to your home for this occasion, shall there be valet parking for the carriage?
    Have fun, y”all!

    1. Thanks so much for your kind comment on my blog post. If royalty shows up for Valentine’s Day, they will just have to park in the driveway behind Alec’s Hyundai!

  5. Love the idea of using tape to “help” with the flower arrangement.
    Flowers make all food more desirable.🥰

  6. This is a beautiful Valentine’s table in red, black, and white. I love how you decorated the chandelier and your buffet. I know those who will sit at this table will enjoy how lovely it is and the menu sounds perfect! Happy Valentine’s!

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