Oysters, strawberries and sweet treats may be what we traditionally associate as the food of love, but the British public are far more likely to opt for a juicy steak, roast dinner or spicy curry to get in the mood, according to new research from the number 1 recipe box in the UK, HelloFresh.

Over a third of British men and a quarter of women are planning a romantic night in with their partner this Valentine’s Day, as couples shun busy restaurants in favour of an intimate night alone. When it comes to the menu, the most popular dish to cook up on date night is a steak, with 35% of survey respondents saying that recreating the restaurant classic at home is the perfect recipe for a night of passion.

A full roast dinner is the second most popular choice, with two in ten (22%) respondents saying the traditional British meal is the best way to seduce their other half. It’s well-known that spicy food can act as an aphrodisiac, so it’s no surprise that 17% of those surveyed reported that a curry is their go-to dish when cooking up a night of romance.

“At HelloFresh, we believe that food and love go hand-in-hand at any time of the year, so it’s no surprise that seven in ten people prefer being cooked for on a date night, rather than being taken out for dinner,” says Patrick Drake, Co-founder and Head Chef at HelloFresh. “When it comes to food to get you in the mood, forget fancy delicacies – it’s the good old British classics that are the clear winners.”

According to the HelloFresh poll of 1,500 adults, an astonishing two-thirds of British women believe that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Surprisingly, however, only a third of men believe they can cook their way into the bedroom.

“Recipe boxes are a great solution for Valentine’s cooks looking to impress without stress,” adds Patrick Drake. “A box of ingredients delivered to your door can help to take the pressure off, giving you more quality time together. The way to a partner’s heart is really is through their stomach.”

However, beware the curse of the full stomach. Of those surveyed, nearly a quarter (22%) said that a romantic evening in had gone wrong, with ‘eating too much’ reported as the most common reason.

Top five recipes for seduction, according to British couples

  1. Steak (35%)
  2. Roast dinner (22%)
  3. Curry (17%)
  4. Salmon (15%)
  5. Profiteroles (14%)