The Valentine’s Day checklist
14 ways to make 14 February extra special
Cards: home delivery or DIY
It doesn’t matter if it’s your first Valentine’s or your 40th, getting your loved one a card is the absolute minimum. Online companies such as Moonpig, Getting Personal and Not on the High Street have a wide range of cards available for UK delivery. Alternatively, you could get creative and make one yourself. Nothing says “I love you” like a homemade card and Country Living has put together 38 DIY ideas for inspiration.
Love letters and poems: write a romantic message
Add some sentiment to your card with a love letter or poem. Writing a love letter can be a daunting prospect, so if you’re struggling to pen a romantic message for your beloved that goes beyond “roses are red, violets are blue”, then these romantic classics could be the inspiration you need.
You’re my cup of tea: prepare a lovely brew
Start the day off right by making breakfast in bed and preparing a lovely brew. Tea and coffee are a great gift idea and Twinings has a gift bag aptly named “You’re My Cup Of Tea” which includes a selection of its best-selling blends, Cartwright & Butler shortbread and a tea tidy. For coffee lovers Not on the High Street has a personalised letter box hamper for £32.95.
Gifts for her: diamonds
Aside from flowers and chocolates, which are featured further down the checklist, you can’t go wrong with jewellery for your wife, girlfriend or fiancée. At one end of the price spectrum Jewellery Box has a range of valentine pendants, earrings and charms starting from just a fiver. While at the other end Tiffany & Co has many luxury gifts, including the Tiffany T1 ring in rose gold with diamonds (£1,625; pictured above).
Gifts for him: watches
Jewellery is also a gift option for a boyfriend, husband or fiancé. If you want to impress then Tiffany and Co’s men’s range includes rings, necklaces, games and accessories. Ideal for a man that’s always late, a personalised watch would make a sentimental gift for him, says Groovy Guy Gifts. For unusual and extraordinary timepieces, you can’t go wrong with these seven watches. We particularly like the Traditionnelle Tourbillon Chronograph by Vacheron Constantin (pictured above).
Flowers: express your love with roses
The rose has become a symbol of Valentine’s Day with millions of people sending a single or a dozen to express their love. According to FloraNext “roses are said to have become linked to Valentine’s Day during the 17th century, with tales of the rose being a symbol of Venus, the classical goddess of love”. Online flower delivery service Bloom has roses for sale from £12 for a single stem. Or you can choose a bouquet with ten, 20, 30, 40 or even 50 roses.
Chocolates: the sweetest things
If you are buying roses online then many companies will also give the option of adding chocolates to your order. However, if you are seeking a sweet something for your sweet someone then there’s plenty of options available. Cadbury’s gift range includes hampers, baskets and classics like Roses and Milk Tray. Alternatively, Hotel Chocolat’s Love Potions Glass Flask is a unique gift for £15.
Balloons: a box of love hearts
Washing up the previous night’s dinner plates and putting the unironed clothes away will get you in the good books. Adding some romantic items or decorations around the home will also help. Moonpig’s helium heart balloon bouquets will make your loved one feel on the top of the world while Bloonaway’s balloon sculptures are a fun addition. A box of love hearts cost £29 and they are delivered inflated.
Home decor: a true love story
An alternative gift option is to buy something for the home. This personalised “Our Romantic Story” cushion, £22 from GiftsOnline4u, makes a unique gift and is designed to show the story of a married, engaged or a new couple.
Music: make a personalised playlist
A few years back, if you wanted a compilation of the best romantic songs you would have needed to buy a double CD album (think Now That’s What I Call Love or The Greatest Valentine’s Day Album... Ever!). Nowadays you only need to look on YouTube or Spotify to find perfect music for 14 February. Alternatively, if you want to be thoughtful then why not create a personalised playlist? As Hannah Davies of Hitched says: “Back in the day you would have made her a mixtape - now you can make her a personalised playlist using your preferred streaming service. Whether you put together songs that make you think of her, ‘your’ songs or just tracks you think she’ll love, it’s a thoughtful and romantic gift that’s unique to her.”
Food: serve up a romantic feast
If going to a restaurant is not on the menu for Valentine’s, then maybe get a romantic meal delivered to your home? Made in Oldstead has three six-course feasts which have been carefully curated by Michelin-starred chef Tommy Banks and his team. Orders are open until 12 February for nationwide delivery.
For after dinner: say cheese
A cheese board is not just for Christmas, it’s for every celebratory meal. To celebrate Valentine’s Day, Devon-based Sharpham Cheese has a heart-shaped brie to include on your cheese course for 14 February.
Wine and champagne: make it a rosé
To keep with the theme there should be rosé wine or rosé champagne on the menu. Wine lovers should try Le Météore Rosé, an organic rosé from Domaine du Météore in France, which costs £15.50 a bottle. For lovers of bubbly, Champagne Laurent-Perrier’s Cuvée Rosé gift set (£85) comes with a 75cl bottle and two flutes.
Romantic films: don’t watch Valentine’s Day
One word of warning, don’t ruin your day by watching the 2010 film Valentine’s Day, it’s rubbish. Even with an all-star cast including Julia Roberts, Bradley Cooper, Jamie Foxx and Anne Hathaway, this dire rom-com is “neither romantic nor remotely comedic”, said Manohla Dargis in The New York Times. “I won’t even attempt to describe the plot,” said legendary film critic Roger Ebert. “Nor will I tell you who the characters are and who plays them. Just the names only would come to 63 words, and if I described each character in 20 words, I’d run out of space. Words fail me.” If you want to play it safe, then go for a classic such as The Notebook, Casablanca, Ghost or the Before Sunrise / Before Sunset / Before Midnight trilogy.