SHOW YOUR LOVED ONE HOW MUCH YOU CARE WITH A WELL-PICKED ROMANTIC GIFT
Ah, Feb 14th. The pressure, the clichés, the rammed restaurants, the cheesy cards (thank you, mum!). Is it really a romantic celebration? Love it or loathe it, Valentine’s Day still holds significance for many and is a good opportunity to reconnect, focus and spend time with your partner. But how to choose something that says, ‘I love you,’ without it feeling tokenistic? Here we speak to some stylish experts on what makes the ideal gift.
While most recipients wouldn’t balk at champagne and truffles, if you want to quietly impress him this Valentine’s Day, go for something less expected. Here at John Lewis & Partners, we have a range of niche, homespun brands including Folk, Albam and Wax London all providing refined style that you won’t find everywhere else.
‘I spent many Valentine’s Days single but now I live with my girlfriend,’ says Alfred Tong, columnist and contributor to British GQ and Mr Porter. ‘I’ll probably pop a bottle of champagne in the fridge (top tip: it’s our house rule to always have at least one bottle for emergencies). I’m always being told off for using too much of her Prada Iris – it’s such an elegant and subtle scent, I really don't know why more men don’t use it – so I will make sure she has plenty of that. In return, she might be kind enough to buy a classic aftershave or grooming product. People say they hate Valentine’s Day but I think we all need a sexy, seductive lift during the gloom of mid Feb, so why not make the most of it?’
Show her some luxe
While a bunch of flowers and favourite scent are safe-bet Valentine’s Day presents, sometimes it’s good to go for something a little more considered. Hint: not many would turn their noses up at a pair of silk pyjamas or satin robe. Beauty products are also a good option and if your better half is a fan of a bold lip, Mac’s classic red ‘Ruby Woo’ is a suits-all shade to raise a smile.
‘Small daily signs of affection are worth more to me than a grandiose gift once a year, says Red editor, Sarah Tomczak. ‘For this reason, I’d be thrilled to receive some lovely Le Labo shower gel, which would instantly elevate my morning shower. Or a really nice bottle of gin, so we could enjoy a glass together on a Friday evening after a busy week. Or maybe some simple gold hoop earrings that I’d wear every day and with everything.’
“Small daily signs of affection are worth more to me than a grandiose gift once a year”
Valentine’s Day can be a sore subject if you are single. But it needn’t be. ‘Having spent more of my time a bachelor than in long term relationships, I really feel that Valentine’s is perfect for single people,’ says Alfred. ‘It’s so nice and flattering and sexy to ask someone out on Valentine’s Day – just a simple light-hearted text or even a phone call. Lots of people meet someone they like during the Christmas party period and a Valentine’s date is the perfect way to cheer up during one of the gloomiest times of the year. Go for it.’
Writer, beauty editor and magazine columnist, Rosie Green, who last year split with her husband/partner says: ‘For the first time in 26 years I was single last Valentine’s Day. Was I sad? Yes. But I decided to treat myself to some self love in the form of a box of violet creams. They were good. And so was the realisation that, though I wasn’t in a romantic relationship, I was still loved. By my children, my friends and my family.’
“I really feel that Valentine’s is perfect for single people. It’s so nice and flattering and sexy to ask someone out on Valentine’s Day”
If all else fails, you can’t go wrong with good old flowers, chocolates or a favourite tipple. While these gifts require less time and thought, they are universally well received. And yes, for those who want to dive into Valentine’s Day in all its pink-tinged glory, we have a selection of heart-shaped products. Who couldn’t love these Alessi spoons? Frivolous, yes, but practical too.
‘For me, the romantic gestures are far more significant than the gifts – every day my husband makes me coffee to take on my morning commute and that feels really special,’ says Sarah.
Make it personal
If you want to make your loved one feel truly special, how about choosing a gift personalised with their name or initials? Somehow the fun of owning something with your name on hasn’t waned from the pencil-case pride of school days. From notebooks and decorative tiles to exquisite necklaces, our range of personalised products offers items to suit all tastes. (Please note: some of our personalised gifts take extra time to prepare, so plan ahead and check delivery times to ensure that special message is ready for Feb 14th.)
‘I love Valentine’s Day,’ says Morag Turner, editor of citykidsmagazine.co.uk and mother-of-three. ‘My husband always gets me a little gift that is traditional with a twist. For example, if he’s buying flowers he will steer clear of red roses and go for white hydrangeas or an orchid because I prefer them. Much more important than a present is a card with a personal message that is special to us. But my favourite gifts are little cards and homemade things from my children. For me Valentine’s is much more about small thoughtful tokens than grand gestures.’