Do you do gifts for Valentine’s Day? I always think that whether it be birthdays, Christmas or otherwise, one of the worst presents you can receive is something to keep. I’m firmly with William Morris, who said ‘Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful’, and the same should definitely apply to gifting. I know that probably sounds a bit ungrateful, but ornaments and house bits are so personal, it’s so difficult if you get something that’s not really you, but then you’re kind of lumbered with it, and have to display/use it because, well, it was a gift! Here at number one, our standard gifting rule is that your gift must be something useful: something to eat (see my gorgeous strawberry and Cointreau layer cake, for example), something that they can use (like toiletries or scented candles), something that they can experience (like tickets or restaurant vouchers), or even just a voucher for somewhere you know the recipient loves to shop. So in that spirit, here are a few of my favourite bits of Valentine’s Day loveliness especially chosen for you and your beloved:
Something to wear
I wouldn’t normally advocate buying clothes, but if you know the person well enough (and let’s face it, if they’re your Valentine I guess you should) Mr E is always most appreciative of some classic knitwear. Good old M&S do the best men’s jumpers – the Autograph cashmere range is utterly superb, but if, like me, you’re too slap dash with your laundry and always ruin cashmere, a good alternative is the merino mix wool jumper: 90% Merino, 10% silk – lovely and soft and still washable on a wool wash, and a lovely slim fit too.
Slogan tees and jumpers are huge at the moment, so it’s serendipitous that amongst the new SS16 pieces that hush have released early, they’ve included this beautifully soft and snuggly ‘love’ sweat top. I also love that in the release, hush described it as ‘perfect for self gifting’, which it totally is (although if Mr E is reading I’d love a large please for extra snuggliness).
If you really know the person well (see above) then what’s better than some gorgeous lingerie? Back to hush for this one as they do the loveliest, best quality little lacy bras and knickers that are that holy grail of sexy and comfy (unless, presumably, you are blessed with more boobage, in which case I guess you’d need a bit more, erm, support):
For me, the something to wear category has to include beautiful jewellery – for preference I always go fine and delicate over big and chunky, and I’m currently completely obsessed with rose gold. Michael Kors do the loveliest jewellery and have tons of rose gold. It’s difficult to pick just one piece, but this rose gold and blush disc pendant is so pretty – and blush is everywhere, so it’s practically perfect:
Something to eat…
Oh, you can’t beat a sweet treat on Valentine’s Day and there are some wonderful gifts out there for those with a sweet tooth. Lovely Biscuiteers always have fab pressies for Valentine’s Day (perfect if you’re far away from the one you love) and are especially good for sending to boys – who doesn’t love a bicky? Even if it’s got a heart on (or indeed a lobster?)
Charbonnel et Walker have the best packaging as well as the most delicious chocolates. I don’t think you need to provide a super-enormous box of chocolates (who wants to feel sick on Valentine’s Day?) and these pretty little heart boxes containing their delicious truffles (try the sea salt and caramel oh my god) are just divine. They also do Sipsmith Gin truffles but they’re always out of stock, but if you happen to find them, buy them immediately.
… or drink!
You can’t go wrong with some sparkle on Valentine’s Day. Our all-time favourite is the delectable, strawberry scented Laurent-Perrier Rosé NV Champagne (currently 25% off at Waitrose at just £43.99 – which is ridiculously cheap).
The world’s your oyster here: gorgeous perfume, lovely scented candles… I think if you’re going for this option, you need to do a little snooping and try not to randomly pick a face cream/perfume/aftershave whatever, but scope out your beloved’s brands of choice on the bathroom shelf. If in doubt, anything from Anthropologie is always perfect, and their candles are divinely packaged and great quality. I’m thinking this espresso candle would make a good boy gift too, no?
If you’re considering something luxurious and deliciously scented (tip: go high end, but then buy the cheaper bath/body product rather than the perfume), try Aerin’s velvety, warming Tangier Vanille scent in something like a body wash or bath product. Octer has an amazing selection of fabulous brands to choose from.
Breaking my own rule here, but if you really, really must give ‘a thing’, make sure it has a purpose and is suitably breathtaking. Step forward the heavenly 24k rose gold fountain pen from Ted Baker at John Lewis. How utterly beautiful (and useful) is this? And just £58!
And, of course, you can’t have a Valentine’s roundup without red roses. Look no further than M&S who have everything you could possibly want (although I’m thinking the Autograph 100 red roses for £500 is a smidge over the top, but y’know, whatever takes your fancy. I rather like tulips (top, from our local market) but there’s also a rose medley at the slightly more achievable £25.
I think, above all, it’s the thought that counts, so if I get a hug, a kiss, and a ‘thank you for being you’, I’d be delighted. But those sea salt caramels though…