Ah Valentine’s Day, you Marmite day of the year. We’re either going all in or we completely forget it’s a thing. But don’t worry – I’ve got you. It’s not the day before, it’s not even two days before. I’m reminding you with a full five days warning. Sure, you probably don’t have enough time now to plan an elaborate getaway, or order anything that requires embossing, but you’ve still got time to make it look like you had it all in hand. N.B This is in no way a subtle hint to my husband.
The world is your veritable Valentine’s Day oyster. If you’re willing to throw a little money at postage, you’ve left yourself enough time to get something personalised – and that just screams, “I’ve thought about this in advance”. If you’re lucky you might even top their gift. So not only are you doing something nice, you also get to make them feel a bit guilty. Win-win.
Not On The High Street is a goldmine of personalised stuff you never even knew your significant other needed. Cheeseboard with your names on it? Done. Valentine’s themed pasty? Boom. A framed print of the number of days you’ve spent together? Sure, it may expire tomorrow, but it’s so glittery!
Our favourite is the 52 Date Night Cards Pack – one for each week of the year, so you don’t have to put any mental effort into being romantic until next Valentine’s Day comes along. Perfect!
Do you have an Amazon Prime account? This is an ideal time to crack it out. Perhaps you could set your beloved up on your Amazon Prime account as a gift, “Here you go honey, now you don’t have to pay £3 delivery on £4.99 batteries.”
Don’t confuse Valentine’s gifts with practical gifts. Amazon is full of useful things that you actually need, but as we may have successfully communicated above, those things aren’t for the Day of Lurve. Please avoid buying your partner a hairbrush because they keep borrowing yours, or a new spirit level* because they were “so disappointed when the last one broke”.
We like the Lonely Planet Best in Travel Guide for 2018. You can team it with a semi-decent bottle of their favourite tipple, and suggest a night curled up on the sofa picking out your next holiday destination. You’ll be hinting at fun holidays to come, without the expense and logistical complexity of actually having to book one.
*if you do get your partner a spirit level, just make sure you team it with an appropriately cheesy label. “You make my spirit soar” or something equally as unnerving.
First, you’ll need to formulate a cunning plan. What resources do you have in the area? You’ll be relying heavily on the quality of the card, so head for a Scribbler or Paperchase if at all possible. Buy an indiscriminately sized gift bag and some tissue paper while you’re in there.
Next, find a present. Don’t start running into shops at random and hope to find something half-decent. We’re in survival mode now, so take a good look at your surroundings. Think about what might be in the shop before you plough in. Are you near a Marks and Spencer? Are your beloved’s slippers looking a bit old? Do you remember their shoe size? Can you phone a friend?
We like the Thinsulate moccasin slippers from M&S – they’re warm, they’re inoffensive, and you could probably go to the shops in them without anyone noticing.
Maybe there’s a John Lewis nearby. Stop sweating, it’s going to be fine. How about some new bedsheets? The key here is to pick something you know they’d like, and that you wouldn’t normally touch with a bargepole. “This gift is all about you, sweetie” you say, as she unwraps a bedding set so vile it makes your eyes water.
We actually really love this 70s style set from John Lewis – it’s a fun, stylish print on one side, and waaaaay more muted on the other. Relationships are all about compromise, right?
Okay now we’ve really got your back. We’ve picked out some of our favourite dining spots, cosy bars and romantic locations to impress your significant other. Get this bit right, and you might not even need those gaudy bed sheets: