Whether you’re an expert in the art of seduction, or a complete romance rookie; there’s nothing quite as special as a thoughtful Valentine’s Day gift. To help you get started on your road to romance, or to give you some new (or tried and tested) ideas for your own Valentine’s Day gifting, our authors talk through the top gifts and experiences, as highlighted by our research into #WhatWomenWant for Valentine’s Day in 2020.
- A VALENTINE’S DAY CARD
In this age of instant and public communication—from Snapchat to WhatsApp to Instagram—when even Facebook has become “Old School”, there’s something deliciously sweet and intimate about the concept of receiving, or giving a Valentine’s Day card to affirm your love.
Recently, I found an old shoebox at my Mum’s. It was full of letters and cards, including a Valentine’s Day card or two that she and my Dad—who’s been dead now for nearly thirty years—sent to each other when they were first dating. Holding the yellowing paper, reading the handcrafted words—my Dad’s wonderful Celtic lyricism, my Mum’s smart and funny London pragmatism—was both heart-warming and heart-breaking, and almost unbearably romantic…
I’m just not convinced a Valentine’s email, or Snapchat, or Instagram post will have the same power to move us in years to come! Are you?
The best gift for Valentine’s Day? Without a doubt, it’s chocolate. Chocolate contains phenylethylamine (PEA) – the chemical your brain releases when you’re falling in love!
What could be more romantic than curling up together in front of a good film—Chocolat with Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp would be the perfect choice — and sharing a box of good chocolate?
As for the actual chocolate… For me, it has to be gianduja: a rich Italian blend of cocoa and hazelnuts. If you’ve never tried it, persuade your Valentine to buy you some, unwrap the little gold foil parcel, close your eyes and let your senses melt…
- FAVOURITE DRINK
Sometimes a gift for Valentine’s Day can be as simple as your favourite tipple. It’s the ‘knowing’ what that is, that’s the important part.
I’d love a bottle of the rosé wine that I adore— and thankfully my other half knows to make sure there’s ice in the glass so it’s really cold. Or there’s is a particular orange gin, with a certain brand of diet tonic….
It’s the details that are important. Getting a drink that is exactly what you want, and the way that you want it, makes it special.
Looking at flowers makes us happy. There are probably scientific studies to prove this, but we don’t really need them because it’s something we know instinctively.
It’s the reason we visit parks and gardens—the bright colours, the gorgeous scents, the sense of harmony and that feeling of connection to nature.
Flowers and plants make us feel happier, calmer and healthier. What’s not to like about them? They’re a classic gift for a reason—so make someone happy!
Who doesn’t love jewellery? Be it the glitter of diamonds, a vintage ring, a charm-laden bracelet? Valentine’s Day is a chance to make it personal, whatever your loved one’s preferences.
One Valentine’s Day, my partner bought me a necklace with a peridot pendant—my birthstone. it was extra-poignant as my grandmother had given me a similar necklace, which I had treasured and worn every day until the devastating night when I lost it. They’d commissioned a jeweller to copy the design from a photograph. I cried, and have worn it nearly every day since.
- A NIGHT IN
Rather than having to leave the house, find a parking space, dodge the rain, freeze in the wind, then struggle to hear your other half in a noisy bar or restaurant, I’d much rather stay in… especially after a busy week at work.
I love cooking, so I’d make our favourite dinner, or even better my partner would make it for me. There’ll be a nice vanilla candle burning, we’ll have the music we love in the background—maybe Peter Green’s ‘Need Your Love So Bad’, which was our wedding song —and we can both enjoy a glass of wine without worrying about driving.
We can curl up on the sofa under a soft throw and watch a box set or a good film. Just the two of us, cosy and warm. Perfect.
- DINNER OUT
The gift of a night out—a meal, drinks, dancing—is more than just nice food and delicious drinks. It is really the gift of time—time with a loved one—and a date night with their partner.
Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to remind ourselves to switch off the telly, put down our phones, and connect with the people we love. And what better way to do that than to have someone create your perfect night out? Whatever that means to you, enjoy that time together with no interruptions.
- A TRIP AWAY
A trip away for Valentine’s Day makes for the perfect gift. We’re all so busy these days—advances in technology mean we are connected practically 24/7. It’s only when we escape and switch off that we can truly relax and enjoy one another’s company. Devote your time to one another and hide away from the outside world, just for a day or two. The world won’t end.
It doesn’t even need to be far away or exotic or high-end. Sometimes even a tent under the stars is all you need! It could be somewhere new that you enjoy discovering together, or somewhere that means something special to you both—just so long as you take the time to focus on one another minus life’s little interruptions it will be perfect.
Rather than a bunch of flowers that will die, or a box of chocolates that will add another un-budgeable inch to my waistline, I’d much rather make a great memory!
Being movie buffs, my partner and I might head to the cinema, to watch a classic such as My Beautiful Laundrette and Casablanca, or a love story like Call Me By Your Name or Ghost. I’d also love to celebrate with a trip to the theatre, or go to a comedy gig… we’ve all heard the saying that those who laugh together stay together.
- A BEAUTY TREATMENT:
What girl doesn’t dream of getting pampered after a hard day at the office with her favourite beauty treatment?
There’s something so decadent about an experience that has you at the heart of it, knowing that your beloved has arranged all this with you in mind. No matter what your favourite treatment is—facial, manicure or pedicure—taking the time to pamper with a beauty treatment is something that everyone loves. Even if it only lasts for half an hour. For that half hour, you can feel like a Hollywood starlet or a queen.
And the best thing about beauty treatments is that they always have the ‘me time’ thought behind them. In a busy, frantic world, with lots of commitments, it can be hard for a woman to take some time for herself. Beauty treatments give the time and space. So, for me, a beauty treatment will always be a winner on Valentine’s Day.
For more gifting ideas, check out our guide to #WhatWomenWant for Valentine’s Day 2020.