Valentine’s Day: acceptable gifts


The countdown is on. Just 1 more week of champagne/oyster/chocolate degustation menus flooding my inbox. 7 days left of red velvet everything (though let’s hope that Red Velvet Oreos have the transeasonal staying power of pumpkin spice lattes and Cadbury Creme Eggs). Only a few more instances of fielding, “So…what are you doing for Valentine’s Day?” inquiries from blissed-out, loved-up people (intent on broadcasting their own plans) with the realistic response: “Wallowing”.

If I’m coming off as a little bitter, it’s only because February 14th has never spelled great things for me. Last year I spent it at home, watching Diagnosis Murder reruns and darning my socks. The year before, I was dumped (don’t worry, it wasn’t actually on Valentine’s day…he had the good grace to leave me hanging the whole day and break up with me the following morning). The only boy to ever give me a rose did so under the duress of a Dragon Boating team tradition. He later threw an eel at me.

That said, I’m all for cooing couples celebrating their love. I’m not one of those people who rails against the Hallmark-driven commercialisation of the day because (a) I think an annual reminder to appreciate your significant other is a good thing, and (b) It’s important to have a day where you can give flowers without invoking suspicions of cheating.

While my pidge and heart may remain empty on Valentine’s Day, here are my gift suggestions for all you lovers:

Absolutely under no circumstances should you give someone candy conversation hearts. You may as well pelt them with chalk and platitudes.

Ditto on the red lingerie front. It’s a weird thing to get for anyone, and the whole ‘gift for me that’s actually a gift for you’ is equally daft.

The best gift is probably a love seat that you’ve hand-carved from dove-tailed slabs of the giant oak trees from your respective childhood gardens.

Failing that…


Buying someone a star is stupid. Buying them an Infmetry DIY Romantic Star Projector is not. Just don’t ruin the mood by matching up constellations with their freckles or the moles on their back. Weave a whimsical mythological tale, or lie in star-spangled silence.


You cannot go wrong with this Forest Canopy Bed from Anthropologie. Especially if you deck it out with gossamer sheets and a bucketful of bluebirds.


Flirty Fornasetti crockery. Duh.

6feb8   6feb7

Hand-made anything. I suggest a card (obviously it is best for this purpose if you are Rob Ryan), beetroot ravioli, a pistachio-studded Persian love cake or a manatee butter sculpture.

  6feb9   6feb2

You’re welcome!

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