Valentine’s is coming. And whilst we won’t do a Mother’s Day Gift Guide anymore (you can see my reasons here), I’m totally okay with anyone choosing to use Valentine’s as an excuse to splash a little gift on the one they love.
But what to give? Well frankly – NOT red roses.
Firstly – please. Put in a little thought, perhaps? It’s just not romantic if it took you 3 nanoseconds to go from thinking about it to making the purchase. If that’s you, then why don’t you just write a few nice words in a card – it’ll actuallly mean something.
Secondly – no. The environmental impact of the red rose trade in February is HUGE. Every year, 570 tonnes of roses are imported in from places such as Kenya, and they carry a mammoth carbon footprint of at least 32kg of CO2 per bouquet of flowers, according to the SSAW Collective. The group says flowers are often grown in ways that are harmful to the planet and even the people picking them – they require high water, fuel and energy usage, plus the use of pesticides which can cause toxic chemical run-off and pose health risks to the farm workers picking them.
There are British flowers available to buy for your Valentine – and they won’t cost the earth (literally), unlike the rather pitiful foreign red roses flown thousands of miles around the world. The best way to find a reliable local British flower seller is to use the Flowers from the Farm website, which shows growers and florists who only use British grown flowers.
So – if roses are off the table, and we have alternative flowers covered, what else? Let’s look a little outside the box, and think about things that really will be cherished.
Come on now – I honestly don’t know a single female over the age of 14 who doesn’t get cold feet that need to be hugged in the softest fluffy socks you can find.
And don’t think that has to mean childish thick footwraps you wouldn’t want to be seen in public in. How about a pair of the softest, most stylish Angora bedsocks? We love these, spotted in SockShop, at £19 a pair.
Falke Angora Bedsocks – £19 a pair, Sockshop
The ‘Our Song’ keyring
When you’ve been together for a few years, remembering ‘your song’ is an instant way to reconnect with those first emotions. Throw in a super cute vinyl, and this tiny little gift is a romantic win.
The label is personalised to your choice, of course. I Love this! And at under £12 it’s a massively thoughtful gift with a very small price tage.
Personalised ‘our song’ vinyl record keyring, £11.50, NOTHS
This Is Us…
Something to hang on your wall is a bold sdtatement – add this beautiful wire wall art to a selection of favourite photographs and you have the makings of the most personal and romantic of gestures.
Beautiful, no? Pop this on a dark wall and surround it with photographs of the the two of you together, shots of the family you’re raising… just perfect.
First socks, now slippers.
I know, so dull. But hear me out here. Notice your favourite human bean gets horribly cold toes, and provide them with luxurious soft warmth and comfort? That’s about as romantic as it gets. Romance isn’t about grand gestures. It’s about noticing, listening and paying attention.
But don’t just get any old slipslop shoe. Get quality, make it thoughtful. My personal preference is for a scuffette, rather than a boot, and these Uggs are good’uns.
Tell me that toes which have slipped into that tunnel of thick soft sheepskin won’t feel loved and cherished. You can’t. Because they absolutely will.
Uggs Scuffettes – in four colours – £58 at John Lewis
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a woman will always love a new notebook.
I mean, I’ve chosen a Jane Austen because… Jane Austen. But frankly, I suspect you can’t go wrong with a single purchase from the Literary Gift Company.
This Jane Austen notebook is £12.99, but click the link to browse the entire gorgeous, marvellous, giddy-making notebook range at Literary Gift Co.
It’s Paris. It’s sweet. It’s luxurious. It’s… love.
What says romance more than Paris? And if you can’t jet off for a weekend strolling along the Seine, then perhaps you could bring a small taste of Paris home instead. Cook a steak dinner together, drink a good bottle of french wine and then bring out the pièce de résistance – a beautiful box of Ladurée macrons…
Intemporel 12 macaron green gift box, £29 from Ladurée