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Sunday, 2 February 2020

Valentines Day Gift Ideas

the painswick hotel

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Ah it’s here again, Valentines Day is around the corner and I love receiving messages from people asking what they should buy their loved one for Valentines Day. I feel like it’s a lovely excuse to do something thoughtful for someone you love (it doesn’t have to be a partner, I often send my best friend a Valentines gift to her desk). You may absolutely hate Valentines Day (I can already feel the sly digs on social media on Feb 14th to anyone who dares to celebrate Valentines Day coming lol) but I personally love it, yes it’s a commercialised holiday (hello you’re talking to the queen of falling for anything commercialised) and yes I show my boyfriend I love him every day of the year, but I do enjoy soaking up the Valentines day love and that’s not a crime. If you’re reading this I assume you love Valentines Day too, below you’ll find lots of gift ideas including some different gift ideas for Valentines Day and I hope it will help you if you’re looking for Valentines gift ideas.
painswick hotel
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A Trip - One of my absolute favourite things to do is to just spend time with my boyfriend and going on a trip is a sure fire way to do that. Whether you go for a staycation and stay at a gorgeous hotel in your local city, head further afield, hire a log cabin in the Lake District, a glass igloo to watch the Northern Lights, there are so many options of things you can do. My boyfriend and I have loved trips to Edinburgh and The Cotswolds just as much as we’ve loved weekend breaks to Ibiza or long hauls to the Maldives. I speak to a lot of people who will book city breaks to Leeds, London or York, it completely depends on your relationship/budget etc, it could be Paris, it could be New York or it could be Yorkshire. Don’t forget, it could be a spa day too if you don’t want to do something overnight. It totally depends on your budget of course but you can usually get some really good deals too with trips. We all know Rudding Park is my favourite spa if you're looking for a dreamy spa and Cliveden House is one of my favourite luxury British hotels if you're looking for an opulent stay. Whether it’s heading across the country, keeping it local or getting an AirBnB and having a dreamy night in, there are SO many options and even just writing this makes me want to plan something with lovely food and all the chilled vibes. Obviously if you stay on Valentines night it tends to be way more expensive but, if you want it to feel super special and do that evening, why not. You could always book it as a Valentines present and give the receiver a card explaining where they’re going and take them later in the year.

Food - My Valentines day is all about food to be honest. I’m that sucker who see’s anything heart shaped and buys it. It’s an excuse to eat and drink so I’m there. In recent years we’ve ended up going to Wholefoods and having a night in with all the bread, wine and guacamole. The issue with eating out on Valentines Day is that everyone has the same idea so most of the restaurants are either booked up or have set menus. I’m quite fussy when it comes to food so I personally prefer to have free reign of the menu, just do your research and have a look for a restaurant that has set menus you’ll like or no set menu at all, don’t get ripped off just because it’s Valentines Day! There are so many amazing restaurants though that go all out on Valentines Day and as much as I love a night in, I also love the excuse to get all dressed up for a Valentines evening out. It doesn’t have to be a dinner out, it could be brunch, afternoon tea or breakfast too! I saw Dominique Ansel in London are doing the most amazing Valentines special afternoon tea, you don’t even have to go with your boyfriend it could be with your Mama! I also recently was invited to the launch of the Four Seasons Park Lane weekend brunch and have to say, it's the best brunch I have ever had, imagine as much food as you can imagine followed by the best desserts to exist. I'd go back in a heartbeat and it would be the dreamiest, luxurious Valentines meal. Book in, now, you will not regret it.
Obviously buying food is the way to the heart too, so you could make a hamper and fill it with your partners favourite things (I highly recommend this hamper as you can keep it forever), whether it’s crammed full of healthy snacks like protein bars or a hamper full of chocolates and his/her favourite crisps. Harvey Nichols do the most insane hampers ever, online here, you can even customise them. I used got go into Harvey Nichols Leeds food hall and make my Mum Christmas hampers, why not do this for Valentines Day? I always buy Matt the premium popcorn from there and Biscuiteers biscuits. You could also order something like a heart shaped cookie, I ordered Matt a giant Millie’s cookie with his name on it and it went down a treat. Brands always make everything heart shaped
around Christmas, whether it's Baileys Strawberry and Cream Chocolate Hearts or Cadbury specials! I was also kindly gifted the epic Pierre Marcolini Valentines chocolates in collaboration with fashion designer Carine Gilson and they're SO cute because they're heart shaped! Delicious and beautiful. Lastly, I saw a huge Cadbury selection box the other day and so many people messaged me saying they're going to buy it for Valentines!

Read: my top London restaurants 
Home Cooked - If you don’t want to spend the money eating out, nothing beats a nice in, with each others company. I’m a big takeaway fan (if you’ve never used Uber Eats before use this promo code and get £15 off your first order, this isn’t paid for or sponsored, it came up on my app and it means we both get £15 free so yep, that’s your Valentines night sorted). When I'm in Yorkshire we only have JustEat though, pizza for me if I was back home! If you don’t want to do a takeout, you could cook a lovely meal for your partner (hello candle lit dinner, still waiting for the day someone does this for me) or even take them for a picnic one weekend. I know it’s a bit chilly but I love a picnic! It doesn’t have to be dinner, it could be breakfast in bed, heart-shaped waffles of course. It’s the little things that are often the big things! Last year I made Matt heart shaped peanut butter cups (you can get my peanut butter cup recipe here) and heart shaped brownies with chocolate covered strawberries too. I’m a sucker for anything heart shaped, I told you!
Fragrance - It’s such a cliche but I think Valentines day is the perfect day to buy someone a fragrance. You can see my recommended fragrances for him and her below, these have all been trialled and tested by myself and the boys in my family! In my opinion you can never go wrong with Jo Malone. 
Photo Memories - For Christmas I got a framed photo from a trip to New York with my family inside and I’ll cherish it more than any expensive gift. In a world of iPhone photos, how about printing out a special photo and bringing those memories to life. You could make special photos into polaroids or go one step further and make your loved one a scrap book. I always say I wish I made Matt a scrap book going back through all our memories from day 1, there are a lot! Maybe for our next anniversary I’ll have to do that! Whether you choose to do it using software online or just buy a photo book and print out the photos and stick them in, then write down all your favourite moments - you can get creative! You could also buy a new instant polaroid camera so you can capture new memories going forward! I got Matt one a few years ago and he loves using it. I'll link my favourites below.
Tech - There are so many useful tech presents, I know I already mentioned cameras above, whether it’s a vlogging camera or an Instant Camera to capture memories, whether it’s Apple AirPods , a Dyson Hair Dryer (you’ll never look back and you can steal it too!!!), an Apple Watch. I believe in buying useful tech and these are all things I have and get so much use out of. I highly recommend them! Maybe someone wants to get into Instagram? You could always buy them my photo editing filters at EmsPresets, now isn't that a good idea! I've linked them all below.

Luxury Goods - I get a lot of emails from people saying they’re buying Gucci belts for Valentines Day, I think a lovely designer item, it’s timeless and you can get so much wear out of it. Note this is the price they stay at they never get discounted! I think buying a gift that’s at the entry level of designer items is great as it wont break the bank but will be cherished forever. One of my favourite presents ever has been my Burberry Scarf. I still wear it so much to this day, I’d recommend forever items like a Burberry scarf, Gucci belt or a designer card holder. You can get womens cardholders here and mens here. If you’re really wanting to blow the boat out, you could obviously go for a designer purse, a designer handbag or some designer shoes. I will leave some of my top picks below.  If you're wanting a nice forever piece without breaking the bank, I always think a wallet is a really nice gift. I'd highly recommend the Roe Menswear wallet (super affordable but beautifully made) or a luxury leather good like a leather passport cover or the Aspinal travel wallet, super luxury without breaking the bank and make such thoughtful, useful gifts.



Clothes - I love buying staple and versatile pieces such as high quality t-shirts (Roemenswear do epic ones, my brother is obsessed with his and bought extra after I bought him some for Christmas 2 years ago), or things like a Reiss jacket, Reiss rollneck or All Saints leather jacket. I don’t think you can go wrong with a nice forever jacket such as All Saints, Moncler or BelstaffValentines Day is the perfect time to buy cute pyjamas too, you can't beat Topshop pyjamas and The White Company dressing gownsMy boyfriend is trainer obsessed so don't forget a good, forever pair of trainers too! Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen or just a good pair of Nike trainers for the gym/day to day use. I'm personally also a Stan Smith lover as they're so comfy and go with everything.



Lingerie - Call it cliche but I do love lingerie for Valentines, I buy it for myself because why not? Some self love, to me, love from me. You can see some favourites below.


Jewellery - Again, another massive cliche one but Valentines day is such a lovely time to buy jewellery, I’m not saying it has to be heart shaped but I do love a dainty piece of jewellery as a reminder. I love Thomas Sabo (they also do engraving on lots of pieces too), Missoma for their beautiful gold pieces and Monica Vinader for their incredible engraved pieces. Don't forget Arlo Jewellery, gorgeous, unisex jewellery brand (perfect if you're looking for a nice piece for a man in your life). Arlo is independently owned and is gorgeous for 925 sterling silver pieces, were talking beautiful pendants and signet rings. Definitely worth supporting this local business too if you're looking for something a little different!Last but not least, of course, Tiffany! Unbeatable. You can find my top picks below.


Pamper items - Whether its a new candle, a bath oil, a face mask or their favourite skin serum top up. I love Jo Malone (and online here too), Diptyque are one of my favourites for the most luxurious candles (and indeed hand washes too - I have one in my kitchen and use it every day) and of course, Molton Brown for everything from candles to bath products and muscle soaks. I also highly recommend this travel bag, perfect for trips or in your hand luggage and a great forever piece. There are obviously so many incredible beauty brands for luxury pamper treats, I love Kiehl’s gift sets and L'Occitane, who always do the most divine gift sets, I adore their Almond range and Shea range. Or how about the limited edition heart shaped IT Cosmetics foundation brush?! You could even book your loved one in in for a hair cut, hair colour or a blow dry. One of the best hair treatments I've ever had was the HeatCure treatment by Redken, you could always book in for something specific and special like this, or book in for a massage or a facial. I had the dreamiest massage of my life at a place called Gazelli House and I still think about how perfect it was to this day. For facials I always love Elemis and Decleor. You could also book someone in for a lovely manicure or pedicure, RagDoll Nails Leeds is my favourite. I know my boyfriend would love it if I booked him in for a hair cut, hair things aren't just for ladies. It would make my day if someone booked me in for a massage, a facial or something to do with my hair! I love seeing my team at Sassoon Leeds and actually often as a present I will book my Mum in to see them for a blow dry. Nice hair is the gift that keeps on giving! You could even book in for a couples massage or facials, I know Elemis do the most amazing massages up in their penthouse and you can take a loved one up with you! You can read about my top London salons for hair here.


Time - I really believe that time in itself is a present, one thing I’d love is to spend more time with my boyfriend so whether you get a Netflix documentary on, get a takeout together, run your partner a bath, it’s all about just spending time with each other through our busy lives. I'd love to just spend a whole weekend with him with no work and all cuddles!


I Owe You Vouchers - I love the idea of love tokens! Make a little voucher booklet with IOWEYOU in it, whether it's a cuddle, you cooking dinner, a walk, a grocery run... it's a nice little touch! You can get a lovely 100 dates scratch off map here which I think is an amazing idea and I Love You Because... vouchers here! 



A New Hobby or Make Memories Together - Whether you book something like an experience day and go bungee jumping, go on an afternoon tea bus tour, do pottery making, a Biscuiteers biscuit decorating class (one of the best date day activities, ever), go to see something at the theatre or even the Royal Opera house, there are some amazing experiences and memories you can make. You could go to a Kobox boxing class together (I took Matt the other day and he loved it and I'm considering buying him passes for Valentines Day so he can come with me!), you could do pilates together (I adore Pilates Squared in London, it would be amazing to do a 2-2-1 with your partner) or for something a little more forever, you could even buy a David Lloyd partner gym membership so you can go to the gym together, I think something you can cherish and use is a really good idea. Matt and I used to go to different gyms and it meant on weekends we were apart, it was so good once we started going to the same gym as it means we can spend more quality time together. 


Flowers - I was once told ‘I don’t buy flowers because they just die’ but honestly, I’m a sucker for fresh flowers and I think they’re really thoughtful! It doesn't matter where you are in the world, you can send flowers! My absolute favourite places for flowers (quality and well priced) are Marks And Spencer, Next - I always order flowers from here and Selfridges

Books - Whether it’s a cookbook, a health book, an educational book or a funny book. Who doesn't love a book? Amongst my favourites are Deliciously Ella and The Body Coach. I find Urban Outfitters great for quirky books, eg, the little book of drinking games, the art of sleeping or the Dad jokes book. Asos is also one of my favourites for quirky little books, for football fans, the little book of Man City is a good shout.


Homeware - Whether it’s a waffle maker, a Nutribullet, a pie maker or a pasta maker, I can’t think of a more fun activity to do together. I've linked lots more gift ideas above to do with this!

I use Valentines Day as a way to spend time with the people I adore, whether it's a lovely dinner, a nice film or just cuddles, for me, it's the perfect excuse!

[FAVOURITE SITES FOR VALENTINES DAY GIFTS]

Topshop - Pyjamas, accessories, knits and gorgeous lingerie - shop it here.

Urban Outfitters - The best books, funniest cards, coolest homeware, quirky gifts - shop it here.

Oliver Bonas - So many cute little gifts and homeware too - online here.

All Saints - Great for forever wardrobe staples - online here.

Net-A-Porter - Incredibly special, luxury items and they come beautifully wrapped - online here.

Selfridges - So many gift ideas, lots of great foodie and drinks goodies and I love their personalised things - online here

Harvey Nichols - My favourite when it comes to the foodhall, so many amazing hampers and lots of cool vegan treats too - shop here.

John Lewis - Great for homeware, tech things and chocolate - here. 

ASOS - Never forget ASOS for gifts, they do the funniest cards - shop it here. If you're looking for an outfit for Valentines Day, lots of options here. 

You can shop more Valentines Day gift ideas below. 




Lots of love, Em x

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