Ideas and inspiration on how you can share the love this Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s may look slightly different this year, but whether you are celebrating at home with your other half, your housemate or those in your household bubble, the current restrictions need not put a dampener on the romance or togetherness. We have plenty of ideas and inspiration on how you can share the love this V-Day…
Nothing quite says it’s a special occasion than breakfast in bed. Rise from your slumber and prepare your favourite first meal of the day to enjoy alongside a glass of orange juice and a cafetière of fresh coffee or a pot of tea for a leisurely start to your Sunday morning. To make it even easier this year, Marks & Spencer has launched a Valentine’s Day hamper that among other products contains heart-shaped crumpets, its famous ‘Love Sausage’ and peach and passionfruit Bellinis; costing £30, order online for delivery on 13 or 14 February. Alternatively have brekkie delivered to your door – The Breakfast Club offers everything from a classic Full English to fluffy American pancakes.
Add a bit of fun to your at-home Valentine’s Day and give your other half a map, so that they can then hunt for clues hidden around the house that will ultimately lead them to a special gift. For the ‘treasure’ and to stay in-keeping with the love theme, why not opt for a heart-shaped box of chocolates from Charbonnel et Walker? Or push the boat out and treat him to a special bottle of aftershave or a bottle of perfume from Penhaligon’s for her? Ultimate romantics can even pen a love letter using a calligraphy set; order online from Montblanc.
Alternatively, sugar fiends will also be happy in the knowledge that the ultimate prize could be the popular heart-shaped Krispy Kremes, which are back this year and can also be delivered to your door, as can Crosstown’s Valentine’s Day Box. Plus, don’t forget Lola’s Cupcakes for a whole host of treats including its classic giant chocolate cookie, a layer cake or even postable brownies.
Board games do not need to equal boring. Get into the competitive spirit with classic games such as Scrabble, Ticket to Ride or even the couple’s version of Monopoly, Couple-opoly; whatever your fancy, browse online and click and collect at Robert Dyas, or for home delivery, Oliver Bonas has a varied selection. Alternatively, create your own Mr and Mrs to see how much you really know each other. Or for pure scandal, choose Cards Against Humanity – those who have played it know. An alternative easy option is the Post-it Note detective game, where each person has to guess the identity of a famous figure that has been scribbled in secret and then stuck onto their forehead.
Bringing literature to unexpected places, the Short Story Stations in Canary Wharf have had a Valentine’s Day makeover, so those who are struggling to muster up a romantic vibe this year (and who would blame you – it is 2021, after all) will be sure to get into the spirit once they hear a tale of love or poem of passion. All you need to do is pick your reading length of either one, three or five minutes using the touch-free buttons, then the machine will print a story at random.
Whilst we are all staying at home – and if you have time on your hands – why not make the most of your space by adorning it with decorations to get you into the Valentine’s Day festivities? You could get crafty and look online; Canary Wharf is running card-making workshops where you can learn from downloadable step-by-step guides by Heaps + Stacks which show you how to make the most of materials that you can find around the house to make cards to send to your loved ones; Make a Marble Valentine Card and Make a Pressed Flowers Valentine Card.
Alternatively, deck out your space by buying eye-catching adornments such as embellished heart decorations from the homeware section of Monsoon. And, in the evening, if you have outside space, why not purchase a fire pit, wrap yourselves in blankets and toast marshmallows in front of the open fire?
Whether you opt for sweet or savoury – or even both – the 1960s and 70s favourite is back! For a cheese fondue, dip roasted potatoes, bread and meatballs for the ultimate gourmet meal, while for those with a sweet tooth, nothing quite beats plunging strawberries, bananas or marshmallows into melted chocolate. For the majority who would go for a dessert over a starter every time, Hotel Chocolat has a range of sets that you can choose from that can be delivered to your door.
Just because you’re spending 14 February between your own four walls, it doesn’t mean that you can’t don your finest attire – why not shop Zara’s latest pieces and pick up via click and collect? – light the candles and have a romantic date night in.
Whether you’re opting for a homecooked meal, getting fine dining delivered – Boisdale and Ibérica have cook-at-home dinner kits, as does The Parlour, which also offers weekend brunches and cocktail-making kits – or simply having takeout with your international favourites from Wahaca or Royal China, or a delicious burger from Five Guys or The Vurger Co., make an occasion of it; after all, it’s bound to stand out from all of the other nights that seem to blur together at the moment! Also don’t forget the wine; order online or click and collect from Nicolas Wine Merchant.
Most people are missing travelling at the moment and although it might feel as though plane journeys and holidays are a long way off, it can help to lift spirits simply by thinking that life won’t always be this way, and eventually it will be possible to travel once again. So, whether it’s a city that you’ve always wanted to explore or an exotic destination that you’ve been eager to visit, pen down the destinations you wish to go to once it is safe to do so, or why not speak to the travel agents Trailfinders to help make your future dreams a reality?
If travel’s not your thing, simply write down your hopes and dreams for the future – they can be as down-to-earth or as fantastical as you wish.
If all else fails or if lockdown life gets in the way, you can’t go wrong with a classic bunch of Valentine’s Day flowers; Waitrose & Partners and Marks & Spencer have big bouquets of roses that are sure to guarantee the wow factor. Or to pull out all of the stops, book an appointment in-store with David M Robinson or Watches of Switzerland while fine jewellery brand Vashi is offering digital consultancies.
For those who are not living in the same household, or even for those not coupled up, fret not, as there are still plenty of activities to keep you busy this Valentine’s Day. From Franco Manca’s Pizza in the Post to Humble Grape’s virtual wine tasting events, you and a partner or friend/s can keep morale up by joining virtual events this 14 February.