10 ideas for Valentine's Day

First published: 09-02-2015

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The most romantic day of the year is here again, and it's time to start getting organised! A bunch of flowers from the petrol station might be better than nothing, but it's always nice to make your loved one feel appreciated with a really thoughtful gift. Whether you want to splash the cash or not, it's easy to make a really genuine and heart-felt gesture that will put a huge smile on their face. Here are our top ten tips for getting it right this Valentine's Day.

1. Flowers

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As a classic gift, flowers never go out of fashion. However, since this is a gift many people think of as quite typical for Valentine's Day, it's worth making it a little more personal for your loved one. For example, we all think of a dozen red roses being the ultimate in romantic bouquets, but what about your partner's favourite flowers? If they are a huge fan of tulips, get those instead! This is more likely to show them how much you care, especially if you get them in their favourite colour. Why not add a personal touch by buying a special ribbon to tie around them? It's those all-important extra touches that are bound to make all the difference.

2. You've been framed

Chances are, your other half has said something over the past year that has left you doubled over with laughter. If they've come out with something particularly memorable, why not get this hilarious quote framed to go up on the wall? If you're going to display it somewhere in the house, where other people are likely to see it, just make sure it's something you wouldn't mind your guests reading! Alternatively, if there is a song lyric, or a line from a poem that you know they really like, get that framed instead to show how well you've been listening. Another option is to use a lyric or line that especially reminds you of them, which could make a really flattering gift. If you're struggling to find the words to sum it all up, we often find Ted Hughes has the solution!

3. Picnic

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A really nice way to spend some quality time together is to head out to the countryside (or a nearby park) for a picnic! We all know how the great British weather can be relied upon (ahem) so make sure you've got plenty of blankets to keep you both warm as well as an umbrella, but fingers crossed you'll get to enjoy a crisp, clear afternoon. Pack their favourite foods and opt for more gourmet choices (ciabatta instead of sliced bread, for example), and take in the scenic views together.

4. Tickets to that thing they love

This can be something really grand, like a show or concert, or more low-key, like a night at the local comedy club. Knowing how they best like to spend their time and joining in with their favourite activities will show them how much you really care. This could also be something outdoorsy, so if your other half has always wanted to try paintballing, for example, book a session so you can both try it!

5. Chilling with a film and a takeaway

Sometimes, it is the most relaxed nights that are the most enjoyable, especially if you both lead really busy lives. Lay down a pyjamas-only rule, stick on their favourite film (or buy them one they have always wanted to watch) and pig out with their takeaway of choice. One of the best things about spending time with your other half is often just how comfortable you feel together, so take advantage of this and just slob out in front of the TV for some quality lazy time.

6. A big dinner

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If you'd rather get totally dressed up for your Valentine's night, then a big posh dinner either at home or in a restaurant might be the perfect option. If you want to really pamper your other half, it's not just about spending as much money as possible; instead, do all the work for them - book everything, pick out something nice to wear for them (either an outfit or an accessory) and, if possible, be the one driving them to and from. If you're cooking yourself, pull out all the stops with the table layout, and pick the foods you know they will love. Alternatively, if you're going out, either book a table at their favourite restaurant or one that serves their cuisine of choice.

7. Their favourite food

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Since many of us lead such busy lifestyles, you might not have time to commit to cooking an entire meal as a Valentine's treat. However, you can still show you care by making them something they love. Before they leave for work in the morning, give them a box of their favourite cookies, for example, that they can take with them and enjoy throughout the day. Another option is to prepare them a bespoke cocktail for when they arrive home - anything you make yourself will be perfect, since they will appreciate the effort you have gone to. Just ensure you clean the kitchen up before they get back!

8. Perfume / cologne

Their favourite fragrance will make a perfect Valentine's present, since it is a small item that can make them feel really glamourous. It doesn't even have to be one they have owned previously - if you know they like a particular brand of perfume or aftershave, perhaps get them a different one by the same designer that they maybe haven't tried before. This will work doubly well, since it's a nice surprise, but also shows you pay attention to what they like!

9. Time for romance

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Jewellery is always a really good idea for a romantic present, but instead of the bejewelled earrings or necklaces, why not invest in something that is as practical as it is stylish? A watch is a perfect option, either for everyday or special occasion use, if you find one that really matches their personal style. You don't even have to spend a fortune to find one that oozes sophistication. This dynamic black watch from Emporio Armani is ideal for a man who takes pride in his appearance, as it will suit both casual and smart outfits, and has a very versatile colouring. Image 7
For ladies, Olivia Burton has a huge range of very bold yet feminine designs that are ideal for the office, an evening out or a day at the races. This gorgeous rose gold watch exudes a kind of minimalist chic, and since the colour is so neutral it will be easy to wear as often as she likes. You could even get the watch engraved if you want to make it extra special.

10. It really is the thought that counts

No matter what you choose to get them, don't go for the generic option - pick something that is really personal to them. If you want to get a DVD, find something they have always wanted to watch instead of the typical rom-coms (unless that's what they really want, of course!) Even if the gift is something practical or for use around the house, get something with a little personal touch that is tailored to them. Lots of retailers sell a huge range of gifts that can be personalised, from wooden spoons that have your loved one's face drawn on them to mugs with their exact tea preference written on the side. A pen with their name on it is ideal if your other half works in an office, or if they love cooking why not get something like a personalised cheese board? 'You had brie at hello', 'I camembert life without you', 'you're the grate-est', or something equally romantic is sure to do the trick!

The perfect Valentine's gift for your other half doesn't have to cost a fortune. It's easy to make a thoughtful gesture that will show how much you care, so keep in mind all their favourite things, and pick something you know will sweep them off their feet.

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