Valentine's Day is coming up and, love it or hate it, it's always a good idea to have some gift ideas up your sleeve. We've put together some suggestions of things that we think would be universally loved, as well as our picks of what to eat and drink on the day. Our popular gift guide provides gifting options for a variety of budgets so head over there and take a look if you're looking for further inspiration.
What to give for Valentine's Day
Banvard & James Cashmere Scarf
It's still very much scarf weather here in the UK so why not give a 100% cashmere option for a luxurious and lasting gift? Our cashmere scarf is available in a range of beautiful colours... we're particularly favouring the gradient collection at the moment. The colour is graduated from one end to the other, perfect for adding a stylish flair to any outfit. All our scarves arrive in a Banvard & James branded gift box - making them ready to give to your loved one, no wrapping required!
Fortnum & Mason Lovestruck hamper
A Fortnum's hamper is really the last word in luxury. This Valentine's version contains a variety of delicious treats for you and your loved one to enjoy together - from chocolate covered raspberries to their special Valentine's tea blend.
We've recently discovered candles by Eym. Their blends are created from pure essential oils and they're made in the UK using only sustainable ingredients and packaging. We love the three minis gift set, featuring three of their popular scents.
Le Creuset Heart Shaped Casserole Dish
We know this is a bit cheesy but if you're buying for a food lover, what better way to show your love and (hopefully) get them to prepare you a dinner or two in return? Le Creuset are a must-have for any home chef and they last for years so are a great investment.
Banvard & James Leather Gift Collection
We offer a range of beautiful leather accessories created from the softest Italian leather. Choose from navy or chocolate brown - we've got card holders, keyrings, wallets, journal covers, document holders and more. The good news is you'll have gifting covered for a few occasions while you add matching pieces to their collection!
Hawkins Bros Brut Reserve
Surprise your loved one with a bottle of gold medal-winning English sparkling wine from Hawkins Bros. Their 2014 Brut Reserve is a classic blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier made from grapes grown on the south-facing chalk of The Hogs Back in Surrey. Order now and they'll deliver it on the 14th with a personalised gift card.
What to drink on Valentine's Day
Out and about
Cocktails at Soma
This elegant basement bar on Denman St in London's Soho gives us major speakeasy vibes. The drinks are inventive and exciting - you won't find a Mojito on the menu here! Think coriander seed vermouth with citrus pepper or banana rum with indian spices.
Perhaps you're staying in and have opted to keep your alcohol intake reduced since dry January. There are so many amazing alcohol-free spirits on the market now. We're currently loving Botivo, an all-natural botanical mix with an apple cider vinegar base. Delicious topped up with soda water.
What to eat on Valentine's Day
Out and about
Dinner at Wild by Tart
It's always best to avoid anywhere overly 'Valentines-y' and opt for somewhere where you're guaranteed good food and a great atmosphere. We think Wild by Tart, in Eccleston Yards, is the perfect place for this. Their menu offers delicious seasonal dishes - think smokey beetroot hummus or pork belly with ponzu and toasted peanuts. Don't leave without trying a wood fired flatbread.
'Pizza in the Post' by Pizza Pilgrims
We love this mail order option. Choose your delivery date and they'll send two portions of dough, tomato sauce and toppings for you to make their delicious pizzas at home. It's really easy, super fun and they taste just as good as the pizzas in their restaurants, with the added bonus that you don't have to leave the house.
We know it's not all about London... for a delicious lunch or dinner option further afield, we cannot recommend The Pig enough. The Pig is a group of boutique hotels with their own restaurants which each serve only produce which has been sourced within 25 miles - a lot of it grown, or reared, themselves. There are eight locations dotted around the country so hopefully you can find one near you!
What to watch on Valentine's Day
Whether you're in a relationship or not, we totally get that Valentine's Day isn't everyone's thing. Perhaps you prefer a night in, away from the festivities going on outside. If that's you then we've got some excellent TV recommendations. These are all must-see releases that will make it worth not going out...
Everything everywhere all at once
This sci-fi comedy drama has just been nominated for 11 Oscars. It's a bit bonkers on the surface but beneath that is a really powerful story with an emotional end.
This upcoming British political thriller series introduces us to Laura Simmonds, a diplomat living in Barcelona who works to protect several British nationals who find themselves in trouble - while mixing the roles of lawyer, counsellor and detective.
Aftershock: Everest & Nepal
This is the story of a group of locals and tourists who found themselves in the middle of the 2015 earthquake in Nepal. It catalogues the devastation caused by the disaster and provides first hand accounts from the people who were there. Not the cheeriest of subjects but it's an important watch and gives an interesting look at the different ways people behave in the face of danger.
We hope you've enjoyed our Valentine's recommendations. Don't forget to check out our gift guides for more!