I think that do-it-youself gifts arethewaytowina‘notonthe highstreet’ heart, but if you really can’t be asked, one of these should bring a smile to your Valentine.
Lingerie: For the girls who want to feel pretty in pink − but on the inside. Topshop is a safe bet to avoid choosing something with too much come-and-get me attitude and won’t go unappreciated by most. Even if she’s not normally a matchy-match girl, get her a set to shake up her smalls. If you don’t know her size, opt for a negligee. M&S have some unexpectedly chic offerings at present so be sure to pop in.
Chocolate: Most generic gift guides cite chocolate somewhere. There is a reason for this – many of us like a sweet treat, and for those that don’t, there are always savoury-ish options (think chilli chocolate truffles). For an indulgent change from the regular slab of Galaxy, head to Chocolat Chocolat opposite Emmanuel for a customised gift.
Card: Take things back to basics, and re-live primary school deposits of Valentine’s cards. From Edward Monkton’s much-loved designs, to corny catch phrases or X-rated options, there is something to suit all sensibilities, though I would obviously recommend do-it-yourself.
Flowers: Admittedly, this one isn’t for everyone. Some actively discourage such signs of mainstream romanticism, but flowers would be my top choice and are generally well received by both men and women. If you know their favourites, seek them out from a Market Square florist, or go old school romantic and pluck some snowdrops and crocuses from the banks of the Cam. Offered with a ribbon embellishment and a kiss, it should seal the deal.
Singleton indulgence: If you aren’t into big gestures or want to share the love between single friends, why not organise a night in? Purchase one of many lovely heart mugs from Cath Kidston for each of your guests. Get them to bring a bottle and a chunk of their favourite fromage. Settle in for a very decadent wine and cheese fest. Probably best to avoid the rom-coms though, we don’t want a pity party.
Pampering for men: The Body Shop has finally come to central Cambridge, so profit from their impeccable customer service and choose a shaving/skincare kit option for the mister in question.
Leather Wallet: Always a winner. Head to TK MAXX for variety a of materials, styles and colours. Don’t forget to pop a copper in before gifting it (my Granny says this will bring money luck!).
Cookbook: POLPO recipes, available from Oliver Bonas or Waterstones on Sidney Street, offer picture and text guides to cooking up European fare with gusto. Consider selecting a few recipes and whipping up a lovely night to remember. This is sure to be a winner if you don’t normally cook.