I don’t usually make a big thing of Valentines Day - love comes in all shapes and I think everyday should be a day to show your loves that you love them! But I know lots of you celebrate on February 14th, so I’ve put together a list of some of my favourite alternative Valentines ideas to share with your people or to enjoy yourself, quite frankly, any time you like!
Not just roses 🌿
I'm always delighted to buy or receive cut flowers, and roses are undeniably glorious, but for something that will bring joy for a little longer I would go for a houseplant. My favourites are small, green, leafy plants that sit happily on a shelf and (mostly) look after themselves, but if you’re green-fingered or have plenty of space indoors there is a whole world of wonderful choices. One of the most beautiful plant shops in my area is The Watered Garden - it's a little city-centre oasis, and they deliver too.
Chocolate with a difference
If you’re open to being adventurous with your chocolate I’d recommend Cacao Temple’s raw cacao powders blended with spices to make an incredibly tasty, healthy chocolate powder that is super versatile - ‘make warm elixirs, smoothies, breakfast, chocolate snacks and desserts’, according to the website, and there are lots of recipes and ideas on their blog too. I love to warm it with hazelnut milk for a really nutritious and comforting afternoon drink when I come home from the workshop. Gorgeous packaging, and a beautiful name - Liquid Love Blend - give it a try!
Wine in a hand-blown glass
I'm always drawn to a slightly raw aesthetic, and I love handmade objects with gentle character that tell part of the story of how they were made. I also love a glass of something refreshing and relaxing in the evenings (home-brewed cider if it's the right season, wine anytime, or maybe tonic water if I'm having a day off the alcohol), while preparing tea or winding down for the day. These hand-blown wine glasses from Nettle and Tansy are made in the Lake District, inspired by nature and they tick all the boxes for me, they’re on my wish-list!
Cooking and eating at home
If, like me, you prefer to cook and eat at home, then a small selection of well-chosen tableware and cookware can make a real difference to laying an easy but special table. My favourite brand for cooking and eating at home is Falcon Enamelware. I love the simple, utilitarian forms, the versatility (it’s all heavy steel with a thick coating of enamel, and it can endure a LOT!), and I love the character each piece develops when it inevitably gets dropped and chips - my kids and I use ours everyday, throughout the house and garden, and every little ding and chip tells a story 🖤
All clichés aside, there’s no denying that jewellery endures as a token of love - it’s meaningful, intimate, and can last a lifetime. Happily, attitudes have changed and while it's still beautiful to receive jewellery as a gift, it's more than acceptable (I'd say it's to be encouraged!) to choose and buy something for yourself. Self-love rings, perfect everyday luxury earrings that only you can choose, a great necklace that makes you feel put-together no matter what the days hold - whatever you need to feel a little bit more like your best self, I say go for it! Buy with intention, choose with love and thought, and wear and enjoy your pieces well 💛