Gift Ideas: Valentine’s Day

Like it or not (I know there are some strong opinions on this holiday), Valentine’s Day is just one week away. If you’re in a relationship, that means it’s time to turn your mind to it if you haven’t already. I actually like this holiday – there’s something nice about taking the time to celebrate love and to have a romantic night. My ideal Valentine’s Day is pretty basic: having some wine at home, exchanging cards and a small gift (like chocolates, macrons, or other sweets), then heading out for dinner and champagne. This year, D and I will be in NYC – our dinner reservations are booked, and it will be so fun to be in a different city and on vacation. That’s a perfect Valentine’s Day if you ask me and I can’t wait. If you don’t quite have a weekend away in New York to look forward to, I’ve included a few ideas below that might inspire you and help you figure out what to do for that special someone:


1) Make dinner reservations, now. A lot of places will be pretty full already, or only have late seatings available, but still… do some research on Open Table, call around if you have to, and find somewhere nice to go.


2) Start menu-planning and stay in. Either cook yourself or see if you can find a private chef to come to your home and cook a romantic dinner for two. If you’re cooking, put some time into planning the courses and wine pairings… something like green salad, risotto, and rosemary lamb chops looks impressive and tastes great, but it’s not that hard to pull off and you can do a lot of the prep work in advance. Warning: if you’re not much of a cook, be realistic in what you plan to make. Otherwise you might end up ordering a pizza if your overly-ambitious meal goes sideways, or eating at midnight if you miss-time how long it will take. Or, start looking into that private chef idea.

3) Buy a nice bottle of wine to share (like a Brunello, yum), or a bottle of champagne (Veuve! What I wouldn’t give for a glass of that right now).

4) Since Valentine’s Day is on a Saturday this year, you can opt out of cooking dinner and bring your love breakfast in bed. I like the idea of using a cookie cutter to make a heart-shaped fried egg, as pictured above. Or heart-shaped pancakes. Bring them coffee in a new V-Day themed mug.

5) Sugar Cookies! Yum! My favorite are the heart-shaped ones with message on them. You can either make your own (basic sugar cookies, heart-shaped cookie cutters, royal icing + some icing decorating paraphernalia) or save the time and effort and pick some up at the store. In Vancouver, check out the fresh ones at Sweet Bake Shop or the pre-packaged ones at Williams-Sonoma (call in advance to either of these places to make sure they have them in stock before you go).

6) Flowers, flowers, flowers. Girls LOVE flowers. Gentlemen, buy your ladies some flowers (except you D, you’re exempt this year), and get your orders in now (can be done online, so easy).  I like the idea of the buckets of roses (25) from Landeau, a Vancouver-based company.  I also love the bouquets Garden Party Flowers does – D got me one from there before and it was so lovely.

7) Definitely not for everyone, but I love the framed heart prints that you can get at The Cross. Chapters also sells some that are sort of similar. I’d only recommend this if you’re sure the recipient is going to like it.  Or, buy one for you and call it a present to yourself.

8) Chocolates – like most occasions, I’m a big fan of getting some nice, locally-made chocolate – Beta5, Chocolate Arts, Thomas Haas, Xoxolat and Chocohappy are all great.

9)  Plan a romantic night away from home.  Whether that means staying in the city but in a hotel with room service, robes, and slippers, or getting out of town, this can be fun too.  If in Vancouver, think about the Fairmont Pacific Rim or the Rosewood Hotel Georgia. If you want to get a few hours out of the city for a night or two, then Whistler is always great (check out Nita Lake Lodge, or The Four Seasons), or Sparkling Hill Resort near Vernon.

10) Ladies, when in doubt, head to Victoria’s Secret and buy one of these.

11) And… don’t forget a card. I love cards, and it’s always nice to take a moment to write some sweet words down on paper.  Check out a store with cute stationary (no surprise here, but The Cross carries some really good ones, and Meadow Gifts + Apparel in Gastown has a great selection).

So there you go, hopefully some inspiration for you!



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