11 imaginative ideas for Valentine’s Day lovers
By Veronika Leitner
As soon as the chocolate Santas disappear from the shop shelves, Easter bunnies and Valentine’s Day inspired treats come to the fore. Plush red hearts, bouquets of flowers, sexy lingerie and mountains of chocolates all compete for the attention of love-struck shoppers, while restaurants up and down the land prepare for an influx of nervous couples.
Let’s be honest though, quite often the go-to gifts which so many of us rely on are a little tacky, ridiculously expensive or just lack imagination. If you’re looking for a more personal way to show your appreciation why not follow Quidblog’s suggestions...
Set the mood for the day
Early birds can make their sweetheart’s day by serving up breakfast in bed. Get your hands on some love themed cooking gadgets such as heart-shaped cookie cutters, stencils and egg rings to create the perfect love-all-round food experience. And guys, what better way to impress your woman than serving up heart shaped pancakes with strawberries, whipped cream and and a sprinkle of edible rose petals.
Treat each other to a massage
Every now and then we all need to escape the stresses and strains of everyday life and nothing is more relaxing than a long massage. Rather than spending a fortune on a one-off treat, couples can spend their Valentine’s Day learning how to let their partner forget the world around them in the comfort of their own home. Up and down the country spas and specialist parlors offer workshops in a variety of techniques from holistic to shiatsu and tantric massages. Check out Red Letter Days for a three hour workshop at the Savana Urban Spa in London and stock up on complimentary accessories such as Cowshed’s Horny Cow Seductive Bath & Massage Oil for a lasting investment in romantic, intimate and relaxing times.
Message in a bottle
There’s nothing as sweet as a compliment, so why not let your partner know what makes them the most special person in your life every day of the year? Fill an empty wine bottle with 365 little notes about your partner’s most attractive features and qualities, romantic memories, love poems and quotes to remind your darling every day why they are your perfect match. To turn your bottle into a total work of romance, create a vintage look by carefully burning the ends of a personalised sticky label and seal the bottle with an old cork.
Get your hands dirty
Teddies, flowers and chocolate are traditional gifts for Valentine’s Day. Although the variety of sweet treats is endless, nothing really compares to the experience of creating your own. Why not spend the day learning the art of confectionary? Team up with your partner to handcraft your own truffles, pralines or moulded chocs…after a few hours tasting of course. Valentine’s Day chocolate workshops are available nationwide and promise to be a fun experience that will leave you with new skills and handmade chocolates – the perfect accompaniment to a cosy movie night in.
Do you remember…
Hundreds of pictures of joint holidays, birthday parties and your first flat together are stored away and forgotten on external hard drives, smartphones and digital cameras. Why not go through your files, develop a selection of the best pictures and put together a photo album that brings together all the special, fun and loving moments you shared with your Valentine. Scaramanga’s online shop offers hand crafted antique leather albums which are perfect for housing your special memories in a manner which will have you spending hours reminiscing with that special person in your life. If you don’t have much time or just can’t handle the thought of digging around in the loft for old photos you should opt for an electronic picture frame which can display up to 1GB of images in HD quality.
Did you leave your Valentine’s Day preparations too late? Are you now not able to get a reservation at your favourite restaurant? Then tie up your apron and give cooking with aphrodisiacs a try. Preparing dishes with certain foods like oysters, asparagus, truffle, figs, and chocolate is believed to turn up the heat, not only the in the kitchen. Bursting with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, natural aphrodisiacs are very healthy ingredients that will make a delicious three-course meal. Check out www.epicurious.com for a list of ingredients and recipe ideas that are guaranteed to impress even the fussiest of foodies.
Watching the sunset by the beach and observing the starry skies is top of the list of romantic outdoor settings. So fill your thermos jug with Pukka’s Love Tea and take your loved one for a night walk by the sea or in your local park to watch the stars. Everyone keen to avoid the late onset of winter should check for special events at their nearest observatory – we all remember what happened when Ross took Rachel to the planetarium in season 2 of Friends...
Always by your side
Jewellery such as rings, necklaces, bracelets or earrings are a popular gift and many lovers personalise their presents with engraved love messages, names or dates. A vintage inspired alternative to ‘I’ll always love you’ is giving the special person in your life a photo locket pendant. They come in all sizes, shapes and styles and look best when worn with long necklaces. If you want to insert a photograph, it is easier to go for round or oval shapes and some places offer to fit your image into the pendant for you. This way your better half will never be without you.
When you think of passion and love…you’re only a hop, skip and a jump from music and dancing coming to mind. Salsa, Tango and Flamenco are not only the most sensual dances in the world with performers known to leave a lasting impression on their audience, they’re also a great workout. If you’re eager for an energetic date, or fancy getting a sweat on why not try one of the many dance schools and Latin American clubs that offer teaser dance lesson sessions in a relaxed and fun environment. A great way to start an evening before tasty cocktails and tapas.
Board games are boring – not always! That’s at least what the makers of Monogamy claim. Players move across the board, answering one of 600 questions about their relationship and sex life and are encouraged to engage in ‘intimate’, ‘passionate’ and ‘steamy’ ideas and actions. This game is a great way to speak about intimate details of your relationship in a playful and relaxed atmosphere and opens your mind to trying out new things with your partner.
Watch the classics
Whether you’re a movie fan, a passionate theatre goer or love classical music and the opera, there are plenty of great classic love stories that are certain to get you and your Valentine in the romantic mood. Romeo and Juliet, Twelfth Night and The Winter’s Tale a great romantic plays by William Shakespeare and Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, Richard Strauss’ Rosenkavalier (The Knight of the Roses) and Georges Bizet’s Carmen are celebrated romantic operas. Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Gone with the Wind are two of many all time movie classics, so are Ghost and West Side Story which have both been transformed into much-loved musicals – the choice is yours!
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