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A selection of Valentine’s Day gifts

Are you struggling for ideas on what to buy your loved one for Valentine’s Day? Here are some suggestions from Team db.

The origins of St Valentine’s Day are unclear, although there are a number of theories surrounding how this romantic day started.

One theory is that under the Roman Emperor Claudius young men were banned from marrying in order to make them better soldiers, but Valentine of Rome (a priest or a bishop) secretly carried out weddings. When Claudius found out about Valentine’s actions he ordered his death and Valentine is supposed to have died on 14 February.

In ancient Rome 13, 14 and 15 February were celebrated as Lupercalia, a pagan fertility festival and this looks to be the main reason behind this day being a celebration of love.

Around 496 AD the pagan festival was still popular and, in what history records as a bid to turn the day away from paganism, Pope Gelasius declared 14 February to be St Valentine’s Day and a Christian feast day.

In the 14th century Geoffrey Chaucer wrote Parlement of Foules, which is generally recognised as the first time that St Valentine’s Day was linked to romantic love.

Although Chaucer’s writing saw St Valentine’s Day linked to love it wasn’t until the 19th century that it really took off as a day to send gifts and cards to your loved one. Some reports now claim that Valentine’s Day is worth over US$18 billion to the US economy alone, and more than £40 million was spent on Valentine’s Day cards in the UK last year.

Gifts, cards and romantic meals are now a common part of Valentine’s Day and here’s our guide to some ideas for what you can do for your loved one this Thursday.

Bleeding love at Bubble Food

London restaurant Bubble Food will be serving up its “most carnal creation ever” this Valentine’s Day. Mixing some classic aphrodisiac ingredients with “a little molecular magic” has seen the restaurant come up with the “Bleeding Love” love potion of Champagne, caviar and sabayon served with a bitter chocolate, crispy strawberry and liquid cherries.

The restaurant claims that the result is “a veritable taste explosion that will get anyone who succumbs to its exquisite charms in the mood for some serious romance”.


A bottle of Champagne is a classic Valentine’s Day gift, but which one to buy?

Perrier-Jouet’s recently released, limited edition Belle Epoque Champagne bottle is decorated with flowers. Designed by Japanese floral artist Makoto Azuma this bottle can see you win double Brownie points by giving both Champagne and flowers as a Valentine’s Day gift.

Rosé Champagne is also gaining popularity as a Valentine’s present and the floral patterns on Veuve Clicquot’s Shakkei collection, which comes with a gift box, bottle of rosé and two flutes is another multi-tasking gift.

Archer Street and Guerlain

Collaborations could help you give a great gift this Valentine’s Day and Soho bar Archer Street has come up with a useful Valentine’s Day partnership.

The bar has launched a new limited-edition cocktail in collaboration with French perfumers, Guerlain. On purchasing the cocktail consumers will be treated to a complimentary sample of Guerlain’s new fragrance, La Petite Robe Noire.

The cocktail contains Hendrick’s Gin, with elderflower, blackcurrant and the sparkles of Billecart Brut Reserve to “guarantee a playful and romantic night”.

Nyetimber sparkling wine

Not only could English sparkling wine make a great gift for an English partner, Nyetimber has released only its second ever sparkling rosé.

Anyone who can successfully answer a question on Nyetimber’s Facebook page will go into a draw to win a bottle of its Rosé 2008.

The fizz is described as “the perfect accompaniment to Valentine’s Day celebrations”.

From Georgia with love

In Georgia it is a tradition that men prove their virility to the womenfolk by consuming as many Georgian dumplings, known as khinkali, as possible.

Georgian restaurant Colchis, in Notting Hill, will be offering the diner who can polish off the most khinkali a complimentary meal for two.

Khinkali is a dumpling made of twisted knobs of dough, stuffed with meat and spices.

So the restaurant is giving guys the chance to show off their virility and indulge in their competitive spirit and with over 150 wines to choose from there is plenty for the ladies to enjoy while watching their man.

Rumchata fun

RumChata is a Caribbean rum-based cream liqueur that uses “five times distilled Caribbean rum and real Wisconsin dairy cream with a touch of natural cinnamon, vanilla, sugar and other secret flavours”.

The manufacturers have come up with a range of Valentine’s Day-inspired recipes and ideas. First is serving breakfast in bed with RumChata French toast, which sees RumChata mixed with eggs and milk, dip bread into the mix, fry and serve.

Or try delivering a box of chocolates with a “Chocolate covered cherry bomb” mixing together two parts RumChata with one part chocolate vodka and one part cherry vodka, shake all the ingredients and serve over ice in a Martini glass.

Romance at the Royal Horseguards Hotel

If you want to be particularly indulgent this Valentine’s Day, you could treat your partner to a lavish “Romance on the River” package at London’s five star The Royal Horseguards Hotel.

The package includes a one-night stay with breakfast and a late 4pm check out. Also included will be a bottle of “fine rosé Champagne, a bouquet of red roses, a luxury beauty gift set and a box of deluxe truffles”.

I ♥ You wine

Copestick Murray has released the second limited edition of its very successful “I heart” brand. This year bottles of “I ♥ You” wine are available from Sainsbury’s, Budgens and Londis. This year also sees the launch of a rosé line in addition to the existing range of Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Merlot and Shiraz.

Tell your partner how you feel about them with a bottle of wine that expresses your feelings on a label.

Borough Market’s Roast restaurant

Here’s a way to get dinner, gifts and Champagne sorted in one hit.

From 11 to 17 February the restaurant is giving a pair of silver cufflinks and a sterling silver pendant, both created by jewellery designer Noreen Mirza, to anyone ordering a bottle of Champagne to the value of £60 or over, when dining at Roast.

On Valentine’s night the restaurant is offering a sharing menu alongside its regular à la carte menu and bar manager, Sebastian Guesdon will be offering a selection of wines to enjoy with each course.


We’ve already touched on Champagne being an ideal Valentine’s gift and online retailer Wine Rack is offering discounts on a range of rosé wine and bubbles.

Some of the discounted brands include Taittinger, Lanson, Laurent-Perrier, Codorniu and Viña Sol.

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