With the upcoming Valentine's Day, I've put together some gift ideas to help circumnavigate any present giving minefields that people may wander into.
Flowers - though a cliché, flowers will always be gratefully received by any lady. Don't worry about 12 red roses, whilst they are beautiful, so are other bouquets! Budget Bloom and Wild, an excellent floral service that send flowers so they can be posted through a letter box! Luxury: Phillipa Craddock (also sold at Selfridges). An amazing florist who manages to keep bouquets classic, but with a fresh and modern look.
Bubbles - Bubbles will always go down well with any wine loving girl. They need not be proper champagne as prosecco, sekt and sparkling wine are also delicious, and can offer better value for money. Budget: Chapel Down English Sparkling Rose. This wine is so so yummy. I could drink it all day! Available from most good off licences and supermarkets. Luxury LPR. Such a classic drop! And not extraordinarily expensive either, though it does make for a nice treat. Also available from most good off licences and supermarkets.
Lingerie - Again, perhaps a clichéd option for a Valentine's Day present, which also presents the problem of having to know your other half's sizes, but good underwear is always a pleasure to receive. Budget: Marks and Spencer. Whilst M&S also provide the most granny of underwear, some of its younger lines are very pretty, and look a lot more expensive than they are. Rosie Huntingdon-Whiteley's range there is particularly chic. Luxury: Agent Provocateur Enough said.
Cashmere - I love cashmere like most women and given that Valentine's day is in one of the colder months, it makes for a very apt gift. Also, whilst a jumper or cardigan are always great presents, cashmere socks are an indulgence that women will rarely buy for themselves. Give them along with having run a bubble bath for your loved one! Budget: Uniqlo, offers a ludicrously good value and wide range of cashmere. You will find something here to suit all tastes. Luxury: Chinti and Parker; this fashion label provides a quirky selection of knitwear alongside much more classic designs. I lust after their whole range.
Leather - Women love handbags. They need not cost a fortune either. The British high street offers something for everyone. However, if a whole bag is beyond either your budget or your loved one's wardrobe space, think about a coin purse in 100% leather, or a make up bag or two. Budget: Zara, for a high street store, Zara's leather offering looks far more luxurious than the price tags that their range retails at. Shapes and styles are always in up to the minute styles with good quality materials. Luxury: Smythson, the company that used to have Sam Cam as part of its design team, offers beautiful bags alongside passport holders, leather bound books and card wallets. Expensive, but worth it. You're other half will keep anything from this brand forever.
Art - So I am obviously very biased here, but I do think art makes a great gift for one's other half. Budget: This Is Carrt Print, I love images of cities, sunsets and sand. Take a look at my whole range to see if there is anything your other half would fancy. Luxury: This Is Carrt Personalised Print, customised presents always go down a treat as they mean just that little bit more thought went into its purchase. I have a number of prints that can be made to order as well as the one in the above link - just ask!
Whisky - A present that looks terrific on any bar trolley or sideboard, and tastes delicious too. This spirit is a fab gift to give as it means in future, you can also give your loved one a matching decanter and cut glass tumbler set. Everyone loves a gift that keeps on giving! Budget: Jura Origin is a great tasting low end malt and available from most good off licences. Luxury: Lagavulin is a wonderful peaty option for those with a few more coins to spend. Also available from most good off licences.
Shaving Equipment - Whether your other half is into your regular shaving foam and standard razor, or he likes a good shaving set, both with be happily received due to a man's love of all things practical. Budget: Gilette, the best a man can get right? Available from Boots. Luxury: I know gifts are meant to be selfless, but I love old fashioned shaving sets, with a brush to match. Taylors of Bond Street have some good looking vintage inspired ones.
Money Clip - Help your man spend his money on you a little easier by buying him a money clip! Budget: Etsy have an enormous offering of classic to quirky money clips at a variety of prices. Luxury: Montblanc offer an attractive range of money clips that make a wonderful forever gift.
Red Wine: This is my fail safe option for all the men in my life, but the great thing about giving it at Valentine's day is that the giver is more likely to drink it at a home cooked (by him) Valentine's dinner. Everyone is a winner! Budget/Luxury: Faustino. This Spanish red has many different vintages, all of which are delicious. The higher numbered labels, i.e Faustino VII, are the cheaper options, but still taste yummy when accompanied by red meat. The lower numbers are also delicious but cost that bit more. Available from all good off licences!
Boxers: Another reliable gift choice are sets of boxers. Plus buying them for your man means that you up your chances of him not wearing an unsightly novelty pair. Boxers might not be the most inspired idea, but they will certainly be used! Budget: Marks and Spencer, just a good destination for male underwear as for female undies! , Luxury: Ralph Lauren, the all American brand have a large selection to suit all.
Art - Please see above female option!!! Take a look at my shop on Etsy for my selection of photography prints and customisable images: This Is Carrt
Best of luck all!