I don’t believe in the full commercial cliché of St Valentine’s Day, but it is a chance to show a little love and an excuse to indulge. Even if you don’t have a Valentine, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of self-love and some luxurious ‘me time’, particularly as this year Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday. Either way, here are a few ideas.
You can’t go wrong with flowers and, at this time of year, they introduce some welcome colour and uplifting fragrance to your home. Recommended local florists include freelance Sue Arran and Floral and Hardy whose shop also sells gift items and beautiful handmade cards by Barnet-based Julie Eve. Alternatively, have narcissi sent directly from the Scilly Isles by post for something truly seasonal and a cheerful contrast to red roses.
Even though I’ve still got chocolates leftover from Christmas, I’d be delighted with any number of things from Hopscotch, particularly retro favourite Mon Chéri cherry liqueur chocs. Carluccio’s and Bel Gelato also have some tempting treats and for high-end haute chocolaterie, Paul A Young (main picture) and Pierre Marcolini take some beating.
Pampering and beauty
This is an easy option in Barnet with Odette Beauty Boutique, The Present (their scented candles especially) and Room 89 with H2Oils. These shops are also good hunting ground for luxurious products for men and there’s the suitably named Hertfordshire Hero handmade soap from The Hertfordshire Soap Company. Vouchers for local spas are always a safe bet or why not treat your loved one to a relaxing few hours at traditional London Turkish baths like Porchester Spa in Bayswater or recently refurbished Ironmonger Row Baths near Old Street?
Food and drink
As it’s a Sunday, you could combine a scenic local walk with brunch or tea at The Waiting Room or Boyden’s Kitchen or pub lunch or dinner at The Green Dragon. For the less energetic, cocktails and dinner at Mélange perhaps or a sharing plate and bottle of Prosecco at Carluccio’s, alternatively rustle up an easy supper of French treats from Delage, finishing with some patisserie from Joie de Vie. And it’s hard to go wrong with a decent bottle of fizz.
My Valentine’s wish list could also include some decent reading from Waterstones, Pemira jewellery and other gift items from Room 89, The Present or Fashion and Wine. Or simply slip a voucher in with that card.
So, no excuses then – happy Valentine’s Day!