Valentine's Day: Gifts

  • The List
  • 3 February 2010
Valentine's Day: Gifts

Finding the right gift for your Valentine is a fraught, potentially dangerous experience. Fortunately, The List’s own shopping agony auntie Kirstin Innes is here to help you cut through all the heart-shaped dross and find personalised presents

Your loved one is either a shy indie girl who wears Mary Janes and owns every Belle & Sebastian album, or a wry, romantic shoegazing chap with thick-framed specatacles

Get them 69 Love Songs. The Magnetic Fields’ magnum opus does exactly what it says on the tin: 69 gorgeous, bittersweet, witty and heartfelt songs about love. The triple album is legendary in certain indie circles, so your partner will definitely interpret the significance: we suggest doing a quick scan of their record collection to make sure a previous lover hasn’t already gone there.
£7, Fopp, Byres Road and Union Street, Glasgow.

Your loved one might dress from mostly vintage shops, and has possibly been enjoying a bit of burlesque action recently, but deep down is still a real girlie.

Get her these ridiculously frou frou-fabulous, retro-inspired frillies by Yorkshire designer Caroline Rose, exclusively at Bohemia and designed to make anyone’s bum think it’s the 1950s. We mean that in a good way.
Rose & Co. Frilly Pants, £18, Bohemia. Two stores in Edinburgh: see or call 0131 447 2630.

Your loved one is a cynical, cerebral hipster with a subscription to McSweeney’s and a postgraduate degree in contemporary literature

Get them My Mistress’ Sparrow is Dead, a collection of dark, slightly twisted love stories from throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, edited by Jeffrey Eugenides (The Virgin Suicides, Middlesex). It’s not some edgy, glib kind of publication, though: as well as being an utterly beautiful book to look at, the featured writers include Chekhov, Nabokov, Alice Munro and Lorrie Moore, and all profits go to funding free youth writing projects in Chicago.
RRP £9.99. Order it from Hyndland Bookshop, Hyndland Road, Glasgow, 0141 334 5522.

Your loved one is either an exhibitionist with a vast wardrobe of gorgeous lingerie, or, shall we say, an enthusiastic appreciator of aesthetic erotica.

Get them a photography session with Hush Hush Boudoir Photography. Based out of some of Edinburgh’s most stunningly beautiful boutique hotels, this new company brings in professional hair and makeup styling for a full, vintage-style photoshoot of tastefully sensual images: you can either buy the experience for your (female) partner, or present your own photoshoot to your beloved as a sexy book. (Don’t worry. Any rogue wobbly bits can be airbrushed). It probably goes without saying, but if you’re buying this for a partner, be sure that they’re absolutely comfortable with this sort of thing, eh?
Hush Hush packages start from £360: find out more from

Your loved one is … ‘Not my loved one, OK? We’re just, er, taking things as they come. It’s modern. It’s complicated. Alright?’

Sure. You don’t want to let them know your feelings just yet. Not that we’re saying you have any feelings one way or the other. Because you might not. Why not just make a joke out of the whole thing, with a laconic slogan card from Lazy Oaf. Very useful if you’re dancing around that awkward, two-dates-in-and-oh-no-it’s-Valentine’s-Day issue. Or, you know, if you’re thirteen. They can also send it to your, er, fancied one anonymously for you.
Cards, £2.50.

Your loved one’s interests include stand up comedy, boozing and flashing his bum; but he’s got a heart of gold and he’s always the first to leap into a bath-full of baked beans for charity.

Get him Bawbags. Totally. A bag, for his baws. We love everything about this ace, Scottish-run underwear company, from their totally crazy designs (they do Smell-Proof Socks as well) to their online blog, written in Scots, to the fact that a percentage of every Bawbag purchased goes to help the fight against testicular cancer and they include info on how to check your baws. We reckon your beloved will see the funny side of this skin tight pink leopard print pair, too.
Bawbag Boxers, £9.95, available at Focus,, Argyle St, Glasgow, 0141 248 2446; Canongate, Edinburgh, 0131 629 9196; or online at

Your loved one is either a real foodie, or a real sensualist.

Go for the full aphrodisiac experience. Loch Fyne will deliver freshly caught oysters directly to your door: prices start at £14.95 for a simple wooden pannier containing a dozen, but they do all sorts of packages, including a deluxe delivery of oysters and champagne. If they’ve never quite got accustomed to the taste of cold mollusc on their throat, we suggest Edinburgh’s Coco of Bruntsfield’s Aphrodisiac Collection: each specially designed chocolate contains a different ingredient with aphrodisiac properties, and they come in sexy Art Nouveau-inspired packaging. Boxes start at £10.50.
Loch Fyne Oysters,; Coco of Bruntsfield, Bruntsfield Place, Edinburgh, 0131 228 4526.

Your loved one is … well, ‘sexual adventurer’ would be the polite way of putting it. You lucky thing.

Get them a big bumper box full of playthings from Organic Pleasures. Sex toys aren’t smutty any more, and the nice team at Europe’s only organic sex shop can help you put together a beautifully-designed hatbox full of everything from feather ticklers to erotica, tailored to your own budget, or you can pick up one of these Fun Factory toy boxes, which start at £55.
Organic Pleasures, Broughton Street, Edinburgh, 0131 558 2777.

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