The best (anti-)Valentine's gift guide
The perfect presents for both the pro-Valentine's romantics and anti-Valentine's cynics in your life
Avoiding the naff and the schmaltzy around the festival of Saint Valentine can be a minefield, but Claire Sawers steers you through it, with a few gift ideas – for lovebirds and Vally Day naysayers alike
Utterly lost in Loveland, but not sure what to give without seeming like a total cheeseball? Or don’t know what to offer because you’ve only just begun dating? Or only got a fiver to your name? We’ve got a few ideas:
Put a mixtape on a badge
An update on the lovingly-edited cassette mixtape, this lets you drag and drop tracks onto a mp3 pin badge, so the object of your affection can enjoy 36 hours of music, straight from your heart, into their ears.
Send an old timey card
You’re a big softie really, so show it with a cute card, complete with anonymous sweet nothings inside.
Various designs, from £2.50, Present, St Mary’s Street, Edinburgh, presentboutique.co.uk
Give lingerie – with no red lace in sight
Avoid the Ann Summers/strip-o-gram look, and offer this sporty meets art deco underwear set in nude shades with a black trim.
Only hearts Loulou bralette, £78; hipster with garters, £62, Indie Chic, Broughton Street, Edinburgh, indiechicboutique.co.uk
They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Take a short-cut with this made in Scotland chopping board and cookie stamp set by Maw Broons. Top with heart-shaped biscuits for extra points.
Turn on the charm
Show him/her who’s boss with this charming ruler and pencil stationery set, by Edinburgh’s Martin Baillie from design collective Nineteen Eighty Five.
£3.50, The Red Door Gallery, Edinburgh, edinburghart.com/shop
Make home-brew ginger beer
This starter kit contains everything you need to make forty bottles of ginger beer (which could mean forty doses of aphrodisiac side-effects from the ginger too…).
Offer a loveheart necklace
A love token, for that special someone in your life who loves geometric lines, and bright colours.
Yellow and black necklaces, £18, multi-coloured necklace, £20, shop.liannasheppard.com
Book a massage for two
Book your sweetheart in for a deeply relaxing or deeply pummelling massage, or better still, go as a twosome. The new Lush Spa has side-by-side beds in one of the treatment rooms.
Lush Spa, Princes Street, Edinburgh, from £55 per person for one-hour, see lush.co.uk
DOWN WITH LOVE
Maybe you’re a heartbreaker, one of the heartbroken, the happily single, the unhappily celibate, the cynical, the perennially uncharming (oh, we doubt it), if Valentine’s Day gives you the boak for whatever reason, or is something you’d rather pretend isn’t actually happening, here are some alternative gift ideas:
Stop your other half snoring
You’re getting no sleep thanks to your lover – but for all the wrong reasons. Partners of snorers can buy ’25 peaceful nights’ according to the bottle.
£7.14, from Boots, or stopsnoring.co.uk
Learn to flirt
Up your game and learn the laws of attraction. Miss Dixiebelle’s ‘Valentine Styling Night’ involves a Flirting class, with tips from Karen Barr of ‘Beswitchedon’.
Miss Dixiebelle, 19 Bruntsfield Pl, Edinburgh, £20, limited places, book on 0131 629 7783, missdixiebelle.co.uk
Buy a night of dancing
Cure a love hangover/ dance the pain away/ fall deep in lust. Try some of DJ David Barbarossa’s ‘Love Vibrations’ at Wild Combination, or Hot Mess’s queer dance party.
Wild Combination’s Hot on the Heels of Love, Berkeley Suite, Fri 8 Feb, £3; Hot Mess, Poetry Club, Glasgow, Sat 16 Feb, £3 before 11pm
Laugh at Haughty Bitches – the book, by Carolyn Alexander
Maybe a haughty bitch trampled on your heart. Or maybe you just really like illustrations of girls saying ‘Do One’ and ‘Shit Off’.
£10, The Red Door Gallery, Edinburgh, edinburghart.com/shop
Eat Krispy Kreme doughnuts
Who’d not be wooed by a dozen of these? The doughnut lords open their first Scottish shop on
February 13th. If you’ve no sweetheart to give them to, just gather some single friends around the box. It’s not tragic, it’s emancipating, you can assure them.
Krispy Kreme, Hermiston Gait, Edinburgh, krispykreme.co.uk
Read comforting stories of Betrayal
Not that you’re bitter, but friends have started calling you ‘Vinegar Tits’. Nurse that wrath with this January’s new issue of Granta, focussing on ‘Betrayal’.
£12.99, The Fruitmarket Bookshop, Edinburgh, fruitmarket.co.uk/bookshop
Say it with Shrigley
If all the tooth-rotting romance is getting too much, and Hallmark lines ring hollow, try an alternative message from Mr Shrigley.
£2.95, The Fruitmarket Bookshop, Edinburgh, fruitmarket.co.uk/bookshop
Treat Yo Self
No-one wining and dining you? Take a friend, or a group out for a rooftop 3-course Thai meal with sparkling rose wine, and a goodie bag with chocolates from Coco Chocolate.
£40 per person, Chaophraya, Castle Street (formerly Oloroso), Edinburgh, chaophraya.co.uk