Modern love, no matter how complicated we make it out to be, is really a classic tale. And Valentine’s Day is the most romantic day in this love story
Don’t be a cynical, hipster pooh-pooher. If you’re lucky enough to have found your honey, then you should take some time to appreciate just how much better your life is with him or her in it.
Really, we should be doing this all the time, every day. So if it’s for just one of those days each year, take Valentine’s Day as the time to make up for all those moments you should have stopped to say, “I love you so much I want to hug you till you squeak.”
And because love loves pretty baubles, here are 10 Valentine’s Day gifts that will help you melt hearts in seconds flat.
1. Love Hearts Throw: Blanket Your Baby
For 180 years, Austrian textile giant, David Fussenegger, has been a leader in superb fashionable throws. For Valentine’s Day, indulge in his playful and colourful Love Hearts throw ($175) in passionate red and pink.
This cotton flannel throw with stitched border will keep you and your sweetie warm through all winter’s nights. It comes generously sized at 130 x 170cm, and is made from 85% cotton, 8% viscose, 7% polyacryl.
Available at Bernstein & Gold.
Bonus: All throws are 20% off during February!
2. Perfume: The Scent of Love
If Valentine’s Day had a signature scent, you can bet it’d be of roses. These mesmerising scents will delicately lure the one you love (or lust... or like...) a little bit closer. Try Diptyque’s Eau Rose (20 ml roll on, $57; 100 ml eau de toilette, $118); Byredo’s Rose Noir (50 ml, $170); Jo Malone’s Red Roses (30ml, $70) and the very pretty Salvatore Ferragamo’s Signorina (30 ml, $70; 100ml, $125).
And for men, make no mistake: there’s nothing more alluring than a man who just smells good. And by good I mean that he’s wearing a scent that stands him apart from every other guy out there who smells fresh, airy and like the ocean. This year, set your honey apart by getting him CREED’s Green Irish Tweed (30 ml, $175; 75ml, $270; 120ml $330); Byredo’s Mister Marvelous (50ml, $170; 100ml, $235); and Acqua di Parma’s Colonia Intensa (180 ml eau de cologne, $165).
Available at Holt Renfrew.
3. Luxury Bath Products: Clean Lovin'
If cocooning is more your style, there’s nothing like ensconcing your love with luxurious and sumptuous suds from Fresh. Their products are exquisite to the touch and heaven to the nose. For a special treat, try their Sugar Body Oil ($51), Sugar Lemon Shower Gel ($21), Brown Sugar Body Polish ($75) or Brown Sugar Body Cream ($40).
Available at Sephora.
4. Jewellery: Treasures for Your Treasure
Who wouldn’t start cooing at the sight of a little blue box? This sterling silver heart-shaped locket can be inscribed with “I Love You” or left simply understated with diamonds in the centre. Or if you prefer a blush of colour, their 18 karat rose gold locket makes for a stunning piece, inscribed with a message of your choice.
Prices start at $110 for a small locket.
For men, Tiffany has a sterling silver money clip ($250) that can also be engraved with a simple message or perhaps an elegant monogram. Or if your beau is more black tie, the zellige black and white enamel cufflinks in sterling silver by Paloma Picasso for Tiffany & Co. ($330) would make an exquisite addition to any sartorialist’s ensemble.
Wrapped in the signature Tiffany Blue Box®, these gifts are guaranteed to warm the heart as much as they radiate with beauty. Available at Tiffany & Co. downtown at 723 Burrard Street, or Oakridge Centre, or on the Tiffany website.
5. Heart-shaped Casserole Dish: Feed the Heart
It’s true: The way to someone’s heart is through their stomach. It’s also true that we eat with our eyes. So this ruby-red heart-shaped Le Creuset casserole dish ($215) is about as perfect as it gets.
This whimsical, stunning piece of enamelled cast-iron cookery isn’t just pretty, it’s functional. It holds a hefty 2.1L and just like the love for your sweetie, if you take care of it, it’ll last a lifetime. Available at The Bay and Cookworks.
6. Spa Treatment: Soothe the Soul
Treat your love to a sumptuous spa treatment at the lovely and luscious Sense Spa in the newly reopened Rosewood Hotel Georgia. Try the Sanctuary, which includes an Ayurvedic body treatment and aromatic scalp therapy, followed by a rhythmic stone massage, and finished off with tea service (3.5 hours, $375). Or, indulge in the Vancouver Signature Sensation, which starts with a peppermint- and herb-infused sea salt exfoliation, followed by an invigorating Vichy shower, and ending with a hydrating massage with their signature shea butter blended with essential and hydrating oils (80/110 mins, $175/$225). Or treat the toes to the Canadian Maple Pedicure, which begins with your choice of aromatherapy, followed by a maple sugar scrub, organic hydrating mask and a sumptuous massage with organic shea butter and glacial honey to soothe & hydrate. All capped off with some expert grooming and impeccable lacquer by vegan polish line and cult favourite, Spa Ritual. Enjoy this treat while ensconced in a zero-gravity massage chair designed by NASA. The only downside is that you’ll most likely fall asleep during this heavenly experience (80 mins, $115).
And because no detail is left unattended, all spa treatments include 4 hours of complimentary car parking.
Bonus: Sense Spa is offering a 20% discount for locals until March 31!
7. Flower Factory: Love Blooms
There’s no reason you have to send a dozen red roses. If you’re going to send flowers, get creative! And as in any business scenario, if you don’t know what you’re doing, go to the experts: in this case, you should go to the Flower Factory. Just tell them generally what you want, how much you want to spend, and they’ll work their magic. But if you want to feel a bit more involved, might I suggest you ask if they have peonies (a bit early in the season, but you never know), ranunculus, calla lilies, and pastel-coloured roses. And if you start to panic halfway through your order, it never fails to ask them to colourblock.
Another hint: Place your order in advance to avoid the hour-long line-up that inevitably trails outside their door this time of year. Even better, have your flowers delivered. How romantic! Small posies start at $40. (Photo by Elizabeth Tse)
8. Chocolate: Sweets for Your Sweetie
Vancouver favourite, Mink, has the perfect combination of pretty and sweet for your sweetie. Using the finest Belgian chocolate, Mink produces supremely decadent, ultra-luxurious high-percentage cocoa chocolate bars and bonbons. And as always, they’re made in small batches, by hand, with nothing added to extend shelf life – nothing but love, that is.
For Valentine’s Day, try their large woven shell chocolate hearts with eight Artist Series bonbons and one vivacious ganache-filled pair of red lips presented in a ribboned pillbox hat box, $46. Or try a classic presentation of 16 pieces from their Artists Series and Valentine's-specific bonbons, $30.
9. Artwork: Modern Love
If you prefer your gesture of affection to say 1,000 things, find a pretty print and get it framed. Online stores like allposters make it easy to shop for the perfect image that conveys all the things you find too hard to put into words. Plus they’re Canadian, so no surprise brokerage fees to kill your budget.
Pick out a classic Warhol heart or kisses print, get it framed, and have it delivered to your betrothed. And if words still elude you, just tuck in Warhol’s famous reflection: "I wonder if it’s possible to have a love affair that lasts forever" and you’ll be golden.
Prints start at $9.99 unframed, $37.99 framed
10. Romantic Getaway: Salt Spring Seductions
Who wouldn’t want to get whisked away for a weekend of breakfast in bed and cuddles by the fireplace? The Hasting House on Salt Spring Island is offering a Valentine’s Day special, which includes afternoon tea featuring homemade blueberry scones, brownies and cookies all freshly baked in-house and served in their cozy guest lounge (nicknamed the “Snug” with good reason); a morning hamper quietly nestled outside your door complete with muffins, coffee or tea; a full breakfast served in your room made with local ingredients supplied by island organic farmers including local free-range Salt Spring Island eggs, ham, hash browns and jams made from fruits grown on the property; and a complimentary bottle of Hastings House wine featuring Bounty Cellars White and Sea Breeze Red Merlot.
This Valentine’s Day package is available from Feb 11-18 and starts at $285.
And to make the weekend even more extravagant, skip the ferries and opt for an ultra-romantic seaplane ride over instead.