Love is a many-splendored thing, says Esther N McCarthy, and so too it getting a heart-felt something special this Valentine’s Day. Here are 13 ideas to keep your sweetheart sweet.
This Wednesday, we celebrate the thing that makes the world go around. Commercialism. I mean love. Maybe I mean both. Shower the one you adore with something special and also keep the economy going. Win win.
Debenhams ‘Gorgeous’ spring collection is fronted by model Joann Van Den Herik, the new face and body of the DD+ lingerie range. The 19-year-old regularly posts body-positive messages to her Instagram followers and is all about healthy body image. Here she’s wearing Nine by Savannah Miller PJs. Perfect for a cosy night in by the fire. The top and bottoms are €57 a piece and available in store and online at debenhams.ie
Don’t forget about the gentlemen out there. They deserve to be showered with affection and cold, hard, merchandise too. This cologne set by Jo Malone is a good gift as you’ll benefit from the scent-sational results. It’s €98 from Brown Thomas nationwide and from brownthomas.com
Jewellery is a firm favourite in February. Alex and Ani’s collection is inspired by Parisian culture. so we’re talking symbols including the Eiffel Tower and the Unbreakable Love charm. If he’s any good, there’ll be two plane tickets and an overnight bag packed too. Just saying. Starting at €36 available from stockists nationwide, including Kilkenny Shop, Arnotts, Weirs & Sons and online at alexandani.com
Staying on the jewllery theme, Thomas Sabo have limited edition Valentine’s Day pieces, with their ‘Together’ line expanding to include this Together Heart Bracelet, €129. There’s a necklace available too, if you’re feeling really loved up. See thomassabo.com
If you’re beloved is also a parent, give them the gift of a better night’s sleep with these Mulberry silk eye masks from the Ethical Silk Company. They are €30 and come in a silk bag. (You’ll also have to book them an empty hotel room to fully ensure said night’s sleep.It’s an eye mask, not a miracle worker.) theethicalsilkco.com
Irish design company Homebird.ie have some very unique, very Irish, Valentine’s cards on offer. With gems like ‘My Love For You Is Clare’ and ‘I Love Your Liathróids’, you’re guaranteed a smile when the object of your affections opens your declaration of love. They’re €3.95 from homebird.ie
If your loved one loves food, (and hey, who doesn’t?) why not sign them up for one of the monthly Supper club series at the Sheen Falls Lodge. A unique culinary experience and you’ll definitely get brownie points for originality. April’s offering is on Friday 13th — it could be lucky for you — and the theme is La Dolce Vita. Tickets are €55 per person and include a welcome drink and canapés on arrival, a four-course dinner menu and wine. sheenfallslodge.ie
Set the scene for a romantic night in with a candle from the latest Max Benjamin range, the Ocean Islands collection. Pictured is the Maldives candle, with top notes of coconut, bergamot and orange. Close your eyes and sail away to paradise. Of course, you’ll have to keep them closed to maintain the illusion you’re on a sun-drenched island rather than a suburban semi-detached that still has the dirty dinner dishes in the sink. Available from stockists and maxbenjamin.ie
You could stay with the tried and tested option and make a beeline for the fragrance counter for a beautiful bottle of perfume. Si Passione is the new fragrance by Giorgio Armani and in the fella’s own words is “an irresistible combination of grace, strength and independence of spirit”. Sure, you can’t go wrong. It’s available at all good perfume halls and is €58 form 30mls , €87 for 50mls and €120 for 100ml.
If your darling likes a tipple, then have we got the bottle for you. The Beara Distillery in Castletownbere has launched a limited edition Beara Pink Gin just for all the love birds out there. All the botanicals are locally sourced, from fuschia to the salt water from the sea. Graham Norton is a fan and posted them on Instagram recently. And if it’s good enough for our Graham... This bottle is €45.95 from Bradleys Off Licence in Cork and Supervalu also stock it. bradleysofflicence.ie, supervalu.ie
Giving ladies sexy underwear is such a cliche. Giving your manly man palm leaf print undergarments, however, is innovative, inventive, and downright romantic. River Island have these perfect pants for €30 in stores and online at riverisland.com
Perky pink bubbles is a good way to kick things off. Giotti Spumante Rosé €12.99/75cl , from Aldi stores.
And finally, for a bit of Anti- Valentine’s celebrations, the Imperial Hotel in Cork is the place to be. With a dinner and drinks package that includes a champagne flight, a three-course meal and cocktails, this will be a Galantine’s night to remember. You’ll need three friends and €55 each, available from Feb 9-18. flynnhotels.com/Imperial_ Hotel_Cork/