Be very quiet, and you can almost hear it: the sound of thousands of over-it partners up and down the country groaning at the prospect of another Valentine’s Day and preparing to go off on one about greeting cards-based conspiracies and soulless corporate scams. But no matter how you feel about February 14th, you’ve really got to admit a couple of things. One: that it’s nice to have one day of the year to whole-heartedly celebrate love in all its warm, fuzzy glory; and two: that it’s a jolly good opportunity to thank your partner for putting up with you for another year through the medium of a thoughtful gift.
And speaking of gifts, we’ve got just the thing: a guide to the best Valentine’s gifts 2018 can bring. You don’t have to throw yourself wantonly into the capitalist spirit to find the perfect gift for your loved one; we here at The Radar are firm believers that it’s the little things that count.
You don’t have to go for fancy fripperies, if that’s not their style. If they’re a techy type, a sweet new addition to their kit is sure to be most welcome, whether that’s as simple as a pair of sleek earbuds they can use to listen to their favourite songs, as big as a new tablet to snuggle up together and watch, or as offbeat as a new games console to totally thrash them at Mario Kart (that’s what they get for always picking Toad). Sentimental type? A gorgeous bouquet, bottle of their signature scent, or even that time-honoured classic the personalised teddy bear, is enough to put a smile on anyone’s face.
At the end of the day, you know them better than anyone, so you’re sure to know what kind of thing floats their boat. But, if you’re stuck on the specifics, keep reading below for our recommendations for the best V-day gifts this year, and glean a little gifting inspiration.
Flowers on V-Day is a classic move, and it’s not hard to see why. We don’t advise messing too much with the formula, but a twist on the usual red roses, like this rose and lisianthus bouquet, is pitch perfect. In romantic shades of pale blush pink and lilac, with touches of on-trend eucalyptus for fullness, it’s a more modern and - dare we say it - more thoughtful take on a classic, and what’s more, it comes with a beautiful tulip-shaped glass vase that they can keep forever.
Marilyn Monroe might have bathed in Chanel No.5, but the new kid on the block is the lighter, more playful Mademoiselle. We’ve yet to encounter a woman who doesn’t love this perfume, but as scents can be spendy, she might not think of getting one for herself. This 100ml version comes with an Instagram-ready bottle with glass stopper-look lid that’ll look gorgeous on the nightstand and smell gorgeous on, with its oriental base set off by vibrant orange and floral notes. In fact, they’ll smell so lovely that this is basically a gift for the both of you.
A thoroughly practical yet thoughtful gift, these high-tech wireless headphones from Bose are perfect for the Valentine’s Scrooge who eschews overblown displays of affection, or just anyone who’s been soldiering on with a subpar pair of headphones with no excuse to treat themselves. Sweat and weather resistant for hardcore workouts, easily paired via Bluetooth and NFC, and what Bose say is perfectly balanced audio at any volume, they’re a real treat with superior lasting power.
There’s some romantic parallel in here somewhere about heartbeat trackers, and you can build off that in your big present-giving speech if you like, but there’s really no need. With so many of us looking to get fit and keep tabs on our health as the year starts to warm up, a Fitbit makes the perfect gift. It says you’re supporting them on their journey to stay-fit greatness and better health, provides a useful service with its ability to monitor steps, calories, sleep and distance, and looks good while doing it. A fantastic, practical equivalent to a trinket this Valentine’s Day.
For pure cheese, you can’t beat a teddy bear on Valentine’s Day, but these adorable ursine are a classic for a reason. It’s a little retro, and a lot sweet, to give your love a ted, and when you can order one embroidered with their name and a special Valentine’s message? Well, that just ups the cuteness factor tenfold. At an impressive 45 cm tall, there’s more to love than on your standard bear, and covered in squishy, snuggly polyester plush, they make a great companion. Just watch he doesn’t replace you...
You know what they say: the couple that plays together, stays together, and never has multiplayer mode been so fun as on the Nintendo Switch. If you’re that competitive couple who never lets the side down on Pub Quiz night, this is the ideal gift, letting you go head to head on all the games and mini-games your heart could possibly desire, and if you happen to find yourself home alone, it doubles up as a single player handheld console too. Versatile, very fun, and surprisingly romantic.
If there’s one gift that’s guaranteed to impress (and, if we’re being a bit selfish, score you serious points) it’s a tablet. Whatever their thing, whether it’s devouring chapters of a new book on the Kindle app, streaming box-sets in bed, playing games, or just browsing the web, they can do it on this multi-talented Amazon Fire. If they’re a Prime member, it’ll give them access to thousands of books, magazines, songs and more, and it’s fully Alexa equipped for hands-free control. Cue you: “Alexa, play my victory dance song”.
Keep reading for more Valentines Day inspiration: