Listen up, all you romantics out there: Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, so now’s the perfect time to start looking for a present for the chap in your life, especially if you want to avoid getting in a tizzy and panic-buying expensive chocolates — like last year. But no matter how well you know them, whether you’ve been together for two weeks or two decades, gentlemen can still be surprisingly tricky to buy for. Enter: our V-Day gift guide, rounding up the best Valentine’s gifts for him this year.
You won’t find a yacht here, or a Rolls Royce, or a pair of diamond-encrusted trainers (hey, different strokes for different folks…) What you will find is a collection of thoughtful gifts somewhere between budget and blowout, for every kind of guy from the dapper sartorialist to the lycra-clad road cyclist.
For a deeply personal gift that’ll score you serious partner points, look for something bespoke that’ll remind them of your relationship and make them smile every time they look at it — extra bonus points if it makes a great decoration or has a practical application, too. But even if you don’t want to go the route of personalised gifts, you can show you know him with a new, snazzier version of something you know he uses every day, like replacing a favourite wallet that’s seen better days with something you know will bring him just as much joy. Already got everything they need? An experience day featuring their favourite hobby, or even one you can enjoy together, is a great way to make memories without amassing clutter.
Whatever kind of guy you’re buying for, he’s your guy, so be sure to treat him with one of our just-right, best-ever Valentine’s day presents. Just call us Cupid...
1. Red Letter Days Track Cycling at Herne Hill Velodrome
Forego the gear and let your resident bike-lover make some memories this Valentine’s Day
Best for: A bike fanatic | Features: Learn essential track cycling techniques; take part in competitive races
If your main man dreams in laps and enjoys nothing more than getting out for a spin, then why not think a little different this Valentine’s Day? Covetable cycling accessories can be pricey and if he has his eye on it, he’s probably already ordered it for himself, so a track cycling experience day in the prestigious environs of London’s Herne Hill Velodrome makes an amazing outside-the-box gift. Suitable for beginners and old hands alike, the session features official British Cycling coaches imparting their for track cycling wisdom, and the opportunity to put their tips to the test in a series of races including team challenge, sprint, and individual pursuit. Even if he doesn’t win, he’s sure to remember it fondly for years to come.
2. Personalised Adventure Keepsake Box by DUST AND THINGS
Let the adventure continue with this adorable personalised keepsake box
Best for: The cutest gift ever | Material: Pine wood | Colour: Natural | Features: Three choices of box, personal messages and names
If you or your other half has ever shed a tear watching Up - don’t take this personally, but if you haven’t, you might be made of stone - this personalised Adventure box is sure to hit the mark this Valentine’s Day. Beautifully engraved with “the adventures of” and your names, it’s the perfect place to stow letters, photographs and other keepsakes from your relationship or trips away. For even more cute factor, choose a secret message or in-joke to be inscribed on the bottom of the box or inside of the lid.
3. Polo Ralph Lauren Cotton Oxford Slim Fit Shirt
A boat club-ready clothing gift for the most dapper gents
Best for: Men with style | Material: 100% cotton | Colour: Grey, black, green, pink, baby blue, dark blue | Features: N/A
He might not ordinarily buy designer threads for himself, so why not take the opportunity to treat him, and his wardrobe, to an always well-received Ralph Lauren shirt? The design’s a real classic, and with good reason: it’s crisp and preppy, cut slim to flatter, and is superbly versatile, looking just as good dressed down with jeans as smartened up with a blazer. The bright City Blue is always a safe choice, but we particularly like the pale Hyannis Red (and if he asks it’s definitely red, not pink) for a slightly more unexpected look.
4. RJR.John Rocha Designer black two tone holdall
If this isn’t a hint towards more romantic weekends away we don’t know what is...
Best for: Globetrotters | Material: Leather | Colour: Black/brown | Features: Internal zipped pocket and pouch, detachable cross-body strap, grab handles
If you’re feeling especially generous, a travel bag is a great vessel for delivering holiday tickets to a lucky recipient, but this gorgeous holdall is just as good all by itself. It’s very versatile - keep it small for the perfect carry-on, or unleash the expanding sections for more packing power - and devilishly handsome, with beautifully tactile grained leather in a trendy contrasting palette. Reviewers were stunned by the quality, and although some commented they would have preferred metal feet, the plastic ones here do the job of keeping the soft leather base intact. Deceptively luxe for a high street option, and a great gift for a travel-happy dude.
5. Metallic Personalised Favourite Song Sound Wave Print by YVE PRINT CO
Ever wondered what their favourite song looks like? Now you can find out
Best for: Personalised gift | Material: Wood/aluminium, metallic foil | Colour: satin black, satin white, and oak | Features: Personalised message
For a sickeningly beautiful way to show you’ve been paying attention, look no further than this personalised favourite song print by Yve Print Co at notonthehighstreet. Choose your couple’s song, their anthem, your first dance song, or even their guilty pleasure, and upload it to be turned into a visual waveform for a deeply personal Valentine’s day present. You can also change the frame colour, material and finish to suit different types of decor: whichever you choose, it’s bound to set off the gorgeous metallised finish of the waveform wonderfully.
6. Uuni 3 Pizza Oven
Forget music being the food of love — it doesn’t get more romantic than homemade pizza
Best for: Chefs | Material: Stainless steel | Colour: Silver | Features: Heats in 10 minutes, cooks a pizza in 60 seconds, up to 932 degrees F
The words “portable” and “pizza oven” don’t always go together as often as we might like, but that’s all about to change with the Uuni 3 Pizza Oven. Forget soggy sandwiches on your next picnic, or questionable sausages at your big summer garden party — if your other half is a hardcore foodie, this pint-sized portable option is sure to hit the spot, not only making wood-fired pizza in a flash (sixty seconds, to be exact), but also giving them an excuse to flex their artisanal dough-making muscles at home or away. Practical but surprisingly gorgeous, it’s a great one for avid cooks, and while you’ll need to keep it stocked up with pellets and give it the odd clean, look at it this way: it’s still less maintenance than a puppy.
7. Star Wars Valentines Gift Set
For the best partners in the galaxy
Best for: Star Wars fans | Material: Paper, digital print | Colour: Black and white | Features: N/A
Looking for some wall art to spruce up his or a shared space? These quirky Star Wars-themed prints are the perfect middle ground between grown-up and… well, not too grown-up. From afar, they’re elegant black and white mixed media prints, but look closer and you’re treated to a dressed-to-the-nines Yoda, Chewie, Vader, C3PO and R2D2. A great gift for the couple who loves Star Wars, or just to say “I accept this part of your life, you loveable geek”.
8. MULBERRY grained leather billfold wallet
Complete with picture of you, naturally
Best for: The stylish man | Material: Leather | Colour: Black, oxblood, chocolate, oak | Features: Two cash sleeves, eight card slots
When it comes to the things we carry with us every day, there’s little more personal than a wallet, and this premium leather option from Mulberry is our pick when it comes to finding a thoughtful Valentine’s day gift. This real leather wallet is crafted to last forever and look dapper while doing it, with a simple but beautifully finished bifold design, slim card slots and subtle foil branding. While understated enough to suit any man’s look, we particularly like that it's available in Oak, a rich caramel shade, and deep Oxblood, as well as the standard brown or black, a variety that's surprisingly hard to find in an elegant men's wallet.
9. Red Letter Days Brewery Tour and Beer Tasting For 2
Raise a glass to romance on this brewery tour for two
Best for: Beer lovers | Features: Features: Insight into brewing process, pub lunch/tasting pack
If you like the idea of buying your better half an experience day, but they’re more Bradley Swiggins than Bradley Wiggins, this Brewery Tour and Beer Tasting for 2 from Red Letter Days might just be the one. Real ale enthusiasts, home brewers looking for inspiration, or really just anyone who appreciates a good pint will gain insight into the brewing process all the way from harvest to bottling, and enjoy a tasting experience either over a hearty pub lunch or from a special pack to enjoy at home depending on the venue. And, with a range of breweries taking part, you can find one near you, a refreshing change from the reams of London-based experiences for people who live further afield.