BE MY VALENTINE
AS THE DAY LOOMS, A FEW DE LUXE IDEAS TO WIN YOUR SWEETHEART
So what will you buy your true love on Valentine’s Day? Forget the flowers, chocs, perfume, and other such predictable and parsimonious presents. Go for imaginative style, whether in a small shape or on a grand scale, and the ardent suitor will wish to impress both in his personal gift wrapping and the setting.
No time for a new Savile Row suit now, but cause to have the favoured one cleaned or certainly pressed. So many men neglect pressing; and if there is any chance that one might be going down on one knee to the lady, then it should not be a baggy one.
Suitably attired, the choice of surroundings will set the scene, whether a de luxe treat abroad or a top tea shop. Now all you need is a present that shows a touch of class, style and generosity.
A Valentine suitor would indeed be displaying generosity with the gift of this very exceptional watch by Backes & Strauss.
An entwined design of hearts in white gold, set with diamonds, and a centre piece of sapphires, surrounds a mother of pearl face, set with diamonds, and for good measure there are more diamonds on the strap's buckle.Backes & Strauss, in Jermyn Street, are the world's oldest diamond company, started in 1789, who work with Switzerland's famous Franck Muller workshops to create handcrafted timepieces. This one has a price tag of £30,000. www.backesandstrauss.com
Moonlight was meant for lovers, so the song says, so the latest Moon watch from a.b.art provides a somewhat less extravagant but apposite Valentine's choice. The KLD Moon timepiece shows each lunar phase on its black face as the moon waxes and wanes through each quarter, including full and new moons. and the moon glows in the dark on its black face. In a limited edition of just 500, this seems like a heavenly gift and only available from abart-uk.com, price £298.
No Valentine's Day should pass without a glass of champagne. Providing a very special fizz, the Grand Millesime 2004 is the latest vintage from Gosset.
Should you wish to impress with knowledge, Gosset is the oldest wine house in the Champagne region, founded in 1584, initially concentrating upon red wine, later switching to champagne. This vintage is the result of a particularly good year for the grapes. Presented in its own gift box, price £79, from mckinleyvintners.co.uk
For those ladies who have a preference for pink, there's a fine rosé champagne from Ruinart. This is the oldest champagne house, established in 1729 by Nicolas Ruinart. Rosé has become much more popular recently, and this one is available from selfridges.com at £59.99.
The cuddly teddy bear, below, would be a cute gift, to go with the candy striped lingerie set in pink and white. This is one of the sets in the latest collection by Alexis Smith, a lady who started her website in 2011 to cater for other ladies who share her 'problem' - big boobs, small back. The bras are especially designed for larger busts. Price £45 (not including Teddy). Lots more to look at on her site at www.alexissmith.eu.
For a really indulgent gesture, a trip to the Orient-Express' manor house hotel in Mallorca, La Residencia, provides a romantic setting for a special weekend.
At this tucked-away, luxury retreat, with a backdrop of the Tramuntana mountains, a couple may wander among pine forests and lemon groves, take advantage of the spa, perhaps enjoy a massage, and later a romantic candle-lit dinner à deux.
There is of course a complimentary bottle of champagne on arrival. Prices start from £334 for the one-night Valentine's Day treat, staying in a Junior suite, with extra nights at special rates. Go to hotel-laresidencia.com for more details.
For the modern girl, the Apple iPod takes a lot of beating, and now you may have it specially engraved with a Valentine's message.
Apple will personalise the iPod touch or nano, or the iPad, by adding a laser engraving message, free of charge. They will also gift wrap. You have until the 11th February to buy online and have delivered for the 14th, either to you or the lady.
From £249 on www.store.apple.com