All posts tagged: Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Gift Ideas: When passion becomes a dance…

Hello, my dear readers! I always encourage to celebrate all kinds of love as often as we can possibly fit into our busy schedules, but there is one day a year when romance fully takes over. Yes, you guessed it – Valentine’s! Over the years, I’ve gone through the Valentine’s classics and how to elevate them (see my post on flowers and chocolates here),  suggested unexpected romantic dinner solutions (here) and even offered some fashion advice for men’s underwear gifts (yep, I really have). This year, I’ve gone for something quite unusual. I’m gifting a skill that can only be mastered as a couple – tango. Anyone who has ever experienced tango, either as a dancer or as a lucky observer, will tell you that it’s not about skill, complexity of steps or experience. It’s about the connection between two people sharing a powerful, almost primal emotion. The teacher I know has given me further interesting insight into tango that makes it even more relevant to modern day relationships: the 80/20 rule. 80% of your focus in a tango …

Valentine’s gift ideas: Classics with a twist

I will probably surprise you here a bit – I don’t actually mind Valentine’s. Yes, it’s overly commercial (like every other holiday), a bit pretentious and sometimes awkward, as brilliantly summarised by Debrett’s. But hey, it’s there, and it’s big, so avoiding it all together seems as much of a statement as embracing it, and I’m always an advocate of embracing everything that makes people happier. With us girls, it’s such simple things as flowers and chocolates (which we’d take any day, if given the opportunity!) that have the power to make us feel wonderful. What I am going to advocate here is to approach this celebration with a small dose of creativity – it’s silly to deny that something can beat flowers and sweets. What you can do, however, is to go for gifts beyond red roses and chocolate truffles. Flowers I like roses. I really do. But red roses won’t impress your woman (unless it’s a 1,000 of them, but that’s more of a shock, really). Instead, go for trendy ombré roses, like …

Underwear for Valentine’s: Your man deserves an upgrade too

I see this post as my humble attempt to bring equality to gifting. It’s very common to see all sorts of promotions for female underwear around Valentine’s Day. Men spend hundreds of pounds on bras, babydolls and stockings, inspiring their women to embrace this overhyped romantic holiday. I think it’s about time we treat our men too. You can get fantastic male underwear from such established designers as Versace and Hugo Boss for a fraction of what women’s items from the same brands would cost. That’s because this market is not as developed as luxury lingerie – after all, very few sane men would splash out £40 on a pair of boxers. It’s simply not fair we get to look and feel fabulous every year without allowing our boyfriends and husbands to parade in front of the mirror in shiny new trunks. Let’s change that! Head to Mr Porter or Harvey Nichols for a selection of premium quality underwear that will make your man feel desired too. Obviously there are other websites that sell fancy …

Avoid: The most obscure gifts out there

I try to keep my blog a source of joy and inspiration, encouraging people to embrace gifting in all its shapes and forms, from budget presents under a fiver to high-end designer items. But I just have to share the other side of gifting with you – the greedy merchants from gift shops who want to flog horrendous stuff. My local shopping centre has just rented an empty spot to a store called Petals: For Gift Lovers – promising, right? I walked straight in, curious and a bit excited to see what’s inside. This truly was the first time I saw so much tacky stuff together in one space! Just take a look at these 🙂 Duo of drinking glasses: one for beer and one for wine. I suppose it’s meant to be a Valentine’s gift. Even as a prank this is seriously cringeworthy. Take the cheapest glasses you can find, put a rude sticker on top (don’t bother to make it straight) and voilà – ready to be sold to someone with obvious humour issues. “Grumpy old …

Three easy (really!) ways to impress your girlfriend this Valentine’s

Valentine’s Day is synonymous with over-the-top flower bouquets, heart-shaped chocolates and lush romantic getaways. As a result, over the years I’ve received some seriously ludicrous gifts from boyfriends. They seemed under so much pressure to “impress”, that the whole romance thing was totally forgotten. I suggest you guys take a step back and think about what every girl is really looking for. I’ll generalise a bit here, but more than anything else we want to feel like you truly care about us. That’s it! It then becomes pretty obvious, that a 100-rose bouquet is not as “caring” as it may seem at first (she doesn’t even have a vase THAT big!) and huge boxes of Cadbury’s chocolates will most likely cause her to overeat and to “feel fat”. Here are a few simple recommendations that are guaranteed to work. As it’s already Thursday, I’ve picked ideas that you can easily find/organise at short notice. Small beauty/make-up gifts Boys are never really interested in our make-up habits, so receiving something beauty-related from a boyfriend would be …

The biggest bottle of wine I’ve ever seen and our Enomatic machine adventure

Hedonism Wines emporium in Mayfair, London is considered something of an anomaly…it’s seriously big (two spacious floors…hence the ‘emporium’ title), it is owned by a rebellious Russian millionaire Yevgeny Chichvarkin, and it stocks bottles worth up to £130,000/ $200,000. Every visitor can touch all bottles without special permission – the store is allegedly insured against “clumsy” customers (I didn’t dare holding any expensive bottles myself…just in case!). I am not a big wine expert myself, so I will not bore you with pretentious reviews of wines we purchased, but instead I’ll tell you more about a pretty unique service they offer – Enomatic wine tasting. Why unique, you asking? Unlike the rest of the popular wine places in London (think Vinopolis and the likes), Hedonism allows customers to taste exclusive, hard-to-find wines which we, normal mortals, would never be able to purchase (we are talking £1,000/$1,500 here). Wines are grouped by five categories: premium reds, premium whites, seasonal, team selection and new discoveries. Customers can either choose to browse on their own or ask Hedonism …

Romantic dinners are dull, so why not spend your Valentine’s at a cooking class?

Here’s the deal: we all know that restaurants overcharge for Valentine’s dinners, offering mediocre food and wine for Michelin-starred prices. I suggest we boycott them this year and try cooking something ourselves 🙂 The question then is – cooking at home is pretty much an everyday occasion for most of us, so how do we make it both fun and romantic? Easy – we go to a cooking class! On a mission to find something challenging for couples, I stumbled up Recipease – another ingenious invention of the UK’s favourite chef (whether it’s fair or not), Jamie Oliver. Recipease’s team of chefs offer easy and fun 2-hour lessons, ranging from spicy Thai curries to hand-made pasta dishes. I selected a sushi lesson, simply because my boyfriend had always admired Japanese cuisine and wanted to learn how to make rolls and dips at home. The place itself was very busy, as we were practically cooking in an open-plan kitchen in front of other non-cooking customers. Each couple received a set of ingredients, with instructors explaining easy …