Valentine’s Day. Drop it like a bomb in a group of friends and monitor the reaction. Abhor it or adore it, there ain’t no avoiding it. It’s everywhere.
There’s a lot of Hallmark nonsense, rubbish cards, huge fluffy creepy bears bearing polyester red hearts. Dinners in crowded restaurants with Truman Show style over romanced couples smacks of misery for me.
Why be romantic for just one day? Why not tomorrow, or next week, or every day? We shouldn’t need an excuse to do nice things. Nice things, for nice people, or just for yourself. Create your own lovely environment indoors and enjoy it.
These are my favourite little love-themed gifts for yourself, a significant other, or anyone you might want to see smile on Valentine’s Day.
I love heart-shaped things, stamped indelibly on this cynical subconscious at a very young age by rainy day handbooks and girly magazines. I find myself buying silicone heart-shaped egg moulds, cocottes that are big, small, stoneware, silicone, cast iron, the lot! You’ve seen many pop up here on this blog, in fact I am sure they must be propagating by themselves by now. Where else could they have all come from? Er… please don’t ask how much I have spent.
I love the Le Creuset and Staub ranges of cocottes, and they each have a hea rt shape one. A lovely Le Creuset one is 33% off on Amazon right now (Le Creuset Cast Iron Heart Casserole Dish, 1.9 Litre, Cerise), if you are on a tighter budget and want to impress your favourite food lover, try the Le Creuset Stoneware Heart Ramekin with Lid or the Le Creuset Cerise Stoneware Heart Baking Dish, both come in under £20 and are lovely!
I love edible flowers, another childhood obsession that has flourished in adulthood, I’ve written about these many times too. They’re delicious, gorgeous, brightly coloured and will bring a smile to any weary face. Pansies are flowering right now and will brighten up any plate. Try them in a salad as I did at the weekend.
Roses are always a winner with their gorgeous flavour. Use rosewater in your cooking or serve up the gorgeous Løv Organic Rose Tea, an organic black China tea scented with rose, with organic roses mixed in. It is available in London from Harvey Nichols where they currently have a pop up shop. A real treat and guaranteed to spread some cheer. Pop in on your way home this evening!
Rosella Wild Hibiscus Flowers in syrup are high vitamin sweet treat, try one in a glass of sparkling wine. They’re delicious. Get them online at Porters Foods. Lots of delis will stock them too.
Home cooked dinner
Does anything beat this? I don’t think so. Knowing that someone has taken the time to cook you something special is the nicest thing. Feet up, sparkling wine in hand, smells wafting from the kitchen. It’s the best treat in the world. For a night like tonight I would go with a slow roast pork belly with lentils, or a pie that you could put someones name, or a cheesy message on. Enjoy it!