Ideas for all – from the tight fisted romantic to the inspiration-dry eccentric aristocrat.
Need to treat your special someone, but sick of money-grabbing restaurant chains upping prices and threatening to bring your bank balance back to its student days all for a dodgy steak and chocolate brownie? Or sick of everyone else swanning off to Paris whilst you burn the three course M+S meal deal you invested so much hope in? Read our tips for doing Valentine’s Day so wildly differently that the word ‘Tiffanys’, ‘Michelin star’ and ‘roses’ won’t even get a look in.
Under £20: A Treasure Hunt
This one’s a big effort; but well worth it if you want to make a good impression on as little dough as possible. One of the best ways to make this romantic is to base the hunt around locations you are both familiar with together. For example, start him or her off at the café or restaurant where you had your first date and have the waitress give them a clue to the next destination, along with a small box of chocolates to sweeten things up. From there, the next clue could take them to the cinema where you watched 127 Hours (and then instantly regretted seeing something so violent whilst trying to ‘create a mood’). Then on to the museum you visited to get out of the rain… If you explain what you’re doing, staff will be glad to help. You don’t have to do anything major for the grand finale; hopefully they’ll be so exhausted by the time they’ve reached the end they’ll fall into your arms and you can take them home for a takeaway.
Under £100: Revamp the Caravan Holiday
No – not a wet and windy weekend in a dingy hovel in Blighty’s long-abused Midlands; there are all sorts of alternatives these days that will make you look like the Richard Gere of other halves. Yurts, which have a netted roof so you can lie back and admire the stars are one popular option; deck them out with a few fairy lights and a home-made picnic and you’ll be set.
Alternatively, gypsy style caravan rentals are often available in camping and caravanning sites, and their funky retro styles will turn those frowns upside down upon hearing the words ‘camping trip’.
Or, if you already have a caravan or know someone who does, take them on a romantic whirlwind tour. Caravan dealership Cosford caravans say that a good deal of their customer base is made up of young couples interested in going on road trips in the UK and Europe, whilst looking to avoid the massive cost.
Under £200: Taxidermy Classes
Is your romantic interest an animal fan? Then why not give them the gift of their favourite stuffed creature! You can sometimes get good 2-for-1 deals on stuffing dates, and get a choice from a wide range of animals. Open to beginners, for example, are: snakes, guinea pigs, rats, mice, squirrels and sometimes even deer heads, for the landed gentry among you. Even if he or she absolutely hates the fact you’ve bought them a ticket to slicing open a festering corpse (which will almost definitely smell like urine), it’ll be one to tell the kids…
Unlimited: 3D Printer
The gift that keeps on giving. There’s no way your BF or GF can get annoyed about this one; this machine guarantees they’ll get what they want for Valentine’s Day; because they can print it themselves! Not many partners are willing to shell out for the very latest technology – so if you want to make yourself the crème de la crème of Valentine’s Day lovers then this should do it. Just don’t get upset when they gift you some love-heart socks in return.