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How to Nail V-Day

For those in a blind panic about how to show someone the love, here's what to buy, where to go and what to do. And b-r-e-a-t-h-he.

Hands up who’s left it late to sort this one out? Seriously, you don’t have to sweat it – and nor does he if you subtly (or not) leave this somewhere easily readable. We’ve done the leg-work and found what’s available and where you have to go to get it, if you’re quick. Look, click, sort and then relax.

What to gift

Hoops in Rose, £42; Darling card £3.50, both Lorna Ruby; Petite stella orb necklace with rose quartz, £44, Wanderlust Life Jewellery

Pretty in pink? We think so. A simple, statement card beats verse after verse of total tosh in my eyes; and how about a pair of these rose-hued hoops from Exeter-based Lorna Ruby? If you’re a fan of something more dedicate and understated, then the best-selling Petite Stella Orb necklace with an updated rose quartz gemstone twist, from Ilfracombe-based Wanderlust Life Jewellery  is always going to be a winner, frankly.

China plate, £25 InsideOut Home; Two Hearts Cheese selection, £27.99, The Cheese Shed.

It’s technically still hibernation season, so the cheese fiend in your life will love you for either of these little gifts. The plate, bone china, is just one in a range of fun designs, stocked at Muddy award-winning gift shop Insideout in Tavistock and Exeter, and online at This one will team up nicely with a gift box of ‘Two Hearts’ Devon cheeses and trimmings from The Cheese Shed.


I love you card, £3.50; Wild thing wash bag, £24, both Silk & Slate

Monochrome smacks of grown-up style, doesn’t it? Team a simply stated card with this hand screen printed wash bag, both from Silk & Slate, a gorgeous curation of British-made and designed giftworthy pieces.  Practical and cool, to boot.


Clockwise from top left: solid silver pebble heart pendant with rose gold vermeil, £60 gift boxed from Ashore Jewellery; Love Sucks book, £9.99 from Insideout; Love In Colour bouquet of 12 long-stemmed roses £49 from Hannah Burnett Floristry; rose velvet and precious oudh eco soya wax melts £6.99 a pot, Insideout.

Go more trad, with hearts and roses to hammer home your feelings on love.  This solid silver pebble heart pendant with rose gold vermeil comes with a little card, describing the symbolic meaning of the heart. For the more cynical and jaded out there,  Love Sucks, is described as a collection of funny, bitter and brutally truthful quotes about how terrible love is. Flowers are always a good idea if they’re the right ones.  You can choose the ‘Love in Colour’ range from Muddy award-winning florist Hannah Burnett and choose 12 top-notch long-stemmed roses, in pink, red, white, or a mix of them all.  Or, be a little different with a pot of floral-scented “Habulous” strawberry and sparkling wine eco soya wax melts.  Pretty and gorgeous-smelling = winning.


What to do

floatation tank

At Muddy Award-winning complementary health centre, Hands On, it’s Floaty Feb; which means you can go and indulge in an utterly awesome floatation session at a bargain price of £18.  A brilliant gift for someone who’s looking to switch off, relax and experience something completely different. Pair it up with a lovely bracing walk on the beach at Braunton and you’ve got yourself a pretty awesome day out. If you’re intrigued about floating, by the way, read my experience here.


How about treating yourselves to a night out at the chic and romantic Le Vignoble at Plymouth’s Royal William Yard, for a six course guided champagne and sparkling wine tasting, paired with matching sharing plates, each inspired by an aphrodisiac food (and the menu looks in-credible!)

In Totnes? Well you, my dear hearts have the option to add a little Caribbean spice to your V-day celebrations, with an evening of Caribbean and Trinidad-inspired tapas-style food and cocktails at Muddy Award-winning Wine Merchant Ben’s Wine & Tapas. A cocktail included, all for £25? Let’s go.

vintage band

Over at the Exeter Phoenix, there’s a vintage Valentines ball happening on Fri 16 Feb, which sounds like oodles of fun (and an opportunity to get glammed up with heels and everything).  With live music, cabaret, swing dance lessons and a vintage fancy dress theme, this annual ball has become the official ‘alternative’ V-day celebration in town.

food and glass of wine

But you know what? If you just want to get out of the house, grab a decent meal together and not feel forced to gaze into each other’s eyes, whispering sweet nothing’s, then the always wonderful Turtley Corn Mill at Avonwick is going reassuringly, well, ‘normal’.  In their ‘Non-Valentines’ event, they’ve promised no pink, no petals and no hearts; just great grub in a cosy, country setting.  You could always dial up the romance notch just a weeny bit by booking in for an overnight in one of their gorgeous rooms? Just an idea…


Where to stay

The Barn, East Devon 

The Barn thatched barn trees countryside

At the time of writing, there was still availability over Valentines at this unique and super-romantic one-bedroom cottage hideaway in Devon (Stampe-e-e-de!). The Barn surrounded by the Blackdown Hills near Cotleigh in the east of the county, combines edgy design and cosy living with oodles of character.  Vintage roll-top bathtub? Tick. Roaring fire? Tick. Gorgeous views? Tickety-tick.

Find more ideas here


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