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Valentine’s Day gift guide 2018

papier

Papier Personalised Notebooks and Sketchpads (and cards!)—£10.95

What’s better than a shiny new notebook with a gorgeous cover? A shiny new notebook with a gorgeous, personalised cover, that’s what. Papier has such a fabulous variety to choose from and the personalisation means you can adapt them to the specific needs of your amour: Travel Journal for the smug globetrotter in your life, Recipe Jotter for the cheffy show-off, My Little Book of Gratitude for the insufferable twat… The scope is endless!

Papier also offers a great selection of personalised cards (I like the ones with a message across a wedding photo—no, you substitute one of your own, silly), so consider it your one-stop Valentine’s shop. You’re welcome.

Front row

Bouquet from Front Row Florist—from £95

If you’re going to give the west London girl in your life a bunch of flowers, you don’t want to risk her entitled (and completely unjustifiable) wrath by choosing something substandard. Front Row is a new, very upmarket florist based on Ladbroke Grove and its bouquets are to die for.

If you blanch at the idea of blowing nearly 100 quid on a posy, you should probably dump the demanding diva and find yourself a nice, unspoilt (plain) girl instead.

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Mexican seduction at Ella Canta—£85

Because nothing says romance like tequila and blow-your-head-off chillies. Just kidding. From 5th to 17th February Mexican Mayfair hotspot Ella Canta is offering a truly delicious-looking seven-course tasting menu called Mexican Seduction, to ‘seduce guests by sharing Mexico’s enchanting stories of beauty and love through the dishes’.

Even better, the bar will be serving special Valentine’s Day cocktails—think Makech, a frankly startling-sounding blend of Patrón Silver Tequila, 1800 Coconut Tequila, cola and vanilla reduction, fresh lime, Dandelion & Burdock Bitters, and muddled cardamom (£15), and Amor Profundo, a zingy combination of Tequila Cuervo 1800, Deadhead Mexican Rum, plantain fruit reduction, ginger aroma, fresh lime and vanilla bitters (£14). With any luck you’ll get your other half pissed enough to acquiesce to your most sordid demands. Arriba!

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Pol Roger 2008 Vintage Rose—£59
Fish and chips—somewhere between a fiver and a tenner

Vintage Rosé Champagne from a Grande Marque house tends to inspire happy thoughts, and Pol Roger’s 2008 Vintage Rosé is no exception. It’s ready to drink now but could also sit around for a few years*, so it makes sense to buy a case now, ready for any occasion where a little romance may be required.

Tailored wine concierge service Spiral Cellars Wine suggests pairing it with fish and chips to avoid cliché (which would never do) on Valentine’s Day. WLL is taken with this suggestion, though somewhat bemused* by the idea of a case of fizz lasting more than a few weeks, let alone a few years.

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Sara Miller silk sleep mask—£25

Ooooh, isn’t it alluring? So pretty and pink and silky and… and… flamingo-ey! If the non-stop social whirl combined with high powered work pressures means she has difficulty sleeping (we’ve all been there, darling), she will be both impressed by your thoughtfulness and well rested enough to employ the mask in other areas of bedroom activity.

Marrakech

Four star tranquillity in Marrakech—from £62

Do yourselves both a favour and escape the hell-hole that is London in evil February. Very Chic is a company that offers short breaks in well-chosen hotels around the world, for exceptional value. Amazingly there are still rooms available for the 13th and 14th Feb at the intimately glamorous Riad Dar Silsila, right in the heart of Marrakech. If your job allows you to get out of Dodge mid-week, we highly recommend snapping them up. Or you could always pull a sickie.

Votch

Votch Vegan Watch—£135

Because you’re not a pretentious narcissist who gave up all animal products and booze for the twin horrors of Dry January and Veganuary in order to look cool in front of your equally twattish friends. Oh no. Well into February, you still care deeply about the welfare of our furry comrades—though maybe your concern for the state of your liver has waned somewhat.

Votch watches (for men and women) are beautifully made, and the company’s ethos impeccable. Which is more than we can say for certain clean eaters of our acquaintance.

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Elizabeth Scarlett mini scented candles set of three—£28

A trio of gorgeously scented candles in translucent white glass holders with cute gold motifs—a pineapple, an elephant, a palm tree. The perfect gift for that girly-voiced Notting Hill yoga bore whose most endearing trait is that she can put her ankles behind her ears.

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Sisley Phyto Lip Twist Matt—£32.50
Sisley Phyto Kohl Star—£36
Sisley Instant Correct—£57

Transform yourself into a soft-skinned, sexy-eyed, ruby-lipped temptress this Valentine’s with Sisley’s fantastic Spring/Summer 18 collection. Just launched, the matt velvet-finish lip twists glide on like a dream, the subtly glittery eye pencils come in eight glorious shades, and the instant correct primer should even out the most haggard/hungover of complexions. If this doesn’t render him putty in your hands, you’re in need of more help than we can give you.

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Miss Vivien Intimacy Regime Pack—£130

Make Valentine’s extra special this year with Miss Vivien’s naughty box of potions. A trio of massage gel with gold and diamond powder, intimate lubricant with thermal water, and after party restorative gel, this kit contains everything you could possibly need for the perfect night in. If a massage with actual DIAMONDS doesn’t get you hot enough, the slippery lubricant should sort you out, and if it all gets a bit too, well, wild, there’s always the soothing restorative gel for the after-party!

And, off the record, the massage gel makes skin look so amazing I might even switch this up with my usual day cream!

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Look Mate Queen’s Guard socks—£12

Valentine’s Day is all about the woman, but how better to thank the man in your life than with a pair of snazzy Boy’s Own soldier socks! The new socks come hot on the heels of the previous 21 Look Mate designs, created through design- and art-led collaborations, most recently with celebrated artists and illustrators Michel Arnold, Yoni Alter and Marylou Faure.

This cute yet classic sock design features a Queen’s Guard on the ankle with two smaller guards pictured on the base of the foot. As a London-founded and based brand, Look Mate chose the Queen’s Guard as they represent many of their own brand qualities, including discipline and attention to detail, and are at the same time part of the iconography of London.

According to recent research by quintessentially British magazine Country Life, colourful socks are now seen as the ultimate gentleman’s accessory, while Harvard Business School has stated that people who wear colourful or eccentric socks are considered non-conformist and therefore more creative and successful—making this gift so much more than a pair or socks!

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Drakes of London Valentine’s special—£79

And if snazzy socks don’t quite cut the mustard, you can call out the big guns and send your beloved for the ultimate in male pampering—the Drakes of London Valentine’s Package for men: 105 minutes of pure grooming indulgence.

Send your He-Man for the facial and massage he’d never book himself but would secretly love. Drakes of London dances the fine line between traditional men’s barbershop and luxurious male grooming salon; no-nonsense and manly enough for even the most resistant grizzly bear, he’ll leave relaxed and pampered and possibly with a facial habit of his own.

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More More More food—from £75

Short on time (or culinary skill), but want to impress your sweetheart this St Valentine’s? More More More online food delivery brings a bespoke box of delicious, premium-quality ready-to-cook dishes direct to your door.

Simply browse through their mouthwatering range of products, select a delivery date and prepare to have your taste buds blown away. With over 70 starters, main courses and puddings, you’re spoilt for choice! More More More use the finest local ingredients, for real food just like “mama used to make” (assuming she was a great cook!). Everyone knows restaurants are a nightmare on Valentine’s Day, so why not make-pretend to be the Domestic Goddess you know you probably could be—had you ever learned to cook—and blow him away with your homemade (by somebody else) Beef Wellington?

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BeYou makeup artists—from £35

BeYou is a brand-new app that exists to deliver a highly skilled makeup artist to your door to help you prepare, whatever the occasion! What sets BeYou apart from other beauty apps is that it allows you to make the final decision on which make-up artist shows up at your door. You will be able to view each make-up artist’s profile along with a snapshot of their portfolio of work and previous client reviews. If you love a particular make-up artist, you can also search for their profile and rebook them through the BeYou app.

In preparation for Valentine’s Day I had the wonderful Fabio transform me from fresh-faced to fabulous in just one hour. Fabio was as charming as he was well-groomed, passing the ultimate character test with flying colours—my dog adored him! He gave me dewy fresh skin with a light golden, yet smoky eye, and full pillowy lips. Assistant to make-up guru extraodinaire Charlotte Tilbury, he’s the last word in sexy yet pretty makeup..

Fashion Focus