Looking for Valentine's gifts? Here are some ideas

This February 14th, opt for a memorable love token, or a beautiful bouquet

Black Grecian-style dress, Bella Marina Studio, The Design Centre, Powerscourt €400; earrings €29,95, necklace €39.95, bracelet €36, Knight & Day

Black Grecian-style dress, Bella Marina Studio, The Design Centre, Powerscourt €400; earrings €29,95, necklace €39.95, bracelet €36, Knight & Day

 

One of the most poignant finds from the 1588 Spanish Armada shipwrecks discovered in 1985 off the Sligo coast was a small gold ring with two hands holding a heart – rather like the Claddagh ring. The inscription on the inside in Spanish was “No tengo mas que darte” (I have nothing more to give you). That phrase is inscribed on the outside of an adjustable steel cuff called a “love bracelet”, which is currently for sale on Amazon. But two hands holding a heart is a more powerful symbol of devotion, with their secret message that only the wearer can see. A message, specially engraved for the loved one, can transform even a simple pendant or ring , though, into a more personal and playful adornment.

Knight & Day’s jewellery feature earrings laden with charms, crystal beads and semi-precious stones that tinkle with a toss of the head. Fashion-forward pieces have earthy motifs of leaf, mother of pearl and cat-eye stone. A plunging neckline or an open daywear shirt allows the display of the most delicate pieces.

Charms work their magic in a similar way. A huge trend in the 1950s and 1960s, they have recently been revived in various other ways – such as in earrings, or on bags and necklaces – with each one becoming an amulet associated with a person or event to be remembered.

Silk blouse Marks & Spencer €95; full-length sequin skirt Synan O Mahony The Design Centre €399; earrings €18, necklace €39.95, bracelet €36 Knight & Day
Silk blouse Marks & Spencer €95; full-length sequin skirt Synan O Mahony The Design Centre €399; earrings €18, necklace €39.95, bracelet €36 Knight & Day
Dress €195 to hire from Covet Boutique, Powerscourt Centre; earrings €36, necklace €45, bracelet €45 Knight & Day
Dress €195 to hire from Covet Boutique, Powerscourt Centre; earrings €36, necklace €45, bracelet €45 Knight & Day
Navy shirt dress €75 River Island; watch €45, necklace €27, earrings €12 Knight & Day
Navy shirt dress €75 River Island; watch €45, necklace €27, earrings €12 Knight & Day

Roses are red

So apart from jewellery, what makes a real-deal gift? The lure of roses remains irresistible.

Supermarket flowers may be all you can afford, but you can fire up the romance with a traditional six red-rose bouquet from Appassionata in Clarendon Street (from €70) or their more modern hot pink and red rose mix (from €40). Last year, terrariums with long-lasting little succulents were popular at €50.

A traditional bouquet of roses can be irresistible for Valentine’s Day. Photograph: EPA/Ina Fassbender
A traditional bouquet of roses can be irresistible for Valentine’s Day. Photograph: EPA/Ina Fassbender

For dinner a deux to mark the occasion, there are set Valentine menus in restaurants, and hotels offering champagne afternoon teas and chocolate treats for lovers.

Lingerie may still equate with Valentine’s Day but it doesn’t have to be all flame-red satin-silk cami sets with rose motifs. Rose-tinted glasses or red-hued scarves might stir many a heart if Cupid’s arrow strikes.

There are cosseting items such as rose colognes or bath oils, but a cute little red coin purse in the shape of a heart from Love Moschino (€65) can nail it.

Oh, and don’t forget the card next Thursday.

Photographs: Eilish McCormick, assisted by Andrew Rankin; stylist: Sinead Keenan, assisted by Katie Grogan; hair: Michael Leong; make-up: Zoe Clark; model: Aoibhin Garrihy; location: Carton House

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