Don’t say it with flowers: Valentine’s Day last-minute gift guide
From chocolate subscriptions to You Are a Ride socks, here’s something for everyone
Valentine’s Day: the perfect gift doesn’t have to be expensive, and there’s still time to find it. Illustration: iStock
Stuck in a Valentine’s Day bind and don’t know what to get your other half? Fret not. Here’s a quick guide to last-minute gifts for even the trickiest-to-buy-for Valentine.
You Are Loved By Me tote bag
Flying Tiger, €3
One can never have too many totes, so why not brighten up your partner’s collection with this charming number? Bag for life? More like a bag for love.
Dublin Herbalists lip balm
Online and stockists nationwide, €4
Give your other half the gift of buttery-smooth lips. This balm comes in pomegranate, orange, peppermint and honey. You’ll have change from a fiver and all. Win-win.
Mungo Murphy’s Sea-Bag
Irish Design Shop, €6
Who needs a spa break when you’ve got Mungo Murphy’s Sea-Bag? The little sack contains 50g or so of dried seaweed from the wild Atlantic waters of Connemara. Simply steep the seaweed in hot water, toss it into the bath and let it work its magic.
You Are a Ride socks
Irish Socksiety and stockists nationwide, €9
“You are a ride.” The four words every Irish person wants to hear. These Irish Socksiety socks are a cheeky, inexpensive way of saying “You’re a bit of an all right.” Other socks include “You are my cupán tae” and “Socks on, lights off.”
3fe Lucky Drip subscription
Online, from €11
Let your loved one channel their inner barista with a subscription to 3fe’s Lucky Drip service. Discerning coffee drinkers receive a new single-origin coffee weekly, fortnightly or monthly. Convenient and hassle-free.
Everything I Know about Love
From all good bookshops, €11.99
Have a woman in your life who has somehow not read Dolly Alderton’s bestselling memoir? Now it’s out in paperback, there’s no better time to set that right. The perfect gift for the unabashed romantic in your life.
The Handmade Soap Co beard oil
Earth Mother and Designist, €18
This beard oil conditions and softens with a blend of jojoba seed, vitamin E and apricot-kernel oils. It also smells divine, with hints of basil, lime, wintergreen and orange. A little luxury for the bearded man in your life.
Sagaform drink stones
For the Don Draper wannabe in your life. These granite stones ensure your drink stays cool and refreshing without diluting it.
Bouquet Box subscription
Online, from €20 a month
Flowers aren’t just for Valentine’s Day. Treat your other half to a fresh bouquet delivered every week, fortnight or month. Petrol-station flowers, be gone!
100 Questions: Love Edition
Stuck for conversation? This box contains 100 questions to pose to your paramour. Topics include sex, fidelity and emotional baggage. Approach with caution.
Chocolate human heart
Everyone knows Valentine’s Day is all about chocolate and hearts, so why not impress your loved one with a Belgian-chocolate replica of a real heart? Warning: may not be for the faint of heart.
Bean and Goose chocolate subscription
Online, €29.99 a month
The Irish chocolatier Bean and Goose has a subscription box that ought to make a nice departure from Milk Tray. Each month you receive a box with two limited-edition bars and one bar from the company’s core range. And they’re like little works of art.
The Body hot-water bottle
Live with someone who is perennially cold? Treat them to this full-length hot-water bottle, which comes complete with a wearable strap. A must-have for keeping warm on chilly February nights.
Rathbornes Beyond the Pale classic candle
Online and from stockists nationwide, €36
Move over Diptyque and Jo Malone. Founded in Dublin in 1488, Rathbornes is the world’s oldest candle company. Its Beyond the Pale range features six luxury scents inspired by Ireland. The Dublin tea rose, oud and patchouli scent is swoonworthily romantic.
Stojo collapsible cup
Earth Mother and Brown Thomas, from €9.95
Reusable cups are the new must-have accessory. What sets Stojo’s apart is the fact that it’s collapsible, allowing you to fold it up and toss it in your bag once it’s empty. No bulk, no fuss, and ideal for that person who is always on the go.
Graham Norton’s Own Irish Gin
The chatshow host and author already has a range of wines. Now he has a gin, too, made with West Cork Distillers. An ideal tipple for a cosy Friday night in.
Luna by Cara silk pillowcase
Cara Pharmacy online and at branches, €40
Give the gift of beauty sleep with a luxurious silk pillowcase. Recommended by beauticians, dermatologists and hairdressers, and Kim Kardashian and Chrissy Teigen swear by them. No more pillow lines or sleep marks.
Liadain Aiken hat
Online and stockists nationwide, from €55
Make like a character in The Life Aquatic and treat your other half to a woolly hat, courtesy of the Irish knitwear designer Liadain Aiken. Hers come in an array of colours, patterns and styles, so there’s bound to be one to suit your Valentine. Sure it’ll look only smashing on your next Sunday stroll.
Sex Siopa gift card
Online, from €25
Feeling frisky? Shawna Scott’s online sex shop has loads of bodysafe toys, as well as other accoutrements, to choose from. She also sells €25, €50 and €100 gift cards, which are a solid bet if you want to give your partner the gift of choice.
Engraved Estée Lauder lipstick
Brown Thomas, Dublin, €32
There is only one Estée Lauder lipstick-engraving machine in the world, and it currently sits in the beauty hall at Brown Thomas in Dublin. You can buy one of the lipsticks at any time until March 16th, when the machine must move on to another venue in need of its holy work, but Valentine’s Day is a pretty perfect occasion for it. At €32, these are premium lipsticks, but the lure of personalising one’s make-up is strong, and engraving a lipstick case is free with purchase. You can add fun designs and personalised messages or names to the lipstick case and lid, in different typefaces and colours. It’s better value than a €30 bunch of roses. Laura Kennedy
Available from most cinemas
Plan for future date nights with a cinema voucher. Most of Ireland’s independent and chain cinemas – IFI, Light House, Pálás, Odeon, Omniplex, IMC and Cineworld – have gift cards for sale online or at the box office. Dinner and a movie, anyone?