It’s that time of year again. Valentine’s Day. Time to make the decision: to celebrate or not to celebrate. A recent Telegraph article (www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/11386573/A-little-bondage-is-the-perfect-answer-to-Valentines-Day.html) revealed that an estimated £950 is shelled out in the UK each year by those succumbing to the dreaded V day pressure – to the delight of card manufacturers, florists and restaurants offering their ordinary heart-engorging ‘steak specials’ at especially engorged prices.
When faced with the limp array of ‘I wuv you’ teddy bears and wilting roses it’s easy to jump on the rebellion bandwagon and announce a boycott. But, if you decide to ignore V Day, aren’t you missing out on a chance to give your other half some love? Sure, you don’t need to be told by Hallmark when to show appreciation, but why not do it on Valentine’s Day and whatever other day(s) you choose? Aren’t there enough rose petals in the world to stretch to multiple scatterings? By rejecting Valentine’s Day, aren’t you just being a romantic Scrooge?
This year, why not compromise by shunning boring gifts and finding a more personal, quirky way to say I love you:
Rent a private island
The ultimate in luxurious seclusion. Elle Decor have the details (www.elledecor.com/life-culture/travel/g2427/rent-private-islands/?slide=1)
Don’t jostle with crowds of couples awkwardly sipping oyster amuse bouches – you you can get luxury take-out from top Japanese restaurant Nobu instead. Sumptuous sharing bento boxes to takeaway, £100. Order in advance. (www.noburestaurants.com/)
Stay in bed
As V Day falls on a Saturday this year, why not spend all day in bed, nibbling on luxurious vegan, gluten-free treats from Manna? (www.mannagifts.co.uk/vegan-hampers.html)
Mug of love
Who doesn’t love the Moomins? If your partner doesn’t appreciate this mug, from Finnish design hero Ittala (£15.95, amara.com), maybe they don’t deserve you. (www.amara.com)
Try new food
Grub Club is an awesome platform for London’s pop-up supper-club scene, with plenty of tasty V-day options, such as Valentines New Orleans Style with Soul Food + Live Music by Slap Ya Papa (£35) or A Valentines Afternoon Tea by Hoopla (£25). (grubclub.com/valentines-day)
Learn something sexy
Don’t: go and see the new 50 Shades of Grey movie. Do: visit The Wellcome Collection’s Institute of Sexology exhibition for a candid voyage round human sexuality. (www.wellcomecollection.org/exhibitions/institute-sexology)
Dance like an animal
Secret Garden Party regulars The Artful Badger will be doing their thing this Valentine’s weekend at The Vaults party space under Waterloo Station. Prepare for an enjoyably freaky affair, with DJs, art installations, live bands and dating games. Fancy dress is encouraged; the theme is ‘amorous animals’, so dig out your bunny onsie. (www.the-vaults.org/)