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Valentine's Day: Tried and tested gifts for her

By Kirsten Rawlins | Features | Published:

Seeking the perfect gift for the special lady in your life?

We've tried and tested the Valentine's Day gifts below, so you know what you're buying.

Taittinger Prestige Rosé NV gift box - RRP £52.15 (over 18s only)

Taittinger Prestige Rosé NV gift box

5 out of 5

Available here

Treat your Valentine to a bottle of this extra special champagne this year.

Boasting a luscious pink shimmering colour, this champagne is delightful - fresh, and full-bodied, with delicate sparkles, yet fruity with notes of strawberries, cherries and blackcurrants.

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The bottle itself comes packaged in a beautifully designed pink box bearing images of jewels, so makes for a very attractive gift.

Coming in at 12.5 per cent ABV, the wine is suitable for drinking now, or can be saved, to be enjoyed within three years.

The champagne is made up of 15 per cent still red wine from the Pinots Noirs of the Montagne de Reims, giving the wine its unique colour, with 30 per cent Chardonnay blended into it.

A gorgeous gift to drink now or save for later.

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Sia Shafer Yellow Poetry earrings - £85

Sia Shafer Yellow Poetry earrings

4 out of 5

Available here

Treat the special lady in your life to these bold yet delicate 18ct gold plated earrings.

These unique jewellery items from Sia Shafer boast a wave concave effect, capturing the light and adding a shimmer to the already brushed finish.

The hooks also have a four tiny glistening stones, adding to the glamour and glisten.

The earrings are 14 mm at their widest and 32mm in length.

They come in the most impressive packaging too, making them all the more perfect to gift, in a sleeved box containing a small suede pouch which holds the earrings.

A stunning present.

Just For You Hamper - £40

Just For You Hamper

5 out of 5

Available here

Hampers are a staple when it comes to Valentine’s Day treats - what better way to woo your loved one than with tasty treats?

And this gift from Cartwright and Butler really makes a statement, with a pastel pink heart-shaped hamper and a range of delicious snacks.

Beautifully presented with soft shredded paper and in intricate packaging, the tasty hamper included a selection of cranberry crumbles, sherbet pips, rose petal jelly, chocolate crispies and classic fudge.

Whether you have a sweet tooth or not, it’s hard to deny how delicious these luxury products are - once I started taste testing each item, I soon found I had eaten half of the hamper!

For just £40, the hamper proves to be great value for money and certainly a super gift for the foodie in your life.

Diplomatico Rum and Chocolate Tasting Experience - £49.95 (over 18s only)

Diplomatico Rum and Chocolate Tasting Experience

6 out of 5

Available here

Send your loved one on decadent tasting experience with this stunning gift set this Valentine's Day.

Packaged in an attractive green box, which doubles up as a serving tray, this set includes the incredible Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva rum, paired with delicious chocolate orange slices from British chocolatier Paul A Young.

The Venezuelan rum itself is divine: sweet, luscious, deep, strong and smooth - an absolute dream for any rum lover. And though it boasts 40 per cent ABV, this gorgeous rum is perfect for sipping, and very moreish.

The chocolates meanwhile, lovely either with the rum or on their own, are a 72 per cent single origin Venezuelan dark chocolate with intense flavours of roasted cocoa beans, with added essential oil of orange and mandarin.

A truly stunning present containing the most delicious rum. Outstanding.

Emma Bridgewater Set of Three Pink Roses Vases - £34.95

Emma Bridgewater Set of Three Pink Roses Vases

5 out of 5

Available here

Delight the lady in your life with this lovely English Earthenware trio of vases from Emma Bridgewater.

The vases - made in the UK - each boast a different beautifully feminine, sophisticated floral design in pink and green on a cream background.

Varying in sizes, these vases make for wonderful decor, either with or without flowers.

They are also small in size, making them a fabulously dainty addition to the home.

They are also dishwasher and microwave safe.

Very nice.

The Map of Everyone - £29.99

The Map of Everyone

5 out of 5

Available here

For a thoughtful and personalised gift to capture precious memories, look no further than The Map of Everyone.

I gifted my husband a bespoke print showing the location of our honeymoon, and he couldn’t be more thrilled with every little detail that went into the product.

The easy-to-use website allows you to customise every aspect of your print - from the zoom of the picture to the shape of the marker, and even the colours and text visible on the picture.

You can pick from a range of different sizes as well as framing options.

When it arrived, I was stunned by the high quality black frame used as well as the sharp print and luxury paper it was printed on.

Every time we look at the picture it brings back a series of happy memories, and it has become a welcome addition to our vast collection of artwork.

With exemplary service and a high quality product, The Map of Everyone is the perfect heartfelt gift to show your appreciation to your nearest and dearest.

Montezuma's I Love You Truffle Collection - £12.99

Montezuma's I Love You Truffle Collection

2 out of 5

Available here

A big heart on the front and sixteen little hearts inside mean you should get the message across to your Valentine.

There's some theatrical unwrappng to do before you get to the prosecco flavoured milk chocolate truffles and raspberry flavoured dark chocolate hearts.

Montezuma's describes itself as "extraordinary chocolate" but we wouldn't go that far ourselves.

To be honest they're somewhat on the bland side, with no prosecco fizz or raspberry zing to speak of, which for £12-plus for 16 chocolates we would have expected.

Disappointing.

Angela Langford Thirsty Work moisturiser - £37.50

Angela Langford Thirsty Work moisturiser

5 out of 5

Available here

Treat your Valentine to this indulgent cream, packed with natural ingredients.

Made with rosehip, raspberries, chia seeds and argan, this moisturiser is ideal for dry skin and instantly hydrates skin with a lovely scent.

It absorbs well into the skin too, making it smooth and soft, without leaving it feeling greasy.

The nourishing product also includes omega three and six, as well as vitamins A and C, anitoxidants, hyaluronic acid, mandarin, sandalwood, neroli and more.

Luscious.

The Phantom of the Opera from The Folio Society - £49.95

The Phantom of the Opera from The Folio Society

6 out of 5

Available here

Perfect for the book lover in your life, this exquisite novel brings the romantic tale of The Phantom of the Opera to life like never before.

Presented in a vibrant hard case and bound in screen-printed cloth, this hard-back book is beautifully decorated.

Its cover features intricate illustrations and gold leaf to accentuate each detail, while the pages create a complex filigree design while closed.

This edition uses the 2012 Oxford World’s Classics translation by David Coward, with beautiful colour illustrations helping to add depth and visuals to the iconic tale.

The Folio Society never fails to impress and amaze with their truly breath-taking books that are sure to turn your bookcase into an artistic display.

Olverum Bath Oil - £35 (125ml) or £62 (250ml)

Olverum Bath Oil

5 out of 5

Available here

Treat your Valentine to this luxurious bath oil, ideal for those with aches and pains, or simply looking for a divine bathing experience.

Olverum's formulation has remained largely unchanged for 83 years - and it's clear to see why. This vegan, cruelty-free bath oil is extraordinary.

Containing 10 pure essential oils, its strong herbal scent fills the house when poured into the bath. When bathing in Olverum, it soothes, relieves stress, helps clear sinuses and aids with sleep.

Though rather pricey, this bath oil is a head and shoulders above the average bath product.

An absolutely gorgeous bath product, suitable for men and women of any age.

Red Eye Louie's Vodquila - £29.95 (over 18s only)

Red Eye Louie's Vodquila

4 out of 5

Available here

Some people may say that blending vodka and tequila to create a Frankenstein-esque alcoholic blend is a step too far.

But this smooth beverage by Red Eye Louie weirdly works, mashing together two premium beverages to create one smooth, flavoursome tipple.

A blend of grain vodka and 100 per cent blue Weber agave Tequila, this hybrid spirit works well served over ice for a refreshing beverage.

It’s peppery, herbal and almost sweet - also making it perfect for use in cocktails or with fizzy mixers.

Smooth with a subtle kick, this drink is a must for any alcohol connoisseurs.

Mon Guerlain Eau de Parfum Intense - £80 (50ml) to £112 (100ml)

Mon Guerlain Eau de Parfum Intense

5 out of 5

Available here

Treat the special lady in your life to this exquisite eau de parfum from Guerlain.

A unique, intense perfume, this moreish multi-layered scent boasts notes of bergamot, mandarin, carla lavender, sandalwood, sambac jasmine, vanilla and more. It is sweet, yet not sickly, and very feminine, while remaining sophisticated and unusual.

Ideal for evening wear due to its intensity, but also lovely for the daytime.

The perfume comes packaged in an attractive glass bottle, with metallic pink band around the neck and a white and pink box.

A uniquely wonderful, alluring and charming scent ideal for the feminine, bold and sophisticated woman who likes something a little different.

Mermaid Pink Gin - £40 (70cl) (over 18s only)

Mermaid Pink Gin

6 out of 5

Available here

Treat your gin-loving Valentine to this absolute gem of a spirit from Marks and Spencer.

Packaged in a beautiful scaled glass bottle with a stunning pink ombré, this delicious, smooth gin is absolutely gorgeous, boasting lively, fruity flavours of strawberries, lemon zest, grains of paradise and fragrant rock samphire.

Subtle yet vibrant, and sweet without being sickly, this gin is slightly less sweet than your average pink gin - but packs more flavour than most too.

At 38 per cent ABV, this drink - though wonderful on its own - is stunning mixed with a simple tonic.

Gorgeous.

Mifo O5 Plus earphones - £89.99

Mifo O5 Plus earphones

4 out of 5

Available here

Mifo's O5 Plus earphones are unlike any I have previously used, with eight hours of continuous play time, noise cancelling abilities and a dual microphone built in.

Waterproof up to one metre and shock resistant, these are ideal for exercise - providing it's not too vigorous as they are in-ear.

Attractive in appearance and delivering excellently clear sound, these earphones are a great buy - with just one flaw.

They come with a lovely looking case which charge the earphones - an excellent idea in principle, but unfortunately the earphones fail to charge if anything gets on the charging sensors.

Tesco Finest Central Otago Pinot Noir - £13 (over 18s only)

Tesco Finest Central Otago Pinot Noir

Available here

4 out of 5

My partner is not normally a fan of pinot noir (she's a cabernet sauvignon girl, generally) but this New Zealand bottle won her over with its bold red fruit notes and lovely, elegantly smooth finish.

It's a hefty 13.5 per cent ABV, and produced by New Zealand's most-awarded winery, Villa Maria, where it is aged in oak for 10 months before bottling.

Tesco reckon it's an ideal pairing for grilled meats, lamb and roast turkey - but we found it stood up very well to a vegetable rogan josh!

Worth splashing out for as a Valentine's treat.

Acer C200 Projector UXGA - £229

Acer C200 Projector UXGA

4 out of 5

Available here

Treat your Valentine's to a romantic night in with this excellent portable projector.

With a contrast ratio of 2000:1 and UXGA resolution, it gives super sharp images - and can even be used in the daytime, though at night is better.

It also gives users the chance to connect external devices via HDMI or wireless dongle, though the power cable port is too close to the HDMI port to allow for an Amazon Firestick to be plugged in, so an extension cord was needed.

It has four hours battery life too, meaning it need not always be plugged in.

The projector itself is excellent quality and good value for money, but does not include either a speaker or stand - both of which are needed.

Tesco Low Alcohol Sparkling Rose Wine - £2.75 (over 18s only)

Tesco Low Alcohol Sparkling Rose Wine

4 out of 5

Available here

Taking Dry January into February? You can still enjoy a romantic Valentine’s Day toast with this low alcohol offering.

This refreshing sparkling rose, made from Spanish Garnacha grapes, is full of ripe strawberry flavours with less than 0.5 per cent alcohol content.

Sweet and fruity, this tipple is refreshing rather than sickly and makes for a perfect dinner wine.

This lively fizz is a great addition to any meal for those steering clear of the hard stuff.

Lily O'Brien's Desserts Collection - £7 (230g) or £30 (625g)

Lily O'Brien's Desserts Collection

Available here

2 out of 5

Sumptuously presented, with three of each of the six flavours, this was one chocolate collection which sadly failed to live up to its promise.

Based on classic dessert recipes - there's hazelnut torte, passion fruit posset, banoffee pie, crème brûlée, raspberry infusion and key limey pie - this had our tastebuds tingling in anticipation and then badly let down once we tucked in.

None of them was horrible, but they were all just dull and bland; not what we were expecting at all.

Surely something called Key Limey Pie should zing with citrus flavours, and the passion fruit posset produce a passionate response. It didn't, just a shrug.

If I had to pick one 'winner' it would be the hazelnut torte, but only because of the white chocolate. A shame.

Kirsten Rawlins

By Kirsten Rawlins
@kirsten_Star

Digital Content Manager for the Shropshire Star and Express & Star. Also reviews concerts and events, as well as writing features and celebrity interviews. E-mail me at kirsten.rawlins@shropshirestar.co.uk, or phone 01952 241440.

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