Advertising

Valentine's Day: Tried and tested gifts for him

By Kirsten Rawlins | Features | Published: | Last Updated:

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

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

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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 with 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, 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.

UNTUCKit Wrinkle-Free Perdera Shirt - £80

UNTUCKit Wrinkle-Free Perdera Shirt

5 out of 5

Available here

The very definition of smart casual, UNTUCKit shirts do exactly what they say on the label, providing a sharp, tailored look specifically designed to be worn . . . you guessed it . . . untucked.

With more than FIFTY fits for every shape and size, and with a shorter hemline, we loved how it gave a polished and professional contour even for an untucked shirt, without looking like you had simply forgotten to tuck in you best work shirt on the dash to the office, or risking a sloppy, wrinkled look.

We also liked the label on our £80 wrinkle-free, no-iron Perdera model, which exclaims: "Wash! Tumble dry! Wear! Perfection!" That's just what every guy wants to see.

With contoured hemlines, reinforced collars, distinctive detail on the sleeve buttons and a signature triangular sail on the hem, here's a shirt that can be worn to the office or cuts a dash on an evening out or down the pub.

There are 85-plus UNTUCKit stores worldwide and counting, including at Covent Garden and Westfield London, and for online orders there's currently a 20 per cent discount off your first purchase.

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.

Tomatin 12 Year Old whisky - £44 (over 18s only)

Tomatin 12-year-old Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky

5 out of 5

Available here

A good value single malt for the whisky lover in your life.

Aged first in ex-bourbon barrels and then with a final six-to-nine months in former Oloroso sherry casks, Tomatin 12-year-old whisky is a fruity, elegantly smooth single malt from this village distillery near Inverness, and a winner of gold medals galore at the San Francisco World Spirits Challenge for six years running.

A cherry-like aroma precedes notes of fruit, ending in a long, pleasurable finish, and at 43 per cent proof it's a step up in strength from the 40 per cent it was previously produced at.

If you find the alcohol content a little overpowering, I found a splash of water helped sweeten it up.

Want to push the boat our further? Tomatin's core range goes up to a 36-year aged whisky, released in small, limited edition batches. Expect to pay up to £499, so a very special treat. The 14, 18 and 30-year variants are less punishing on the purse/wallet.

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

Folio Society’s Phantom of the Opera

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.

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.

Diesel Spirit of The Brave Eau de Toilette - £47 (50ml) or £63 (125ml)

Diesel Spirit of the Brave

5 out of 5

Available here

This fresh, masculine fragrance is the ideal gift for the special man in your life this Valentine's Day.

The eau de toilette spray, packaged in a golden box bearing the face of a large cat, comes in the classic 'fist' shaped diesel bottle in black and gold.

The inviting scent is crisp and sophisticated, with warm woody notes.

The fragrance consists of bergamot, clary sage, tonka bean, fir balsam, artemisia, elemi and cypress - and the result is a cologne ideal for younger men, suitable for wear during the day or night.

A lovely gift.

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

Tesco Finest Central Otago Pinot Noir 2018

4 out of 5

Available here

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

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.

BenRiach 10 Year Old Whisky - From £29.90 (70cl) (Over 18s only)

BenRiach 10 Year Old Whisky

Available here

4 out of 5

If you prefer smooth whiskies rather than the peated variety, then the BenRiach 10-year-old is a good value, easy drinking Scotch single malt from the Speyside region.

This light, summer gold spirit, comes in at 43 per cent proof, and is aged in ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks before bottling, for a full, smooth flavour.

Sniff it and there's an element of cherry; taste it and there's a malty, warm toffee-meets-banana flavour - banoffee if you like - followed by an enjoyable finish with a hint of fudge.

If you do prefer peated whiskies then you could try BenRiach's Curiositas brand, which uses a heavily peated malted barley.

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.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Advertising

Top Stories

Advertising

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News