12 best Valentine's Day gifts for him
From gadgets to gin, we've sifted through the tat and found something special for every type of guy
It’s that time of year when you can’t walk down supermarket aisles without being bombarded by garish pink foiled heart shaped chocolates, teddy bears emblazoned with soppy slogans, and overpriced tat. If you aren’t anti-Valentine’s, you might be looking for something more creative to surprise your boyfriend/ husband/ intended.
We have selected the best gifts for men – from a heart shaped decadent cheese, to a stunning bottle of the highest quality gin – to help you in your search for the perfect present.
Oakdene Designs personalised solid copper photo print: £24, Not on the High Street
Choose and upload a coupley picture – Instagram and Polaroid style snaps work well – write a caption commemorating your first date or wedding day, and Oakdene Designs will turn it into a personalised solid metal work of art that will look fantastic on the mantlepiece. Prints are waterproof and scratch resistant, and text is printed directly onto the brushed metal – you choose between copper, stainless steel or brass. More discreet declarations of love can be added to the bottom of the frame. Comes in two sizes.
The Courtyard Dairy valentine cheese board with cheese: £22.45, The Courtyard Dairy
Since Courtyard Dairy opened in north Yorkshire in 2012, owners Andy and Kathy Swinscoe’s commitment to selecting the best cheeses from small British farms has won them countless accolades such as World Cheese Awards Cheesemonger of the Year. Their heart shaped chaser certainly wows. It’s a triple-cream brie that's sold at three weeks old when it still has a fresh, citrusy flavour to temper its richness; the extra cream added to the milk creates its rich, smooth texture. The beautiful 21cm board, made from olive trees that have died naturally, is surprisingly weighty and is hardwearing and easy to clean.
Ted Baker dragonfly cufflinks: £55, Ted Baker
Cufflinks make a special keepsake, and these unusual and striking dragonflies will be a talking point when ramping up the elegance factor of a formal outfit. Silver in colour, with gem colours on the wings, they’re made predominantly of brass, with zinc alloy, and come in a Ted Baker branded tin.
LIFX A60 smart LED light: £43.99, LIFX
Men love a gadget to play with, and this one is both practical and romantic, too. With this smart LED bulb controlled by your phone or tablet, Google Home or Alexa, you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your sofa (or, ahem, bed), to create a romantic ambience. A dial enables you to change the colour across a spectrum and although it’s efficiently bright for its 11 watts, you can dim it to the right softness to set the mood for a dinner party or home screening. The "day & dusk" feature means it also functions as an alarm clock, or you can schedule the bulb to wake up to a bright coloured glow of your choice.
Chapel Down bacchus gin: £35, Chapel Down
From the British wine makers whose impressive sparkling wine is our best version of champagne, this limited edition gin in a striking cut-glass bottle makes a stunning gift. Distilled from the same bacchus grapes as their famous sparkling wine, it’s aromatic, infused with juniper, elderflower and citrus peel, and is highly drinkable.
Claireclose hot chilli chef plant pot vase with chilli seeds: £19.95, Etsy
We love the cheeky humour of this tasteful gift for a man who loves hot food (and show us a man who doesn’t like chilli?) Now he can grow his own in this ceramic pot – and think of you as he cooks. The quirky design is by So Close studio in Devon, and is one of a kind. You get a packet of chillies, but you (or he) will need to provide the soil. Includes delivery.
Paxton & Whitfield truffled coeur de neufchatel: £6.50, Paxton & Whitfield
If you are making a token gift to a cheese lover, you can’t beat the decadence of this artisan truffled coeur de neufchatel, from the prestigious Paxton and Whitfield cheesemonger established in the UK in 1757. The oldest cheese of Normandy is comparable to camembert in taste and creamy texture, but richer and earthier. Legend has it that the young women of Neufchâtel-en-Bray offered this cheese to gallant knights during the Hundred Years' War.
Chococo valentine's hamper: £30, Chococo
An abundance of heart shaped chocolates at this time of year there may be, but you won’t find more delicious and innovative offerings than Chococo’s. Everything here looks exquisite, from the 75g love heart, made with 43 per cent Venezuelan milk chocolate and 47 per cent naturally pink ruby chocolate, the speckled love heart lolly, dark chocolate salted caramel lips (their caramel is sensational), and the praline filled geometric faceted heart.
The centre piece is the box of nine chocolate hearts and gems containing flavours including kir royale, passionfruit caramel, and cashew and praline. Chocolates are handmade with fresh Dorset cream, so you can pre-order for delivery from 1 February, and the quality makes this excellent value.
Drinks by the Dram valentine’s whisky set: £19.95, Masters of Malt
It can be hard choosing someone the perfect whisky. This tasting set makes a fun treat for the whisky connoisseur or explorer; he gets to sample five 30ml drams from different distilleries, from single malts to a Japanese blend. Two 10-year-old single malts scotches and an eight-year-old Isle of Skye blend are within this collection, served up in elegant wax sealed bottles, as well as accompanying tasting notes. Other options in the range are rum and gin.
American Crew acumen soothing shaving cream: £18, Selfridges
American Crew were ahead of the game when it came to creating luxury grooming products for stylish and discerning men. There are seven pieces in their new acumen range, launched in September, and this soothing shave cream infused ith bisabolol – a natural active ingredient that accelerates the skin’s healing process and protects against stinging and redness – achieves a close shave while leaving the skin smooth and moisturised. So no stubble-induced irritation for you either. It also smells divine, which is another win for all.
RIF6 Cube mini projector: £259.99, Currys
At the upper end of the budget is this gadget that he will love. With this pocket sized cube, you have a portable home cinema. It works with phones, laptops, and games consoles – you can project whatever device you're using through the cube and enjoy a film or programme on a screen up to 120 inch with LED display. There’s a rechargeable battery, so no plug socket is needed and it comes with a flexible tripod.
Comme des Garcons blackpepper eau de parfum spray: £76.50 for 100ml, Escentual
Since the Japanese fashion brand launched their first fragrance in 1994, they have become the hip, go-to brand for unisex scents. The warm, musky scent of their 2016 released Blackpepper, with smoky cedarwood and rich tonka bean caramel, is intense and alluring. Although suitably masculine – it’s spicy and strong, lasting the full day – you might be tempted to “borrow” the odd spray yourself.
The verdict: Valentine's Day gifts for him
If you are looking for something personal, our firm favourite is Oakdene's metal print. It's a well priced, original take on a classic photo frame with a solid metal design that is both sleek and modern, while the customisation makes it a romantic and thoughtful keepsake.
We think the LIFX LED bulb will also go down well for its combination of practicality and romance. Useful gadgets are a sure hit, and this one has multiple uses, from a sunrise alarm clock to creating a romantic ambience, or setting for a dinner party. Gin connoisseurs will be thrilled with Chapel Down’s stunning bottle of bacchus gin – and its limited quantity makes it extra special.
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