Let’s welcome February by blowing away those cobwebs and preparing for the month of love. That’s right, it’s about time for romance. Whether you’re a sucker for all things Valentine’s Day-related or see it as an excuse to be far more grumpy and cynical than usual, making it through January is as good an excuse as any to show yourself and your favourite people some love. We’ve picked our our favourite gifts and pieces by designer-makers and indie brands with which to treat yourself or your squeeze. Expect handmade delights, intense wooing material and little to no kitch tat.
1. First up, a super-soft blanket from from our favourite homeware emporium, Shedquarters. We all know that whether solo or with your lover, there’s not much than can beat a snuggle on the sofa. This fringed, sky-blue throw is made from 100% recycled wool by an independent British brand that uses traditional weaving methods and thick, soft yarns. Make being cosy a priority on 14th February whilst curled up in this beauty.
2. Riposte is our kind of magazine and although it calls itself ‘a magazine for intelligent women’ we suggest you buy a copy for the man in your life too. Issue 7 is packed with grounded and insightful pieces on anything from curse words to floristry, the Middle East to inspiring female cellists. A gorgeous gift for the knowledge-hungry, design-loving Valentine you’re looking to buy for, Riposte is top of our list of independent magazines founded here in the UK.
3. A candle-lit dinner you say? We’ve just the thing. Copper and Solder are an inspiring online indie store that specialises in concrete and copper homewares with a gorgeous minimalist aesthetic. These sleek, handmade candle holders are the perfect mix of industrial materials, trending metallics and pattern. Buy just the one, go for a set, or cop a bunch to adorn your home, or provide beautifully-designed mood lighting.
4. As if we needed an excuse to pop these babies in one of our wish lists; we’ve been obsessing over Noisette Bakehouse‘s creations since Christmas. These naturally sweet goodies are an absolute treat for the senses, and contain zero nasties. An independent venture offering indulgent foods made with nourishing ingredients, this Leeds-based artisan bakehouse is your official go-to for Valentine’s eats and foodie gifts. Our favourite pick of the menu offers a combination of Date and Tahini Truffles, Strawberry Balsamic Caramels and Violet and Coconut Macaroons. Need we say more?
5. The clever people at Bloom & Wild take a unique approach to flowers, choosing to package them carefully in letterbox-sized pressie boxes and post them snappily so they arrive fresh. So, not only can you send a special bouquet to somebody important, you can also indulge your love for fresh flowers on a regular basis by signing up for a subscription. Send your sister, your mum, your dear old grandad or your loved one a box of blooms, or please yourself with a different choice of fresh stems each and every month.
6. Skin & Tonic are, without a doubt, one of our all-time favourite skincare brands. A British company specialising in no-frills organic products that are never, ever tested on animals and are Soil Association approved, everything in the Skin & Tonic range is fresh, kind and wonderful. We especially like their beard oil, a must-have for anybody with a little, or a lot of facial hair. Smoothing and strengthening with thistle and argan oil, this elixir keeps hair soft and skin moisturised. No chance of scratchy Valentine’s kisses here.
7. We had planned to include a thoughtful and poetic card in our romantic round-up, but very quickly came to the realisation that most traditional cards are a bit creepy or far too gushy for our tastes. Instead, we’ve opted for this gem by illustrator and designer-maker Liz Mosely. If you’ve ever compromised your impressively long and lustrous body hair to make your sweetheart’s day, confuse and freak them out, or simply make a statement, you’ll no doubt appreciate the sentiment behind this handmade card.
8. Inka London, for all the times your friend, family member, partner or whoever has really earned that thoughtful gift. These beautifully-curated gift boxes are unmatched in contents, presentation and thoughtful narratives and are an absolute joy to receive. We love the Couples Staycation box, filled with small-batch, natural products, from chocolate to skincare. Perfect for a cosy weekend in, where nothing matters but one another.
Words: Emily Beeson | @younggoldteeth