The most romantic day of the year is coming up! Well, aside from your own wedding, of course. How will you celebrate Valentine’s Day? And what perfect gift will you give to your sweetie (or add to your own wish list)? We have a few suggestions to get you started.


photo courtesy Culinary Capers Catering

1. Cozy up at home

It may be lovely to head out for Valentine’s dinner, but February 14 is in the middle of winter. If you’d sooner just stay in, skip the takeout pizza and order up a perfectly romantic dinner for two from Vancouver’s Culinary Capers Catering. Uncork your favourite bottle of wine, set out your finest china, then unpack a four-course feast with mouthwatering entrée choices like braised beef short rib or roasted sablefish. Cap it off with either a decadent chocolate bourbon pecan tart or luscious pavlova with raspberry mascarpone (shown above – recipe online). The Valentine’s menu is $65 per person and you can order until noon on February 12 for pick-up on February 14.



2. Gifts fit for a queen

Who wouldn’t love a gift fit for royalty? Since 1972, British fine-goods purveyor Halycon Days has supplied objets d’art to the Queen herself, as well as the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales. For Valentine’s Day, these Halycon Days bangles are a must-have. Simple and elegant, in a wide range of vibrant colours and patterns, the beautifully handpainted enamelled bangles and cuffs are lovely worn alone or stacked for a more dramatic look. Bangles start at $150 each at Atkinson’s.



3. One-stop love shop

Stuck for a gift idea? Browse Indigo’s Valentine’s Day Gift Shop for sweet, fun, useful or sexy surprises for him or her. Going well beyond books, the selection includes cool tech gear, pretty fashion accessories, home décor and sweet treats. Our pick? The cozy “Let’s Stay Home” Expressions pillow ($34.50). Plus, until February 14, you can purchase the limited-edition “Love Is All You Need” tote for $14.50 ($25 value) with a minimum $30 purchase.



4. Cuddle in style

You’ll love snuggle time better than ever when you’re tucked under this luxurious cotton and alpaca throw from Italian linen maker Sferra. Despite its light weight, the touch of alpaca makes the classic basketweave-patterned Bristol Throw cozily warm and soft. Available in a wide range of colours to suit any décor, from rich Merlot to perfectly neutral Taupe. $234 at Atkinson’s.



5. Cook with love

What better way to serve up a homemade Valentine’s meal than in this adorable heart-shaped casserole? In stores just in time for V-Day, Le Creuset’s cast-iron Heart Cocotte now comes enamelled in sweet Sugar Pink. The two-quart baker is the perfect size for whipping up a cozy dinner or fabulous dessert for two. $225 at select Le Creuset Canada stores.



6. Treat for two

Nothing brings you closer than a shared experience – like a private couple’s massage. Vancouver’s exclusive Miraj Hammam Spa provides a tranquil sanctuary where the two of you can reconnect and relax. Begin with a Hammam and Gommage, a traditional steam and exfoliation that will cleanse your body while stimulating your senses and imagination, leaving you both feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. Follow with a 30-minute deep tissue massage or relaxation massage of your choice to increase well-being and oxytocin, also known as the ‘cuddle hormone.’ Then finish with a 15-minute therapeutic face and scalp massage to prevent and reduce stress. For the month of February, enjoy this soothing couple’s package at the special rate of $295 (regular $330).



photo by Barry Calhoun Photography

7. One night only

Vancouver’s hottest brunch spot, Café Medina, is now serving dinner – for just one big night: Valentine’s Day. The eclectic Mediterranean-inspired five-course menu features duck liver parfait, organic sockeye salmon, corned beef short rib and quince curd polenta cake, followed by sweet Turkish delight. The cost is $125 per person including wine pairings, tax and gratuity. Spots are limited, so be sure to book your tickets soon.



8. Romantic getaway

Looking for a romantic escape with your Valentine? Named by TripAdvisor as one of Canada’s Top 25 Romantic Hotels, the Magnolia Hotel & Spa in Victoria is a can’t-miss. This year, the award-winning hotel is offering a variety of romance packages until March 31. Our pick is the Romance Concierge package, which includes a stay in one of Magnolia’s luxurious rooms, continental breakfast and a daily $100 voucher to go towards a special touch of your choice – like fresh flowers and champagne in your room. Plus, of course, your Romance Concierge can help you arrange other romantic surprises, like a horse-drawn carriage ride or reservations at Victoria’s finest restaurant. The package starts at $299 per night.



9. Love sweet love

Chocolate and Valentine’s Day go together like, well, love and marriage. But instead of the usual box of assorted bonbons, head to iconic Vancouver chocolatier Thomas Haas for these charming chocolate Love Birds ($39). This irresistible treat is handcrafted with care and accented with chocolates and truffles. If this little gift doesn’t bring a smile to your honey’s face, we can’t imagine what will!



10. Perfect your kiss

Get set to pucker up this V-Day with Marc Jacobs. Le Marc Lip Crème is a luxurious and long-lasting new lipstick from Marc Jacobs Beauty. Named for the women who have inspired the designer throughout his life, the 20 covetable shades range from cotton-candy pink to sizzling red. The pigments are triple-milled and combined with hydrating ingredients for creamy intense colour that stays put for hours. And it comes in a glossy black tube with a magnetic closure that seals with a satisfying click – no more lipstick messes in your bag! $38 at Sephora.