The pressure’s on. It’s Valentine’s Day on Friday and you can’t get a table at your favourite restaurant for love or money. A takeaway is out of the question and anything from the standard repertoire just won’t cut the mustard. So why not become a culinary cupid and say “I love you” with the sort of gift that goes straight to the heart, via the belly…
Craft beer box, From £36, beerhawk.co.uk
It’s ale by mail – probably though not necessarily for him – with Beer Hawk’s Discovery cases of 15 craft beers. Choose from porters and Trappist ales or the best of American and Belgian breweries.
Hire a chef for the night, From £300
Please chef, can I have l’amour? Avoid the fuss and inflated expense of going out and instead book a chef to come to your home and cook for you and your loved one. You might not win points for effort but you’ll make up for it on the food front. There are a number of outfits that offer this service including chefinmykitchen.co.uk, chefscompliments.co.uk and ginger-jar-food.com
Pontoon bottled cocktails, £6.99 for one (pontooncocktails.com)
Hand-crafted by trendy bartenders, this range of mixed classics comes in medicinal-style retro bottles ready to serve at home or store for new flavours to develop.
Cocoa Runners chocolates by post, From £14.95 a month (cocoarunners.com)
A gift that is destined to be shared. Subscribers receive four beautifully wrapped artisan chocolate bars by post each month, complete with tasting notes and the stories behind the bean and farmers.
The Artisan Gin Making Kit, £99 (selfridges.com)
If the dozens of ‘hand-made’ gins that have flooded the market in the past year or so are not to your liking you can turn all experimental bootlegger and create your own. Mind you, for its price tag you could buy a fair few bottles of the ready-made stuff with fancy labels.
Win a gourmet meal cooked in your home for six people, with fine wines and a waiter, by former MasterChef semi-finalist Charlotte Leventis: enter here. Charlotte “lives and breathes” food and has cooked privately for Hollywood celebrities such as Nicole Kidman and Ben Stiller and completed work stints in prestigious restaurants such as Le Gavroche in London and the Mandarin Oriental in Singapore. The competition is run by Avios reward and is open until 28th February.