For US-born, London-based blogger Emily Johnston, Valentine’s Day is a time for hearts, chocolate, romance… and more chocolate…
The big day is nearly here, lovelies. A day of hearts on fire, romantic gestures and the best-ever excuse for devouring chocolate in obscene quantities. Of course, nine out of every ten Valentine’s Days that have passed in my life, I’ve eaten that much chocolate to ease the pain of celebrating the most romantic day of the year alone on my couch, with Bridget Jones singing All By Myself on the TV. But the Valentine’s Days that have been full of romance and joy have been ones to remember indeed and I find myself in a situation this year of debating what to do to keep that romantic magic alive.
I am being a rather selfish partner this time as my favourite brand on planet earth has just opened an eatery and I am looking for every excuse to visit. Yes, I’m hoping for Valentine’s Day breakfast at the new Ralph’s Coffee & Bar at the Polo Ralph Lauren store on London’s Regent Street. A little “I love you a latte” and some avocado on toast certainly say I love you, right? And maybe a mini shopping spree post-breakfast?
Truly, what’s important on Valentine’s Day is that you show you remembered at all. Framed photos of momentous occasions and small trinkets that can be worn day in and day out. Call me spoilt, but one of my favourite Valentine’s gifts was a Cartier Love Bracelet, which sadly I can’t wear any more as we are no longer together. Yeah, there is always that downside of overspending on the big V Day. Not everything turns out as perfectly as Wills and Kate.
And to the ladies who are single on this day, there is beauty there too. Looking back, you’ll find the value in the time when it was just you and that epic chocolate bar.
With love… from Emily
Monica Vinader Linear Bead Bracelet, £125; visit monicavinader.com. Any of the discs can be engraved for free to customise this bracelet for a loved one.
Breakfast of champions from The Lanesborough London hotel on Hyde Park Corner
British designer Tabitha Webb isn’t holding her breath for any grand Valentine’s Day gestures – a handmade card will do just fine.
The most depressing day of the year – January’s Blue Monday – is over and I hear you shout: “Hurrah!” Well steady on… not quite, because Valentine’s Day is nearly here to send us over the edge.
In my teens, Valentine’s Day was just about validation. My father would without fail send 14 red roses to me at school anonymously and every year I would play dumb. “I’ve no idea who they’re from,” I would say. “It’s just so exciting!” No one needed to know the truth.
In my 20s, I would hope for a saucy card and a date. A romantic gesture from a new-found love was just some recognition I wasn’t going to be left on the shelf. In my 30s, I met my husband… and any dreams I had of a romantic Valentine’s Day drifted away. I do understand what he’s saying: “Why do I have to show my love for you today, when I do it every day?” (That is another conversation!)
So we have a better deal. I get flowers delivered every month from bloomandwild.com. Each bouquet is different and every time they arrive I still feel excited and a little bit adored. It is like having 12 love celebrations a year. If I was allowed to add to that just one tiny little Valentine’s Day treat, it would have to be the Saint Laurent Monogram Love bag, but, honestly, this year, I will be content with a drawing of a heart from my five-year-old daughter.
That is, of course, unless my husband has a complete change of heart and wishes to whisk me to Lech for a quick Valentine’s weekend of romance and skiing.
Tabitha’s heartfelt selection
I’d definitely wear my heart on my sleeve with this Mini Love bag, £625, Saint Laurent; visit ysl.com
The gorgeous Holly Willoughby bringing colour to our screens in her Tabitha Webb rainbow print shirt