Beyond Chocolate: Valentine's Gifts for Foodies

Want to find a Valentine's Day gift for someone special (even if that special someone is yourself)? Jess Smith has you covered with a last-minute list of foodie gifts that go beyond boxes of chocolate!

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, you might be starting to panic about what to get your other half. No matter how much you love and appreciate them, finding something that shows them you care without breaking your budget can be difficult, especially if they are one of those pesky people who seem to have everything. Chocolates (or flowers) seem to be the typical Valentine’s go-to, but in recent years this has become a little cliché; at least when Carol Ann Duffy’s narrator in “Valentine” gives her lover an onion, she is being original! But like chocolate, an onion, however well justified, might not cut it on your gift-giving agenda. 

If your other half is a foodie, you have a good place to start looking for ideas! Plus, most food-related gifts are things you can enjoy while spending quality time together, so why not make your gift a date night as well? Make it extra special with handmade invitations, for example, or by doing exactly what your foodie wants for the night.

To get you thinking about gift-giving, here are some ideas that will melt your Valentine’s heart: 

  • Vouchers for their favourite (or for a new) restaurant. 
  • The ingredients and any cooking equipment for their favourite meal, so you can spend time cooking together. Alternatively, you could surprise them with something you have already made. 
  • A cooking class or a tasting event.
  • A cocktail shaker and a recipe book, so they can experiment with making their own drinks. Getting a set of glasses or the ingredients for a special drink is also a nice touch, if it's in your budget!
  • Listen to what they need: if they have been saying that all they want is a new frying pan, then perhaps that is just the thing to get! 
  • Novelty food gifts like avocado socks, a TV show-themed egg cup, or a sweetie bouquet.
  • Something that is a bit more specialised but will still be useful in the kitchen, such as a toastie maker, a fondue stand, or a spice rack. 
  • A ‘recipe in a jar’: layer a clear mason jar with the ingredients for a single-mix bake. You can find loads of recipes online for cookies and brownies, and the jars look really cool with the ingredients layered together!
  • A ‘grow your own’ kit, so they have the full experience of knowing where their vegetables and spices are coming from - plus the added sense of achievement when they can cook with what they have grown themselves!
  • Their favourite cake, traybake, or cookies, made by you!
  • A personalised recipe book or food journal, so they can write down their own recipe ideas and food experiences.
  • A movie night bucket: choose a new movie, luxury popcorn, their favourite chocolates, and a drink to fill a bucket or basket with. 
  • A food game! From Chocolate Monopoly to Scrabble’s Cooking Edition, there are plenty of games on the market for you to enjoy.
  • Personalised equipment can be extra special: no one else will be able to claim their favourite spatula in halls, and/or they’ll be reminded of you every time they make pancakes!
  • A display tin for baking: fill a cake tin with everything they need to make their bakes extra special, from cupcake cases to cake toppers to sprinkles.