The Insider: Gifts for St Valentine's Day


Hungry for love

For foodies with a sense of romance and a sweet tooth, Harvey Nichols has put together the Love Box. It includes a bottle of Harvey Nichols Brut Rose and Love Potion - a rose-petal-and-lime syrup to be mixed with ice or added to Champagne or ice cream. There's also a box of raspberries covered in the darkest of dark chocolate. The Love Box costs pounds 42.45 from Harvey Nichols Foodmarkets.


His and hers

ONE OF the first genuinely unisex watches, the Hugo Boss Vanquisher V boasts all the rigorous super-performance that you would expect from a Swiss-made watch. Its styling is retro and slightly Art Deco, and it is available with a choice of dark red-, brown- and black-stitched leather straps, or a steel bracelet. Available for pounds 595, phone 01428 656822 for stockists.


Psyched up

AFTER DOING a degree in psychology, Tabitha Fyffe took a fairly unexpected career change and started producing a range of candy-coloured jewellery. Backed with a loan from the Prince's Trust, she now sells her distinctive range nationwide and each piece is unique. Made a mix of polymer clay, sterling silver and semi-precious beads, prices range from pounds 20 to pounds 100. For stockists, visit or phone 020 8691 7227.


Crystal clear

STUART WEITZMAN, the sort of Manolo Blahnik of New York, has teamed up with Swarovski to produce the ultimate glittering shoebox for the girl who wants for nothing. This sturdy, see-through box can be customised with any message - "even a proposal of marriage" - which will be elegantly inscribed in the finest crystals. Available from Harrods, priced pounds 585.


Friendly 4x4

IF THE love in your life insists on having a 4x4, then they shouldn't be disappointed to find this little Fiat gift-wrapped just for them. No, really they shouldn't. True, it doesn't have the imposing bulk and steroid-styling of the traditional SUV, but the new Fiat Panda 4x4 will handle better, be much cheaper to buy and run, and, above all, be much more suited to city streets than its oversized brethren. If you are one of the few people who actually need to take a car off-road, then the Panda's manufacturer makes some remarkable claims about its capability. According to Fiat, its beefed-up baby will readily climb gradients in excess of 50 per cent and has been tested over 1 million kilometres of terrain, from Everest to Lapland to the Kalahari. The Panda 4x4 is pounds 9,195 on-the- road, fitted with a 1.2 litre petrol engine and plenty of trim.



SAY IT with a heart. Be mysterious and send this chocolate heart to your loved one. No message necessary. Wrapped in red foil, it is available from branches of Woolworths for 99p. For your nearest stockist call 01706 862 789.


Boudoir boxers

S.P.A.N.K. - which stands for Sexy Panties and Naughty Knickers - is a new force in the lingerie world, and the model Liberty Ross has already declared them her favourite. Milliner to the stars Cozmo Jenks has declared them her "secret weapon". Inspired by the French boudoir circa 1930, the boxer shorts are 100 per cent silk, with the brand embroidered in silver and a metal tag engraved "Made with Love". Boxers cost from pounds 34 from Austique (020-7376 3663; www.


Quelque chose risque

FRENCH FRAGRANCE house Histoires de Parfums has been producing a line of scents based on great literary legends of our time. Now, in time for Valentine's Day and for those of slightly edgier tastes comes 1740, a tribute "with tantalising and voluptuous sub notes" to the Marquis de Sade. It's a decidedly masculine fragrance, which suggests the whiff of blood and leather. 1740 is available at Scent Systems in Soho. Phone 020 7434 1166.


Bedtime reading

BRAND NEW to the world of duvet sets, and providing interesting reading matter for the bedroom, this design, called "Striptease", comes with 120 velcro-backed soft letters and numbers to leave notes, breakfast requests or witty and romantic messages for your partner. The double duvet size is pounds 39.95. Available, you may be surprised to learn, from Foyles bookshop in London (020-7437 5660;


Dart for the heart

FOR THOSE for whom a conventional card is too old-fashioned, and an e-card too modern, this chrome arrow could strike the right balance. Cupid's Arrow is 33cm long and has a secret compartment in the shaft for a message. Price pounds 14.99 from