Valentine’s Day is going to look a little different this year, what with the whole country in lockdown.
Covid-19 certainly knows how to put a dampener on romance, but it hasn’t stopped the UK’s online florists from rolling out stunning new ranges of flowers, ready for the annual celebration of love.
We’ve tried and tested some of the prettiest bouquets to ensure that they are delivered safely, presented thoughtfully and last at least five days.
You’ll find our favourites below, from timeless red roses to quirkier yet, just as pretty, arrangements. There’s a bunch to suit all tastes and budgets in our round-up.
For all you last minuters, we’ve included the cut-off order date and time for delivery on or by Valentine’s Day.
However, we were repeatedly warned that these are subject to change depending on demand and stock levels, so get your orders in as soon as possible to avoid spending Sunday 14 February in the dog house.
You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.
Next Valentine gift bag
Next’s flower delivery service tends to slip under the radar, but give it a go this Valentine’s Day, as it offers fantastic value for money. We highly rated this small but perfectly formed gift bag, jam-packed with red ranunculus, roses, anemones, tulips and snapdragons. Our bouquet featured far more flowers than foliage, all of which looked fresh and in tip-top condition on arrival. If anything, it looked better than the photo, which often isn’t the case. The illustrated pink and brown bag that it sits in feels charming yet modern, but we didn’t receive any flower food and care tips. There was a lot of bubble wrap in the box, too, which wasn’t eco-friendly. Those niggles aside, it looks much more expensive than it is, will last for at least a week, and you can add chocolates for an extra £4.
Order by: 5pm, Saturday 13 February
Delivery: Next-day, free
The Real Flower Company romantic Juliet bouquet
If you’re buying for a green-fingered valentine, they’ll be in raptures at this naturalistic scented rose bouquet, featuring roses by legendary British rose breeder David Austin. The roses are grown on The Real Flower Company’s Fairtrade sister farm in Kenya and are certified carbon neutral. Ours had the wow factor – and then some! They arrived in a moss-green box tied with a glamorous ribbon, looking fresh, full and exactly like the photo, with the most glorious fragrance. The stems had been wrapped in saturated foam to keep them hydrated and we were thrilled to be given three sachets of flower food, plus a detailed care guide. They looked gorgeous for a week, and felt like a real treat. Choose from five sizes, ranging from “posy” (£49) to “deluxe’” (£122) with the “large’”shown in the photo costing £99.
Order by: 3pm, Friday 12 February
Delivery: Tuesday to Friday, £5.99, Saturday or Sunday, £9.99
Bunches always yours
We were drawn to this bouquet from family-run business Bunches, as it looked romantic but a little different to the ubiquitous red roses. Pinks and peaches take centre stage instead, with roses, lilies, gypsophila and pussy willow making for a texturally interesting display. Our flowers were delivered in a simple branded box, with the roses blooming but the lilies still closed up. They all were in pristine condition on arrival, with a sachet of flower food and some handy care tips included. They looked similarly beautiful a week later, when the lilies had emerged and made our already full display look even plumper. Bunches also offers lovely letterbox flowers, if you’d prefer to send a gift that doesn’t require answering the door to receive.
Order by: 12pm, Friday 12 February
Delivery: Next-day, free; Sunday, £5.99
M&S Valentine’s Percy Pig gift bag
We interrupt this classy selection of flowers to bring you M&S’s new – and very, very pink – Percy Pig bouquet. The cute and colourful gift bag features Percy and Penny presenting one another with flowers on Valentine’s Day, with a bag of the nation’s favourite sweeties tucked neatly into a pouch. Germini, roses, tulips and chamomile flowers spill out of the top, looking fresh and joyful. Some of the 20 stems arrive in bud, ready to bloom in your Valentine’s home, but this doesn’t lessen the initial impact. They can be kept in the packaging if preferred, but the bag of water inside will need topping up every couple of days. We put ours into a vase, and they still look lovely a week later.
Order by: Midday, Saturday 13 February
Delivery: Next or nominated day, free
Bloom & Wild the Nina
Bloom & Wild has taken the bold move of shunning red roses from its Valentine’s Day range this year, after the majority of their customers said they thought they were cliched. If you think your date would prefer something more unique, consider the Nina, with its cheerfully colourful tulips, stocks and freesias. These flowers are carefully packed into an attractive letterbox-friendly box, which is ideal if you’d prefer a contact-free delivery. Ours arrived in near-perfect condition, having lost only one bud in transit, and the bouquet-specific arranging guide proved helpful. We loved that the bulbs had intentionally been left on the tulips, so that you can plant them in the hope of further spring-time growth. This helps with longevity too, with ours still looking wonderful a week later. We only received one sachet of flower food, labelled for “day three”, implying that there should have been another, but that’s our only niggle.
Order by: 5.30pm, Friday 12 February
Delivery: Saturday, £6; Sunday, £10
Nikki Tibbles Wild at Heart pure love
If you’re wanting to spoil your loved one after what has been a very tough year, then let us recommend Nikki Tibbles Wild at Heart. She’s the in-house florist at famed London department store Liberty, no less, and this all-white bouquet exudes elegance. Ours arrived in simple packaging that let the roses, anemones, phlox and stocks do the talking. The stems had been kept moist by a water-retaining gel which, though a tad messy to rinse off, meant that the blooms looked fabulously fresh. It was instantly clear that they had been selected and arranged by an expert, and there were so many that we filled two sizable vases. Sorry to break it to you, but the photo shows the deluxe size – it’s the biggest of four and costs £180. The delivery charges are steep, too, but it’ll make for a memorable treat if you’re after something big and impressive.
Order by: 2pm, Saturday 13 February
Delivery: Next-day nationwide, £15; same-day London, £20
Interflora Valentine’s gift box made with premium roses
We love Inteflora’s business model, which supports 1,200 artisan florists from up and down the UK. Simply enter your valentine’s postcode, select your price point and colour scheme, and your order will be sent to a local florist to fulfil. Each florist crafts your chosen bunch from the freshest stems in their shop, before hand-delivering it to your recipient’s doorstep along with a handwritten gift message. It’s all very personal, and there’s never been a better time than mid-pandemic to support independent businesses. Our last bouquet looked beautiful on arrival and lasted for a fortnight, helped by two sachets of flower food. We love this classily romantic gift box, but if roses aren’t their bag, there’s an “anything but roses” option that starts from £40.
Order by: 1pm, Valentine’s Day
Delivery: Nominated day, £7; Sunday, £11
Serenata Flowers velvet parfait
We like the “plucked from the hedgerows” feel of this wild style bouquet, with its red roses, purple snapdragons, pink lisianthus and eryngium. They came wrapped in cellophane and plugged into a plastic pot filled with wetted paper. Eco qualms aside, they looked fairly fresh and had avoided damage en route, bar one decapitated rose. There was a sachet of flower food included, which helped them last a week before starting to fade. We love eucalyptus, but would have preferred more flowers and a little less foliage at this mid-range price point. That said, we liked the variety of flowers in our bunch, which looked charming after we trimmed and rearranged it in a green glass vase. It’s great that Serenata Flowers offers free next-day delivery, even on Sundays, which helps keep the cost affordable.
Order by: 8pm, Saturday 13 February
Delivery: Next-day, free
Our Appleyard flowers didn’t look as fresh and vibrant as we were expecting, with the red lilies and peach roses much darker in real life. That said, they were very generous in number and easily filled two big vases. We received one sachet of flower food, but no care tips. The stems had been plugged into a plastic pot filled with saturated paper for their journey, which we weren’t convinced was effective, but they were beautifully arranged and presented. The roses were mostly blooming on arrival – they’re thorny, so wear gloves when displaying them! – with the lilies still in bud for longevity. Ours lasted about a week, with the roses wilting first. Note that the photo shows the “lux” size, which costs £10 more than the “bijou” bouquet. There’s also a “grande” option, for an extra £23.
Order by: 6pm, Saturday 13 February
Delivery: Monday to Saturday, £5.99; Sunday, £7.99
Moonpig the Valentine’s rose and peony
Moonpig is the only retailer offering peonies for Valentine’s Day, after this same bouquet proved a bestseller last year. We loved the bright pink box that ours arrived in and were immediately impressed by how many stems you get for your money, counting six peonies and 18 roses. The flower food sachet and coloured care guide were appreciated, and the initial impact was decent, if a little foliage dominant. Most of the roses were blooming or starting to bloom on arrival, but the peonies, sourced from South America, were all still in bud. They started emerging after a few days in a vase, but those that weren’t pointing towards the window struggled. Still, our display lasted a solid six days before the compost heap called, which seemed reasonable.
Order by: 7pm, Saturday 13 February
Delivery: Not yet available
The verdict: Valentine’s Day flowers
For value for money, Next is our winner. We loved our red-toned bouquet, full of fresh flowers, and thought it very reasonable for the price. For a treat in a softer palette, look to The Real Flower Company, or consider Bloom & Wild’s alternate’s to rose bouquets.
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