• Handpicked Harrogate

Valentine Treats

With an increased emphasis on originality, and a move toward being more aware of the importance of support and care for others, this year's Valentine's ideas centre around different, original and fun ideas to celebrate your love in meaningful way.

Handmade... to show how much you care

To make your Valentine message really personal to you and your loved one why not create the card yourself. If you aren't sure where to start, check out our feature on creating bespoke cards on page 17 for some ideas. This is also a great activity to do with children who can make Valentine's for mum and dad as well as any crushes they may have in their class of course.

A Picnic without any Insects

February is a little too cool for an outdoor picnic, but an indoor one can be lots of fun. If it's very cool, perhaps place the picnic blanket in front of the fire or log burner if you have one. Lacking access to a fire, a less romantic option is to set up camp next to the radiator. Light some scented candles and serve finger food that you both enjoy. Accompany your picnic with a glass or two of wine. Unlike an outdoor picnic, your meal can be accompanied by romantic music if you choose.

Not Just Hot Air

Place a mixture of heart-shaped sweets, confetti or foil hearts inside a balloon together with a folded up Valentine's message then inflate the balloon and tie it to your loved one's chair for them to find on Valentine's morning.

Give the Gift of Time

How many times have you heard your partner mention how time-poor they are, and how many things they need to do around the house? Or perhaps there is a household task that they absolutely hate.

Why not give the gift of time with a voucher for vacuuming the house, cleaning out the garage, washing the car or doing a household task which your partner really dislikes.

Take a Letter

Write each other a love letter or poem, and take it in turns to read it out to each other.

A love message spelled out with magnetic fridge letters is also a cute idea.

Alternatively, you could hide love notes around the house where you know your partner will find them. Or place a love note on their plate at lunchtime.

Water, Water, Everywhere

Well, hopefully not everywhere, but the romantic possibilities of taking a bath together shouldn't be overlooked.

Some scented candles on the edge of the bath, plenty of scented bubble bath, a glass of wine each, and perhaps some music playing softly just outside the bathroom can be very romantic.

Pink, Red, Pink

The possibilities presented by red food and food colouring shouldn't be underestimated. It is technically possible to create an entirely red meal with a little thought, even if you prefer more traditional fare.

Ideas include:


Prawn Cocktail

Beetroot Hummus with Beetroot Crisps

Baby Plum Tomatoes stuffed with cream cheese (dyed pink of course)

Beetroot Soup


Beetroot Rissotto

Pasta with Beetroot and Feta Cheese

Beetroot Gnocchi

Tomato Tart, or indeed any type of tomato dish from soup to ratatouille

Steak with Red mashed potato, roasted red onions and tomatoes

Extra points if you cut things into a heart shape.


Strawberry in any and all of its guises including cheeescake, mousse, or just simple a bowl of strawberries with cream.

Other possibilities include:

Red Velvet Cake

Raspberry Pavlova

Red Fruit Trifle

Heart shaped cake (pink of course)

Cheese Course

Beetroot Crackers with pink cream cheese