Whether it’s a trip or a gift, here’s how to make your loved one feel special
V-day is fast approaching, and if you’re one to celebrate the day of love (whether it’s with a romantic partner or a Galentine’s get-together) we have rounded up some inspiration on how to spoil that special someone.
A night away
There are countless amazing packages in hotels across Ireland that are guaranteed to go down a treat. Belleek Castle is offering a two-night luxurious ‘Fairy Tale Getaway’ from €250 a night, including a three-course dinner in its award-winning Library Restaurant, and from €385 per night, in Mayo’s Ice House, you’ll stay in a Riverview room, have bubbles on arrival and complimentary and unlimited use of the fabulous Chill Spa thermal area and Spa Garden.
Farnham Estate in Cavan is running a Love Actually package from €150 per person sharing, which includes bed and breakfast, prosecco and chocolate dipped strawberries, dinner in the Maxwells Grill Room, a rose petal turn down service and access to the infinity pool and thermal suite. Meanwhile, in Donegal, Redcastle Hotel, which recently unveiled a €500k refurbishment and has views overlooking Lough Foyle, is running a ‘Month of Love’; starting from €169 for two people, choose from a one or two night offer, which includes a romantic welcome of scattered fresh rose petals in your room and some delicious chocolates on arrival as well as a stunning meal.
Plus, in Belfast, there’s the 5-star Grand Central’s aptly named “Love is in the Air” package. For unrivalled panoramic views over the city, a romantic four-course evening meal and prosecco in the AA Rosette Seahorse Restaurant with live musical entertainment as well as breakfast the next morning, the offer costs from approx. €500 per room per night.
Another way to spoil your loved one is to whisk them away to the spa! Meath’s Johnstown Estate Hotel is offering a Romantic Day Spa for Two experience, for €250 per couple, which includes a 30 minute treatment alongside access to the amazing thermal experience, added during The Spa’s €3.5 million redevelopment in 2020. A 2-course lunch with a glass of Prosecco in The Spa Café is included with the offer. In Kildare, Cliff at Lyons has its Lyons Heart package; from €249 per person, you are offered welcome champagne, a choice of two 45 minute treatments in the exquisite Well in the Garden (such as a Hot Towel Head and Scalp Ritual or Peat for the Feet), Aimsir Garden Treats and a signature cocktail. And in Dublin, Velvære Spa has a ‘Relax and Re-Set’ half-day experience (€160 midweek) with use of its state-of-the-art thermal suite, a 60-minute Renew and Recharge Body Scrub, a 30 minute iSClinical SOS Detox Facial and a wind down in the Relaxation Room with post-treatment refreshments.
Book in for a meal at your favourite restaurant, or consider a gift, like Killruddery’s Seasonal Supper Club, the perfect choice for the epicurean in your life. For €65 per person, guests enjoy an evening by the roaring log fire, and a four-course garden to plate menu of seasonal produce grown and reared on Killruddery estate, just a few metres away from the kitchen. Taking place on Fridays and some Saturday evenings in February and March, tables can be booked here.
For the dog lovers, Café du Parc has the paw-fect doggy date with a Puppy Love Brunch. Located at the intersection of the bustling Main Street in Killarney and Ireland’s oldest national park, owners can tuck into delicious dishes of buttermilk chicken and waffles with maple syrup and blue cheese dip, eggs and avocado toast with mixed bean and tomato salsa or the Blas na hÉireann Breakfast Skillet, while their pooch partners will be treated to a puppucino and a locally sourced Irish dog treat.
Plus, if you’re in Sligo, make sure to call into Baker Boys, who are offering free queen cakes to the queen in your life in honour of Valentine’s Day! Whether it’s a girlfriend, boyfriend or best friend; just let your server know you’re in love and you’ll get a complimentary queen cake.
Classics for a reason…
Perfume, wine, chocolates, jewellery…they’re always a winner. Galway-made Grá Chocolates are a special option, from its The Sweet Love Box (€35) with 12 different artisan chocolates to set your heart a flutter such as Fineapple, Hot Stuff, So Vanilla and Apple of My Eye, to its giant Grá hearts like Mo Stoirín (€37) – a pecan praline centre paired with smooth caramel filling. Grá can make a custom option to hide an engagement ring inside, by the way…just sayin’.
There are plenty of gorgeous, recently-launched scents to choose from BOSS The Scent Magnetic for Him (a fusion of heady black vanilla extract and vibrant bran absolute, from €96) to Calvin Klein Fragrances newest addition Eternity Eau de Parfum Intense for Her (from €83). Inspired by a passionate romance on the beach, the fragrance leaves behind notes of sensual spicy florals and a masculine, edible fougère trail.
A genius new wine offering from SuperValu is a rival rosé to Whispering Angel: Screaming Devil. Exclusive to the supermarket, it’s on sale for only €12 (RRP €18.99) until 1 March. From the Cote de Provence Vineyards, Screaming Devil is perfumed with white peach, bright mango, and passion fruit aromas, along with some rhubarb notes. For non-drinkers, check out new alcohol-free wine brand Hollow Leg. Pablo Martinez, a forward thinking winemaker has spent 5 years refining a natural process to produce wine that preserves the mouthfeel, taste and aroma of the original wine, without any alcohol.
If looking for a jewellery brand to support, there are countless Irish options. Dublin brand Scribble & Stone have a stunning collection of minimal, timeless jewellery made to layer and share, using goldfill – which creates the stunning look of 14kt gold at a fraction of the price. For every online purchase made for your partner, your gal pal or…yourself in February, Scribble & Stone will donate 10% of every purchase to UNICEF, supporting children in crisis.
Online Irish shop Betty and Biddy has a gorgeous Valentine’s collection, from its Grá heart pearl earrings, A Little Bit of Love beaded necklace or its Croí Agus Anam gold-plated necklace. It also has a Celebrate Collection for marking special moments, offering everything from dainty huggie earrings to interlinking circle necklace and bracelets.
And if you’re looking for something a little different, there are lots of craft-makers in Ireland making beautiful gifts. See the below for some ideas!
And, for those not into the whole Valentine’s Day thing, D8 Design Co has you covered…