11 buys for a romantic Valentine's Day
Beautiful old and new finds to make your Valentine's Day an event to remember
Set of antique cranberry glasses, c1910
£301-£500, Grimes House Gallery
01608 651092; grimeshouse.co.uk
The month of romance is upon us and stores are piled high with all the predictable offerings - teddy bears, bouquets of roses and boxes of chocolates wrapped in red ribbon. Of course we do love these things, but if you're looking for something more original to give (or receive) this Valentine's Day, why not take some inspiration from our pick of unique old and new romantic gifts?
A (very) brief history of Valentines Day
The history of Valentine's Day is somewhat of a mystery but the earliest accounts date back to the Ancient Roman festival, Lupercalia. Far from the lover’s holiday it is today, during this celebration, shepherds sacrificed elderly goats to bring health and fertility to their new livestock.
However, the most popular account of the holiday’s origin is certainly more romantic. In 270 AD, a priest named Valentine was executed on 14th February by Emperor Claudius II for performing secret marriage ceremonies on Roman battlefields. During his time in prison he healed the jailer's blind daughter and on the night before his execution gave her a hand-written letter, signed ‘From your Valentine’.
Words: Hebe Hatton
Keen to see more? Discover the best buys for a romantic breakfast in bed here.