Food & Drink Editors Lydia Waller and Emily Calder, visit King Heath's The Early Bird Bakery, for the best brunch experience they have had to dateWritten by Lydia Waller & Emily Calder on 20th March 2019
Easy As Pie: A Valentine’s Gift Guide
Food&Drink Editor Emily Calder preps us for Valentine's day with a gift guide for all things sweet and cheap
As one of the most commercialised celebrations in the world approaches, you may be scratching your head (or your wallet) as to how to woo your loved one, without harming your pocket. As much as this holiday is now laden with expectation and pressure, it does not have to be this way – especially on a student budget!
If you can afford to spend a bit more this February, why not pop to Hotel Chocolat in The Bullring? For £9 you can nab a ‘Chocolate Slab for Two’, the perfect gift to share, flavoured with caramel, milk chocolate and strawberry. Or, if you really want to treat someone, they have plenty of more pricey, but lovely, boxes of chocolates on offer.
If you want to treat someone in your life without slipping into your overdraft, you may be best popping to your local supermarket to buy a cheaper box of chocolates. The Sainsbury’s, Tesco’s and Aldi in Selly Oak all offer brands such as Cadbury’s or Lindt boxes for £2-6 – and you really cannot go wrong with a box of Heroes!
For the vegan, gluten-free or non-dairy person in your life, the famous brand ‘Moo-Free’ are offering a ‘Love Pouch’. Alongside other seasonal free-from chocolates such as Easter Eggs and Advent Calendars, this collection comes in Valentine’s-Themed packaging for £6.99 on Amazon, and gives you four of Moo-Free’s most famous flavours. If your head is in a Twirl over how to cater to a dietary requirement, be a Smartie and check Moo-Free out!
Ice cream is perfect for any day – whether you’re having a date night, a ‘palentine’s’ day with friends, or a night in for one, Ben and Jerry’s newest flavour will be ready to cool you down this month. The new Valentine’s themed flavour ‘Topped Love’ will inevitably give you the sugar rush you are craving - with brown sugar ice cream, pink salted caramel cups, and a cookie swirl. It is a bit more on the expensive side – at £5.49 for a 500ml tub – but the company are donating some proceeds to Refugee Action, so you can improve someone else’s life whilst filling your stomach with this new flavour.
For a sickly sweet gift, look no further than Krispy Kreme’s three new Valentine’s flavours.
This year you have the delicious options of a ‘Nutty Chocolatta Heart’ (filled with Nutella), a fruity ‘Raspberry Romance’, or a strawberry flavoured ‘Smiley Heart’. You can grab these exclusive, and delicious looking, treats for £2.20 each or £6 for a pack of three. You donut want to miss this opportunity!
For a nostalgic Valentine’s classic that is also vegan-friendly, your best bet is a tube of Love Hearts Sweets – and for just £1 in Tesco’s and Sainsbury’s, both your vegan Valentine and your bank account will be head over heels for you.
Splashing Out: For a sophisticated twist on a student delicacy, you may be interested in the newest Heinz creation of ‘Caviar Ketchup’. This Valentine’s special has been released to celebrate the 150th Birthday of Heinz, but whilst this delicacy is not necessarily expensive, it is hard to come by; only 150 jars exist in the UK, and you will have to enter a Facebook competition to get your hands on one.
For something that is easy to grab and a bit different, you may wish to turn your attention to Tyrell’s newest flavour of ‘Aphrodisiac’ crisps. This new ‘honey and chilli’ flavour is supposedly full of aphrodisiac properties, which have a provocative effect on the body to heat up any date. Whilst the honey supposedly ‘tinkers hormones’ and chilli ‘triggers tongue nerve endings’ to send your endorphins and heart rate racing, whether you will feel particularly sexy having eaten a large bag of crisps is your call.
Valentine’s Day may be the perfect time to treat your lactose-intolerant lover to a delicacy they tend to miss out on – a cheese board. A quick look on the famous ‘The Vegan Kind’ website will offer you various flavours of ‘Tyne Chease’ Blocks, which are also vegan friendly! If you want to treat someone really ‘grate’ this February, this could be the gift for them.
Remember whilst grabbing presents this February, to keep in mind that no matter your gifts, the most important thing is that someone knows that you care.