Valentine’s day gifts for her UK 2023: cute, thoughtful, unique presents for a girlfriend, wife or best friend

Thoughtful Valentine’s presents for a girlfriend, wife or best friendThoughtful Valentine’s presents for a girlfriend, wife or best friend
Thoughtful Valentine’s presents for a girlfriend, wife or best friend

This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission on items purchased through this article, but that does not affect our editorial judgement.

Wanting to buy something your girlfriend or wife will love, but isn’t necessarily a Valentine’s cliche? We’re here to help

We are not insisting you reinvent the wheel for Valentine’s Day. If you love showing affection for your other half via flowers, chocolates, perfume - those are excellent ideas, suitably decadent, and likely to elicit smiles. But what if you’re after something a little more original - or, to use a less loaded term - less predictable? And not to fearmonger, while there are some women who will beam delightedly at a great bottle of perfume and a dozen red roses (classics of the genre, we think, and ever so elegant), while others will consider these profferings a little cliche - or worse, cheesy.

Fear not. We have a few choice selections to help you spoil your paramour - romantic, thoughtful options designed to make the woman in your life feel special. We firmly adhere to the notion that Valentine’s should be an obligation-free zone, but, having said that, we enjoy frankly any excuse to purchase gifts for those we care about. From drop-dead extravagant options, to cute, affordable bits and pieces - these presents, we hope, will bring a smile to your other half’s face - and yours, too, as you gift it.

Please note - we know there are some pricy things in this product gallery. For more affordable options, consider reading our list of Tesco Gifts for Valentine’s, or our list of cheap (or free) date ideas (N.B: anecdotally, we would never advise ‘gifting’ your partner a massage unless you’re a trained masseuse. Having someone ineffectually flail up and down your back for twenty minutes is not the romantic treat you may think it is. It can actually be rather stressful being ineptly kneaded, even if it is by someone you love).

We love chocolate. Reader, we inhale it. We would argue, though, that chocolate is so readily a part of the lives of those who enjoy it (who among us that likes all this cocoa doesn’t have some on a weekly, if not daily basis?) that a Valentine’s candy should be a little more special.

Enter: Lakrid’s Liquorice selection box, the most enjoyable, decadent, compulsively edible sweet selection to enter our orbit in many a moon. These liquorices - in flavours such as salted caramel, strawberry and cream, and chocolate covered dark salt - are sophisticated, moreish, chewy, and suitably special.

Let us be frank, but not prurient. If you’re truly interested in increasing the sum total of happiness in your girlfriend’s life, then as delightful as a box of chocolates or bouquet of flowers may be, they are both somewhat ephemeral.

But a top-of-the-range, well chosen vibrator can afford your other half literally hours of pleasure - be you there to witness or not. Smilemakers are excellent, offering gender neutral (read: no intimidating, vein-riddled, phallic models) sex toys with a variety of specialities, in delightfully tactile silicone casings.

While there’s a model that offers a sensation for every preference (suction, pulsation, etc), we heartily recommend delicately named ‘The Ballerina’ - which, with six speeds and six pulsation modes - is designed to stimulate the vulva. It comes in a cheerful blue, is pebble shaped, and is voluptuous to hold and use. It’s as chic, elegant, and effective (read: it’s been known to provoke multiple orgasms) a sex toy as you can find, and you can bet she’ll thank you for it.

Does the lady in your life like all things design? Does she have a job or hobby that requires hours sat at a desk? Is she effortlessly stylish?

If she’s any of these attributes, her eyes will likely light up at the sight of this Anglepoise Desk Lamp, perfect for her work desk or bedside table. The iconic British brand has long been celebrated for these most elegant of lamps - famed for their power, precision, portability and sleek aesethetic (the Pixar lamp is fashioned on an Anglepoise, not the other way round). The berry colour is suitably romantic, but not cloying like so much Valentine’s bright pinktat. And it will last for years - it comes with a 5 year guarantee.

Does she love snapping pictures when you’re out and about having a good time? Help her level up with the Instax mini 40 Instant Camera.

It offters the instant gratification of a polaroid camera crossed with the flexibility of a digital. Take a photo - love it? Print it instantly, and it’ll develop before your eyes. Don’t love it? Don’t print. With a host of clever filters and zooms, as well, it’s ideal for capturing a holiday, wedding pics, a big day out - anything. So fun.

‘Tell me, what it is you plan to do/ with your one wild and precious life?’ - Mary Oliver

The notion of giving a tome of poems to your love for Valentine’s Day is on the cusp of cheesy, but can be astoundingly sweet depending on the poet you select.

We’d advise erring away from any of the Romantics (Coleridge is cute and all but banging on about how “you lie in all my many Thoughts, like Light, Like the fair light of Dawn, or summer Eve” is, we’d argue, a Bit Much) and instead to a modern or contemporary poet. Mary Oliver manages to be evocative, moving, and make the world seem new again - all without making your gag-reflex kick in.

Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver is a characteristically excellent volume from the Pulitzer Prize winning poet - a selection of delicate, inspiring poems that won’t feel like homework for the other half.

When asking our colleagues about the most romantic Valentine’s Day present they’ve received, one of them moonily sighed that nothing they’d been given was as romantic as John Legend gifting Chrissy Teigen a gigantic wheel of cheese.

While we don’t have John Legend’s budget, we admit - it’s a good idea, if fromage fills your love with joy. And so, the Love Cheese (see what they did?) Selection, from the reliably excellent Hampers.co.uk, perfect if your lady loves the curds.

Contains: Heart Vintage Organic Cheddar, Godminster 200g

Red Storm Red Leicester, Snowdonia Cheese Co. 200g

Chilli Cheddar Cheese, Croome, 150g

British Brie Cheese, Simon Weaver 140g

Fosters Black Pepper & Sesame Seeds Crackers 200G

Onion Marmalade, Welsh Lady 325g

Digital designer shopping destination Larizia is ideal if you’re after a fab piece of fashion at heavily discounted prices. And while we’re not suggesting for a second that all women love handbags, if your lady does, this extremely stylish Hobo Bag from Victoria Beckham will leave her elated. In elegant, ultra-soft leather, the apple green colour makes this modern and cool. It’s roomy, easy to wear, and distinctive without trying too hard.

This amazing - and we do mean amazing - scented candle smells like fresh basil sitting on the windowsill on a warm summer’s day. If that doesn’t sell you, we don’t know what to tell you. Heavenly.

If your women-folk is what our nana would have called “handy” this will fill her with glee - a Leatherman is perfect for helping her turn Macgyver in myriad situations.

There’s no surprise that it’s the best-selling multitool worldwide, and with an impressive 18 different locking tools there’s something available to get you out of most situations.

With replaceable wire cutters, this Leatherman comes in an attractive carry case with good instructions on care.

The Wave+ is a tool that will last her a lifetime.