Monday, 11 February 2013

5 Valentine's Gift Ideas for Foodies

It's Valentine's Day this Thursday, and if you're still rattling about looking for a thoughtful gift for your loved one, then look no further. I've come up with a few ideas - so you don't have to rush to the late-night garage for a box of Quality Street on the 13th.

Check out these, hopefully they'll inspire you, especially if your other half loves food, too...

Heart-Shaped Macaroons

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Don't these look lovely? They're made by On Pattisserie and come in flavours such as strawberry and chocolate, raspberry and rose and morello cherry and pistachio. You can buy them online at www.oncafe.co.uk or at their stall at London's Real Food Market at the Southbank Centre (£16.50 for 12).

Edible Valentine's Cards
These have to be a good idea. A Valentine's card you can actually eat. The 'card' is made from a gingerbread or chocolate cookie base and is printed with a design on soft fondant icing. You can choose your design and they'll also print a photo on it if you ask. Check out www.cakeypigg.com for more information - and other Valentine's ideas.

Breakfast in Bed
Ah, breakfast in bed for two (or if you have kids, breakfast in bed for either one of you or all of you, if you'll all fit in together). Sounds dreamy. Go for either something simple, like a couple of warmed croissants or some brioche with a hot cup of coffee, or go the whole hog with a grill-up with a poached, boiled or fried Clarence Court Cotswold Legbar egg, a couple of rashers of (nitrate free) smoked Laverstoke Park bacon and a sausage from Allens of Mayfair. Sorted.

An Eight-Course Aphrodisiac Tasting

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With ingredients on the menu including ginger (mentioned in the Karma Sutra), figs (prized by the ancient Greeks for their effects on fertility) and seafood (a good source of zinc, which stimulates sex drive) you'll be lucky if you both make it to dessert before hurriedly paying the bill and rushing back home. But of course you will, because this is The Ambrette, recently named best restaurant in the South East by the Cobra Good Curry Guide 2013 (and it's not even a curry restaurant). Headed by Dev Biswal, who has also been mentioned by Michelin, this is one Valentine's treat you won't forget in a hurry. And it starts with a chocolate Martini, too. (visit www.theambrette.co.uk).

Home Bakes
If you like a bit of baking yourself, then whip up a batch of cakes, muffins, or brownies especially to share with your loved one. You can decorate them, too - try these nifty two-tone heart-shaped cookies or chocolate brownies with Rolos melted into them. You can make your own chocolates as well, by melting your favourite chocolate and pouring into a special silicone mould, leaving it to set. Cheaper than in the shops and hand-made, too.

Will you be treating your loved one this Valentine's Day?