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Love is in the air


Yes we know, Valentine’s Day is just a marketing ploy dreamed up by the Americans… but if the booked-out restaurants, thronged florists and hearts everywhere you look on February 14 are anything to go by, New Zealanders have well and truly embraced it. And really, what’s not to like about a day when it’s encouraged to show those you love just how much you care, or to indulge in a bit of flirtation with those you fancy? Whichever category you fall into, we have a gift to suit.

Lifetime commitment

If you’re in a rock-solid relationship and want to buy your loved one a gift to match, what could be more romantic than a red or pink KitchenAid($1099.99)? It will last a lifetime, just like your love… Truly a kitchen workhorse, the KitchenAid allows you to expertly beat, mix and knead ingredients, and there’s also a multitude of attachments available if your partner wants to branch out into pasta-making, spiralising, mincing and more.

Going strong

Forget the dozen roses wrapped in cellophane — get creative with the floral theme and present your Valentine with flowers already arranged in a beautiful vase. The flowers will eventually die, but the vase will be an ongoing reminder of your affection. The LSA range of vases (priced from $39.99) are so chic they even look good without flowers in them.

Does your special someone have a signature drink? Show them that you’ve remembered their favourite by giving them a set of glasses — wine glasses for their favourite summer rosé; high-ball glasses to contain Negronis; Champagne flutes to toast your future together and so on. Momento Crystalline glassware (from $39.99 for a set of four) comes in a range of styles and is made from high-quality Slovakian crystalline. And, you could add in a bottle of something special if you really want to impress.

A bit of fun

Who doesn’t like waffles? And if they’re heart-shaped waffles, so much the better (and more romantic for all those future breakfasts in bed together). The electric Capital Kitchen waffle maker ($69.99) is simple enough for kids (or the cooking-challenged) to use, and will guarantee you many happy mornings together over waffles.

Are you still in the happy early relationship stage of long weekend brunches together? Up the ante on your Sunday pancakes by giving your Valentine a bottle of artisan-made Noble Handcrafted maple syrup. Naturally excellent on pancakes, it’s also great drizzled over fruit and yoghurt, added to homemade granola or even used in savoury cooking.

Don’t know your Valentine that well (yet)? Go for the classic gift of a scented candle or diffuser: the perfect way to make someone think of you when they’re at home. The Max Benjamin range (candles from $39.99; diffusers from $49.99) has a number of romantic scents, from White Lilies to True Lavender.

Finally, if you want to give a friend, co-worker or someone you’ve just met a Valentine, go for a bottle of Soda Press syrup ($16.99 a bottle). Available in a range of delicious flavours, including Old-Fashioned Lemonade and Raspberry & Mint, they’re perfect added to sparkling water for a non-alcoholic drink, as well as being excellent starting points for delicious cocktails.

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