Why Valentine’s Day experiences make the most romantic gifts

10 Jan 2022

Gift Experiences Valentines

Celebrate your relationship with a real treat. Surprise your loved one with a memorable experience

For some, the 14th of February is always a daunting date. If you’re in a relationship, it can be difficult to figure out Valentine’s Day protocol. Are you doing presents? How big do you need to go? What are the most romantic gifts for the occasion? With Valentine’s Day meaning more to some than others, getting it right is tricky.

We’ve seen the good and the bad when it comes to Valentine’s Day gifts, so we’re here to guide you!

First, it must be said that you can never go wrong with a box of indulgent, high-quality chocolates, a bottle of vintage red wine, or a bountiful hamper filled with a range of hand-picked treats. Still, the most romantic gifts go above and beyond…

If you’re looking to really set the mood and wow you’re loved one, we recommend planning a special weekend away, a surprise adventure, or a romantic experience for two.

A fun experience together will give you both something that presents can’t quite achieve — wonderful memories. Whether you want to whisk your partner away to an unexplored city, embark on a camping adventure, or learn a new skill together, the sky’s the limit.

To get your cogs turning, here are a few of our favourite Valentine’s Day ideas…

Close up of a couple holding hands in front of a sunset

Refresh and reset in the hills

With many of us spending more time inside over the past few years, a trip to the countryside can be a restorative tonic. Do you live near a national park like the Lake District, Brecon Beacons, or South Downs? Embrace your local source of natural beauty and explore what the area has to offer.

If your partner loves getting out and about, then they’ll adore a date out in nature. To plan your trip, it’s important to think about what they’d like to do — and be realistic. Would they prefer a gentle stroll and a posh pub lunch or would they be up for grabbing the energy bars and scaling some mountains?

Combine your wild getaway with a night in a cabin, eco-lodge, or local bed and breakfast — this will let you pop open a bottle of bubbly and relax at the end of a strenuous day.

If camping is more up your street, then there are still ways to add a little luxury to your partner’s experience. Bring along some additional romantic gifts. Indulgent chocolates, award-winning beer, and real hot chocolate flakes are sure to make them feel utterly pampered. You could even pack some luxury biscuits to spruce up their camping-stove cups of tea or coffee!

Nothing beats a hearty dose of fresh air, stunning views, and invigorating exercise. Plan a walking route, perhaps. Or arrange a trip to some historic monuments, and look into activities like stargazing, cycling, and wildlife watching.

An urban adventure

If you already live in the countryside, why not arrange a surprise city break? If your partner loves art galleries, the theatre, browsing independent shops, going to gigs, or sampling regional food, then this could be the ideal Valentine’s Day adventure for them.

Are you able to take your partner abroad? Who would say no to a saunter around Paris, 48 hours in Munich, or a whistle-stop tour of Barcelona? Tuck some tickets into a chocolate-filled hamper or a heartfelt card — they won’t believe their eyes!

Alternatively, there’s also lots to see closer to home. If you want to stay in the UK, why not choose a city that you’ve both never visited before? While Bristol has bustling independent arts and foodie scenes, Manchester is always a safe bet for music, comedy, and nightlife.

To make your trip extra spontaneous, you could even ask your partner to pick a city out of a hat just before you leave. Then you can simply hop on a train and see what the city has to offer. What could be more exciting? You’ll always remember the day that you just took off for a few hours of unplanned exploration…

Want to go the extra mile? Pack a camera to take snaps of your day. You can then add all the photos to a homemade photo album. It will make a thoughtful bonus gift.

Montmartre streets at dusk

Expand your culinary repertoire together

If you’re looking to treat your partner to a Valentine’s Day experience closer to home, choose an exciting alternative to your usual cinema date, movie night, or meal out.

Cooking classes, culinary courses, and tasting sessions are the perfect activities for two love birds. The sensory experience of sampling different dishes, discussing tastes, and learning about food origins is a great way to bond. Whether you and your partner are interested in wine tasting, learning new recipes, or foraging for wild ingredients, there’ll be a local course for you to enjoy.

Why not try wine tasting for a romantic experience?

The ultimate cacao experience for chocolate lovers

Looking for a unique experience that engages all the senses? An elegant box of chocolates makes a delightful gift for any occasion, but if you really want to ramp up the romance for Valentine’s Day, we recommend an evening of chocolate tasting. Let the aromas, textures and flavours of melt-in-the-mouth chocolate bring you together. You can set up your own at-home chocolate tasting session — our Everything Sleekster offers 27 of our most iconic truffles, pralines and filled chocolates, ideal for sharing and savouring.

And for the ultimate experience to impress the chocolate lover in your life, you can’t beat a chocolate-making course. Become a maitre chocolatier for the day with our Bean to Bar experience. Tailor-made for true cacao aficionados, this experience will give you and your loved one the opportunity to gain delicious insider knowledge — and enjoy a glass of bubbly in the process.

As well as tasting a selection of irresistible Hotel Chocolat treats, you’ll learn all about chocolate-making. From roasting cacao beans to tempering your very own chocolate bar, one of our skilled chocolatiers will show you the ropes. You’ll even take home a goody bag! Simply choose our Covent Garden or Leeds location, then select your preferred date and time.

At Hotel Chocolat, we’re all about going the extra mile. And if Valentine’s Day isn’t the perfect occasion for a little extravagance, then when is? Have a wonderful time with your special someone — they’ll adore all the hard work and thought that has gone into their romantic gifts.