Five experiences your loved one deserves (and they won’t all cost the earth)

A real romantic treats his ladylove like a princess all year, but let’s face it — that isn’t most men. If you need a gesture to say you love her on a special day like Valentine’s or your anniversary, here’s a carefully selected list of experiences and gifts that will get you the desired response. We’re going so far as to say these are the ‘five experiences your Valentine deserves’ and (fortunately) they won’t all burn a deep hole in your pocket! Call it ‘Romance 101’ and take our advice — you cannot go wrong with these ideas…


If you’ve only been dating a while, every other experience enjoys the novelty of being a first. For those who have been together longer, the most endearing thing you can do is to show your ladylove that she inspires you to learn something new. You could get into the kitchen and rustle up a special meal on Valentine’s Day — she’ll love it that much more because you never do, just so long as you remember to do the dishes as well! If that’s more than you can cope with, order in; but make the effort to conjure up a signature cocktail to toast to your togetherness. Watch Diageo Reserve Brand Ambassador Jamie Walker share tips on how to shake and stir up a romantic potion that will keep your spirits high all night. You could also serenade her with a new song (only if you have the voice for it) or learn to give a mean massage and treat her to some private pampering. Pleased as punch with your initiative, she’s sure to reciprocate with a trick or two!



Valentine's Night

She watches you yelling at the telly all year, while you enlighten football coaches and cricket players on how to do their jobs. They can’t hear you, but she can — so there’s no doubt your ladylove has earned the right to have a telly night that is all about her! Pick the pricey option and head to a plush cinema for a night at the movies (with automated recliner seats and endless caramel popcorn), or set up a private ‘outdoor cinema’ in your garden. Of course you could always choose to snuggle under a blanket together indoors, with a handful of her favourite films. For some humour, may we suggest the Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal starrer ‘When Harry Met Sally,’ or pick ‘Pretty Woman,’ if you think she’d prefer a modern-day fairy-tale. If a period flick is more to her taste, try ‘Shakespeare in Love’ with Joseph Fiennes and Gwyneth Paltrow. Then there’s ‘You’ve Got Mail,’ which isn’t a total chick flick or Eighties smash-hit ‘Dirty Dancing.’ Whatever you do, don’t settle in to watch the film and then ask her to get you a snack or worse, start to snore half way through! Arrange nibbles and drinks in advance and set the scene for a super night.



Ask her to pack a swimsuit, sarong and the bare essentials, but don’t tell her where you are off to. If you haven’t enough time on hand now to plan a trip for Valentine’s weekend, just check into a swish city hotel for the night. Room service, champagne, chocolate and candles should be good enough to get you started — after a swim or a session at the spa. There’s no love in the world that won’t blossom anew under the influence of some five-star indulgence.




If she has always wanted that multi-carat sparkler, why not spend like a sailor on shore leave and gift her a diamond — one so exquisite that it will never need an upgrade! The right size depends on your finances and her expectations, so we can’t really be specific about what size to buy. We can, however, suggest that you pick a round diamond (they sparkle the most) with a ‘hearts and arrows’ cut. Buying a diamond often requires a trade-off to be made between size and clarity, and striking a balance is an art. Of course if you can well afford the very best, go as high as a certified ‘IF’ or ‘VVS’ grade sparkler — it will make her eyes light up for a long, long time just to look at it!



Nothing says ‘I love you’ better than saying it a second time! Give your girl the wedding of her dreams — possibly the one she wanted but couldn’t have when you were married many moons ago. If she really wanted a beach wedding but gave in to familial pressure to have a few hundred people gather in a ballroom somewhere, whisk her off to Goa and give her a sunset ceremony she will never forget. Besides, you don’t have to break the bank like you did the first time around. Make this an intimate affair, write a sentimental speech that captures the milestones you’ve achieved together and just tell her she’s so special that there’s no one else in the world you’d rather marry, even if you could have a do-over.

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Read what else to do this Valentine's Day on our LifeStyle page


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