Valentine's Day: What to buy, what to do and where to eat

Attention lovers: it's Valentine's Day this week - Friday, February 14 to be exact.

Valentine's Day means different things to every couple; there's those that ignore it completely - especially smack-bang in the middle of the very expensive New Zealand wedding season - and there's those that go all bloody out with flowers, balloons, the works. 

Whatever floats your boat, go for it!

But if you've completely forgotten that it's approaching and you're freaking out - don't stress! We have you covered.

What to buy:

Coffee maker

Can your partner not exist without their morning flat white? Is that sending you into early bankruptcy? Honestly, same. Let them whip up their own brew at home with a coffee maker. You can keep things simple with a trendy Nespresso, or if they consider themselves a bit of a connoisseur, get them something like the Breville Barista Pro which will basically allow you a tiny cafe in your kitchen. Bonus - you get to enjoy fruits of their labour. 

Smoking gun

If they're a foodie, get your partner this (legal) gun, which will mean they're the best cook in the kitchen. It allows you to smoke food after it's cooked, which means anything you whip up will taste like it was cooked over a smokey fire - even if you just made it in your tiny apartment kitchen. You can even smoke cheese - hello summer platters!


It's 2020, so if you're still buying your partner itchy, nylon lingerie which catches fire if she gets within 30m of an open flame - what are you up to? Get up with the play with luxurious sleepwear, like these sets from Jasmine and Will.

My picks are the 100 percent linen boyfriend shirt monogrammed with her initials, a feminine silk camisole set or a slinky, backless slip dress. Or if you're buying him some comfy PJs, these monogrammed sleep shorts can be worn in or out of the house - they're chic anywhere.


An oldie but a goodie, because there is actually no better feeling than receiving flowers, espeically in an office surrounded by jealous co-workers. FACT. If you don't even know where to start in the world of florals, head to Feel Good with Flowers, a nationwide directory which will point you in the right direction. Just enter your location and they'll send you to an expert retailer. There is also a strong societal ideology that men don't like flowers, which is false. A quick and very unofficial poll around the newsroom showed that most would be very happy to receive flowers (although one did clarify he would prefer food). 

What to do:

For fine dining: 

If your significant other likes the finer things in life, take them to one of these spots where both love and luxury linger in the air. Herne Bay eatery Andiamo and innercity stalwart Euro - both brainchildren of top chef Gareth Stewart - are doing some truly fab Valentine's Day specials. At Andiamo, arrive to a glass of champagne, followed by half a dozen Pacific Oysters, followed by delicious Italian inspired dishes, from $95 per person.

At Euro, for $99 per person, you can feast on burrata with eggplant caviar, pistachio and pomegranate, and Taupo beef eye fillet with truffle mash and goat cheese butter (please don't drool on your screen). This is perfect if you're still in that 'trying to impress' stage. 

For fun at the flicks:

If you're looking for more of a 'snuggling up' scenario, head along to the screening of Crazy Rich Asians at Movies in Parks. Auckland Council’s Henderson Animal Shelter is bringing along some adorable puppies; some that are up for adoption. Event organiser Kaiya Irvine says people will be able to take them for a walk around the park, cuddle them and even take selfies with them! Three lucky couples will win the chance to sit in the 'Lover's Lounge', with dinner included. And if you're on a budget, how good is a free event?

Keep it casual:

Last year my partner and I ate a bucket of KFC in Cornwall Park and watched the sunset, and it was one of the nicest dates we've ever had. Keep it simple, stupid. Just make sure to clean up your litter.