Don’t Panic, Chaps! Just because it’s nearly Valentine’s…

If you can already see the dark clouds of enforced romanticism gathering in advance of Valentine’s Day, do try to have a positive attitude. Look at it this way: give her the right present on the 14th and you might be rewarded with enough pink tickets to enjoy several hours of uninterrupted tinkering in the garage, or even a trip to Goodwood with the boys. Here are a few inspirational ideas for gifts that ought to get you off the hook.
Louis Vuitton

Quite frankly, anything carrying the initials ‘LV’ should do the Valentine’s trick (so long as it’s not a Far East fake), but one of these new ‘Leo print’ wallets is sure to make her realise just how much you really care – not least because it will demonstrate a fearless attitude to the Louis Vuitton price list. Part of the newly launched ‘Cruise’ collection, the wallets are available in white, green or pink, with LV monogram exteriors and leopard spots within. Easy, tiger…

If you fancy showing her your Bohemian side but don’t want to stop washing, grow a beard and take to the road in a gipsy caravan, try buying some hand-blown glass from Czech-based Artel. The firm was chosen by Rolls-Royce to create a bowl engraved with the Spirit of Ecstasy for the marque’s centenary in 2004, but she might prefer this Japanese-style ‘Sakura’ bowl, hand-painted with a cherry blossom design – which you’ll know, of course, is a symbol of love and affection.
Gardena Health Lodge Spa, Alpina Dolomites

Now here’s one to leave her breathless: the Gardena Health Lodge Spa is the first health and fitness lodge in Italy’s Dolomite mountains, and stands 1860 metres above sea level on the Alpe de Suisi plateau. As well as the 2000sqm spa to enjoy, there is also skiing and snowshoe hiking available right on the doorstep of this remarkable looking modern hotel, which could easily pass for the home of a James Bond nemesis. And while she’s enjoying a two-hour massage, you can take yourself off to the excellent cigar lounge for a well-earned Cohiba. Rates, by the way, are surprisingly reasonable at 209–309 euros per person, per night (naturally they’re even cheaper before February 14th).

The exotically named Fiorina Benveniste-Schuler was allegedly inspired to establish her unique London-based fashion brand by the behaviour of her racy granny, who, according to FB-S, was “an avid wearer of corsets and gloves” – a look that is still guaranteed to turn heads in the high street. The Corlette range comprises, therefore, exactly that: corset belts and gloves. The former seem to be making a bit of a comeback with the recent revival of Burlesque, so you can attribute your choice of Valentine’s present to a desire to keep your woman well and truly on trend (disguising the fact that you have regular fantasies about Dita Von Teese who, incidentally, drives a ’65 Jaguar S-Type and ’39 Chrysler New Yorker. God, what a woman…).
Herve van der Straeten

Paris-based Herve van der Straeten is an aesthetic all-rounder, proving equally brilliant at designing furniture, perfume bottles and running a fabulously chic gallery in rue Ferdinand Duval. Now he’s returned to his roots as a jewellery designer, his original profession after dropping out of engineering college. In the old days, he worked for both Yves Saint Laurent and Christian Lacroix, but now he’s created his own line of pieces in either silver or 24-carat gilt that looks remarkably like gold. I think the girls call it ‘getting the look for less’. Earrings and bracelets start at less than £100.

Text: Simon de Burton
Photos: The brands

ClassicInside - The Classic Driver Newsletter
Free Subscription!