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Top Valentine gift ideas with a Yorkshire slant

February 2, 2018

The most romantic day of the year, February 14, is drawing near so I thought I’d share some Valentine’s Day gift ideas. None of them feature a dozen red roses or champagne (unimaginative and a waste of money, in my opinion) but they all have a Yorkshire slant.

At number one is this ingenious idea from one of my favourite designer makers, Any Poplar aka Vinegar and Brown Paper. He’s an etched glass artist and wordsmith based in Otley. This 45rpm single says it all and is perfect for music lovers like me. It costs £24.95 from www.vinegarandbrownpaper.co.uk

 You can always rely on Betty’s for fabulous, edible gifts and the beauty of this one is that you can share it.
The Valentine’s gift box includes a packet of strawberry, cherry and rose tisane tea, chocolate hearts, a Grand Cru Ganache chocolate cake and Love Butter Biscuits. It costs £30 but there are lots of less expensive items, including a box fondant fancies topped with hearts, £7.50, and a chocolate raspberry ganache heart, £4.75. www.bettys.co.uk

A trip to the Craft Centre and Design Gallery Leeds, to see its “Made with Love” selling exhibition. It’s not full of hearts and flowers, it simply reinforces  how powerful and special handmade items are and it features some terrific jewellery makers, ceramicists and among others. The picture above shows work by Aine McKenna. Entry is free.

I suggest following it with a visit to the always inspiring Leeds Art Gallery next door, also free and fabulous.  A recent refurbishment of the original Victorian roof and renovation of the Central Court mean that  visitors can see the glass ceiling that has been transformed into a new gallery. There’s also an exhibition by legendary artist Joseph Beuys, along with the gallery’s own fantastic collection.

There are plenty of restaurants and cafes to choose from in Leeds city centre but I’d head to the fringes and go to Hansa’s Gujarati Indian restaurant – it’s inexpensive, the food is fabulous and it’s vegetarian (but meat eaters rave about it)
 For country lovers, I suggest the Snowdrop Spectacular at Burton Agnes Hall…much better than roses at this time of year.

Every February, hundreds of hardy snowdrops push through the cold winter ground to create a magnificent “white carpet” across the woodland floor at the Cunliffe-Listers’ Elizabethan family home. The house is between Driffield and Bridlington.

According to the Burton Agnes Hall website “This biblical symbol of hope reminds us that winter eventually gives way to spring, and announces the new season.”

After a wintry walk you can warm up in the lovely cafe, which serves meals home-baked cakes and Fairtrade coffees and teas. You can also visit the shop, which sells Burton Agnes-propagated snowdrops that you can plant on your own garden as a lasting memory of a lovely day out.

*The Snowdrop Spectacular runs from February 10 until March 4. Entrance to the gardens is £7.

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