2021’s best gifts, gestures and indulgences
After the frightfulness of 2020, this year’s Valentine’s Day is our chance to spoil and re-nourish the love of our lives with a great romantic all-round experience. Forget the bunch of roses and a peck on the cheek – we mean business this year. It’s time to pull out all the stops and create a day and/or night to remember.
Now, while we dismissed giving a bunch of roses, we’re not recommending you break the bank. We’ve compiled a few of our favourite suggestions below. Let’s look at gifts in two sections: him then her
We know that most boys get excited about tech and also enjoy listening to their favourite tunes, so this year Google Nest Audio heads the top of our list. A smart home assistant, the Google Nest Audio can help you switch on lights, set reminders (helpful to remind him about special events throughout the year), step through recipes and most importantly play his favourite music.
The advantage of the Nest Audio over the Google Nest Mini or Google Nest Hub is the awesome sound quality. Packing a punch in even the largest of lounge rooms, the Google Nest Audio connects to your Spotify account and will play whatever you like by simply saying “Hey Google, play the Goo Goo Dolls,” (like what we did there?). In an instant, warm, rich tones of mild American rock will fill the surrounding spaces. And that’s really what we were getting at earlier, the sound quality. Designed for audio quality first and foremost, the Nest Audio’s directional speaker with built in subwoofer and tweeter, will make you all dance around the room – just like we did when we put it to the test. Let’s face it, you can’t listen to your favourite band without the presence of some bass.
And, remember, next year, when you’re stumped on the best gifts for him in 2022, you can just say, “Hey Google, what are the best Valentine’s Day gifts for men this year?” It’s the gift that keeps on giving!
One more idea for him – and a gift that we know many men will appreciate – craft beer. Over the last decade the craft beer revolution has been a welcome addition to cold rooms across the country. The greater range of beer products complements the traditional big brands and gives us the option to choose from many bespoke, local and quality lagers, each with their own unique tasty qualities.
If you’re not sure what type of craft beer your man enjoys or if you want him to sample some of the finest Aussie selection, you can pick up a craft beer sampler 6 pack from most good bottle shops. We can definitely recommend Mountain Culture Lager. A local beer, from just up the road at Katoomba. Pssst! It’s on tap at Springwood Sports Club in case you wanted to give it a ‘try-before-you-buy’. Let’s face it, any excuse.
We know family is everything to most of us – women and men alike. Who doesn’t remember warm hugs from grandma or stories from pop about the old days? They’re warm and fond memories that we hold close to our hearts. But what about our grandparents’ parents, or even their grandparents? Who were they, how did they come to be in Australia or were they first nations people? If not, why did they leave the old country? Help her put the pieces of the puzzle together with an Ancestry.com.au DNA kit. Constantly being updated, Ancestry.com.au’s DNA branch is trusted around the world as the go-to resource for heritage investigation.
We purchased a kit so that we could give you the run down before you buy. The delivery of the testing kit comes in no time. Ordered online in Springwood NSW, the testing kit arrived in 4 days, however, the website says you should allow up to 14 days for shipping. An easy to use testing kit allowed our test subject to provide a sample and then, within 5 weeks, we had the results!
Access to our genetic heritage showed us exactly where our tester’s DNA came from around the world – even pin-pointing geographical regions and breaking results down into percentages. Our tester was 55% Baltics (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) with the rest a mix of English, Scottish, Finnish, Welsh, Swedish and Irish. Fascinating! It went even further and broke down some of the DNA to establish that the tester had relatives who were early settlers of Victoria (this was from his British heritage).
The results also link to close matches to other users of the site which can lead to meeting distant family members and connecting those who share common ancestors. From here, you are able to research millions of online records dating back centuries from all over the world allowing you to uncover the stories of family from long ago. Who knows the special girl in your life could end up being related to royalty! Click here to find out more about Ancestry’s DNA kit.
The next gift for her on our list is something that she can wear, yet is still personal and will be a unique touch for her jewellery collection – as well as the perfect addition to many outfits. As you’re most probably already aware, each month throughout the year has a unique birthstone, i.e. January is garnet and May is emerald. Swarovski, the renowned crystal manufacturer has released a gorgeous range of crystal pendants that match the birthstone of your choice. The brilliantly cut crystal features a unique rhodium-plated housing and comes with a stunning chain. Click here to have a look at the full range on Swarovski’s website.
A simple romantic gesture can speak volumes, doesn’t have to cost anything and often keeps the spark alive in your relationship. Although we’ve included gestures in this blog for Valentine’s Day, we sincerely recommend practising some of these continually throughout the year.
Our first gesture is extremely easy to undertake and one that costs absolutely nothing. We guarantee however, that it will brighten your love’s day. Every week, fortnight or even monthly, plan to leave a little love note. A simple phrase such as, ‘I miss you already’ or ‘have a beautiful day’ placed on the kitchen table or under the car windscreen lets your special someone know you have them in your thoughts. It’s a simple, free and romantic gesture that we know will speak volumes.
Remember the old mix tapes – well those of you born before 1985 anyway. For those ‘youngins’ reading this, we used to sit by the radio as they played the top 40 countdown and hit record on the tape deck when our favourites were played. We’d then create custom cassettes using these songs as well as those we had on vinyl, or later CDs to make mix tapes for our boyfriends and girlfriends. Well although not many of us have a tape recorder, let alone a blank cassette anymore, most of us have the modern-day equivalent – a Spotify account. So why not use this to send a custom Spotify playlist with all of the meaningful, fun and memorable tunes that define your relationship. Put some thought into it and we know that your other half will appreciate every track.
Lastly, and this one requires a little more planning as well as some expense – but it’s not too pricey – plan a sunrise breakfast picnic. We’re so lucky here on the Blue Mountains to have a myriad of spectacular places to watch the sun rise so we won’t go into detail on location. Govetts Leap at Blackheath is a wonderful choice if you’re stuck for spots. Pack his or her favourite cold breaky items into a hamper. You could even cook some pikelets a day or two before enjoy them cold. One thing we reckon you must take is a thermos of freshly brewed coffee or tea to enjoy as you watch the sun spread over the horizon.
An indulgence that all of us at Springwood Sports Club agree upon is sure to please your partner this Valentines Day – a couples massage! We reckon that you can never have too many and it’s an activity that couples can experience together, relaxing, destressing, unwinding. It’s always a busy time of the year to book a massage, so consider purchasing the massage and booking it for a few weeks. You can surprise your partner with the booking time on Valentines Day. It’ll be something you can both look forward to. There are numerous fantastic massage centres in and around the Springwood area and we can vouch for Springwood Thai Massage and Day Spa.
Lastly, who can go past the indulgence of a beautiful dinner out – a shared romantic evening with your partner. We recommend you spend a little bit of time planning your perfect evening in advance. It can help make the experience less stressful and you’ll look suave and sophisticated as you whisk your partner out for an evening of intimate yet organised bliss. First step (and we can’t stress this enough), BOOK A TABLE! Don’t rely upon chance – even the largest venues can fill up on popular dates. At Gather at Springwood Sports Club, you can book a place for our Valentines Day specials which are available Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 February by clicking here.
Next, if required, organise a babysitter plenty with time ahead. Some of us have learned from past experience to do this even before booking the restaurant – imagine having your booking for dinner secured but no one to mind the kids! Nothing says romance like bringing miss 4 and master 8 along for company.
Last but not least, plan at least one other activity to accompany dinner. This is simply some like pre or post dinner drinks, a movie or even an evening walk. This adds a little memorable activity to make this year’s dinner a stand out.
However you choose to spend Valentine’s Day this year, we hope it’s filled with love, romance and most of all, your favourite person.