Shropshire Star

Challenge Dan: Gifts to win their hearts this Valentine's Day

Love is the air folks, and with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, many of us will be looking to make that last-minute gift dash for our beloved.


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With Cupid’s arrow locked and loaded, I took on the challenge this week to see what one of our region’s high streets could offer for the budding Romeos out there, and headed to Newport armed with a fist full of dollars.

Newport had served me well in the past for present shopping, having ticked almost all of the boxes in the run-up to the festive season.

Valentine’s Day is something of a different beast, but I was confident that this charming market town would help me prevail in my quest. Let’s do this...

Card and Chocolates – The Little Card And Gift Company

You can’t really do Valentine’s Day without a card, so it seemed sensible to get this in the bag first.

Happily I knew of just the place that, if its name was anything to go by, would deliver.

Based on Newport’s High Street, The Little Card And Gift Company is a lovely emporium of nick-nacks and favours for all occasions. And, of course, its selection of cards is bountiful.

Gift cards can often be expensive these days depending on their grandiosity, yet The Little Card And Gift Company’s selection offered all shapes and sizes, and I was pleased to find a sweet and fun option for only £2.35 – perfect for all those romantics who are working to a restricted budget.

While there, I was also delighted to discover a wonderful selection of premium-quality Belgian chocolates – the way to many a Juliet’s heart.

Landing on a well-presented box of delicious looking heart-shaped numbers, my mission was proving a success.

Priced at £10.50, these made a lovely addition to the haul, and got me out of the gate with the presents. Winner winner!

Roses and bouquets – Sally’s Flowers

If you’re looking to pull off a classic Valentine’s Day for your loved one, flowers are a sure-fire way to go.

Happily, Newport is home to a number of florists that I was sure would be able to help me out.

Moseying down the High Street, I was caught by the wonderful display at Sally’s Flowers, and popped in to discover a wonderful range of beautiful flora.

Having been based in Newport for over 20 years, the team at Sally’s Flowers knew their stuff, and I was confident they would be able to steer me (and anyone else who happened to be clueless in this department) straight.

Options were many and varied, with some truly magnificent bouquets available.

Yet I was very pleased to discover that Sally’s offered single wrapped roses for only £6.

If you’re working to a restricted budget, this classy choice can be the perfect way to let your beloved know how much you care without breaking the bank too much.

Along with the chocolates already in the bag, this seemed like a lovely option to boost up my gift basket. I was on a roll!

Cakes, cookies and more – Catherine’s Bakery

Some of the Valentine's delights at Catherine's Bakery

As wonderful as flowers are, we all know that the true way to somebody’s heart is through their stomach! Catherine’s Bakery – also on Newport’s High Street – has gone all-out for Valentine’s Day, with a mouthwatering selection of themed cakes and baked goods available.

A gorgeous range of decadent muffins and beautifully presented produce was on show and my sweet tooth was quickly sent into overdrive.

Happily, yet again, it was possible to stick to a reasonable budget, with many options clocking in at under £2.

Armed with a delicious ‘Jammie Heart’ for only £1.25, I was able to seal the deal on a gift basket that put Aphrodite herself to shame.

In the name of love

In short, my mission to Newport had been a resounding success, and shopping locally I had been able to tick a lovely range of Valentine’s Day boxes for the grand total of only £20.10.

Not bad if, like many, you may be feeling the pinch to the pennies, but still want to make a good fuss of your significant other on the most romantic day of the year.

With Newport, you can’t go wrong. Happy Valentine’s, folks!

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