This Valentine’s Day, you have to make your leading lady feel special; but what do you get at the end of the night? Judgment. In other words, it's that time of year again when women all over the world analyse the Valentine's Day gifts they received. Does this mean he isn't serious? Did he not pick up on my subtle Instagram tagging of bags I like? Should I sulk for several weeks until he gets the message? How much thought did he put into this? Why emeralds and not rubies? Why roses not peonies? Why am I here? Where do we go when we die?
Therefore, finding the ideal gift for your valentine can sometimes be quite tricky, because you're basically maneuvering the scary, scary minefield that is a woman's mind. Don’t buy her the typical set of chocolates and a dozen red roses; we know it’s easy to fall victim to the store’s signs yelling “appropriate and economical!!” Each woman has a different personality and the trick is to show her that you really know what she likes - not to buy her a ridiculously overpriced watch.
So we’ve gathered the best gifts out there, all from local Egyptian brands, that will make her think you put a ton of thought into this and didn't just open a link on a website a few days before Valentine's Day.
Be alert: these girls have a certain taste and are not easy to please because of their distinct individual style. Don't try the apparel option. You will fail. You will fail so hard. We recommend investing in a statement item such as a ring, necklace, or pair of earrings from Jude Benhalim (pictured), whose designs all seamlessly blend modernity with an arabesque aesthetic, and a flurry of colourful gemstones. You could also pick up a studded clutch from bag brand Okhtein's newest collection, a chunky statement necklace from Laila Wahba Jewelry, a seriously cool pair of leather shoes from newly launched brand Lala, or any of the seriously eclectic pieces Cult has built its following on.
She eats twice as much as you do, and that’s what you love about her. Whenever you go out she won't order three leaves of lettuce and a soda with lemon and make you feel like a fat beast for ordering two starters next to your main dish. She likes culinary experimentation and doesn't waltz into every restaurant asking if they have a Caesar salad. So if you're planning to take her out to dinner, go somewhere with unique cuisine. Peruvian-Mexican fusion restaurant Mezcal, Latin American spot Tabla Luna, or Nikkei cuisine eatery Keji (pictured), are a few perfect date spots where you can wine and dine on Valentine's Day.
20 Taha Hussein str. Zamalek
Tel:+20109 326 5311
Sunset Boat, Corniche Giza
41 road 218 Degla, Maadi
The Beauty Addict
This girl probably has enough makeup to last her a lifetime, but still, she’d never say no to more beauty products, just like you'd never say no to more pizza. If you want to play it safe, you might want to buy her a set from hoemgrown brands Nefertari or Black Lotus. However, you can take it up a notch and buying her a cute bag from Pheel and pop the products inside.
The Fitness Freak
She swears by Crossfit and is one of those people who gets high off endorphins. Show her your support by getting her a trendy bag from Zaam Designs (pictured) and pack it with a small yoga mat from Osana Wellness, or a pair trendy workout leggings from The Pink Powder Room store in Zamalek. You can also buy a gift card from Osana Wellness Center for a deep therapeutic massage or sign her up for one of their yoga classes.
Tel:+20 101 773 3770
4 El-Nahda street, Maadi
If she likes to spend most of her time curled up in a blanket with a cup of tea and a good read, buy her a few modern novels by Egyptian authors such as The Map Of Love by Ahdaf Soueif, Maryam's Maze by Mansoura Ez-Eldin, and In The Time Of Love by Naguib Mahfouz, with a couple of cute bookmarks. You might have missed the Cairo Interntional Book Fair but hit up local bookstore Diwan and see if any of these 8 brilliant books by Egyptian authors have hit their shelves yet. Personalize them by writing the date and a small note on the first page.
26 of July street, Zamalek
The Artistic One
Whether she likes acrylics, oil paint, colored pencils, or chalk, you can never go wrong with buying her art supplies. Add a canvas and a few essentials such as paintbrushes and you’re good to go. You can also sign her up for a workshop at Sane in Zamalek; if she likes crafting, then choose the Wire workshop, where she'll learn how to create her own accessories. She'll love sketching her designs and implementing them herself. You can find all their events here.
The Hard Worker
For her, happiness is a pack of rainbow colored pens and highlighters from Samir and Aly because she's the epitome of OCD and planning is basically crack for her. Get her a few notebooks from Bash Stationary or Mofkera or that range from 75-400 EGP to keep her organized. If she likes to keep track of her errands, then Mofkera's 2017 agenda is perfect; most of the designs are crafted using pastel colors with unique quotes by famous artists. It’s a small gesture, but one she’ll remember. She's probably also a caffeine fiend who gets to work before everyone else and chugs coffee like it's water, so get her a quirky mug from RNDM Designs that feature the eclectic artwork of local talent Hassan Hassan - which is also featured on a series of notebooks.
If you’re with a girl that’s into adventures, plan a trip to Alexandria; get her to skip work and be spontaneous, book a train, spend the day walking by the sea, and have dinner at The Greek Club. She’ll be thrilled that you planned out everything and spent the day with her. Plus, who would ever say no to dinner with a view?
The Greek Club:
Tel:+20 3 4802690
El Corniche, Next to Qait Bay Fort, El Shatby, Alexandria, Egypt