You don’t need a fat wallet to win your Valentine’s heart: V-Day on a budget in Lahore

The Express Tribune compiles a list of things you can do for your special one within Rs1,500.


DESIGN: SAMRA AAMIR

LAHORE:


It’s the time of year when Cupid sprinkles confetti, lovers meet and the world is wrapped in overwhelmingly red decorations. It is also that time of year when card manufactures, chocolatiers and florists make a killing! As the contagious spirit of love and giving increases, so does the price for making your loved one happy. The Express Tribune compiled a list of things you can do for your special one within Rs1,500.

While the lure of cute little teddy bears, glittery red hearts and chocolate boxes might pull you in, it’s time to step away from the yawn-factor and do something different.

For her:


Roses

Local roses that cost Rs15 a stem on any regular day increase to Rs115 on Valentine’s — florists have this one specific day to inflate the prices as much as they want and still sell their product out. “This is our time to make some money,” says an excited Javed Mansha, a florist in Liberty Market. “The demand is so high that the imported rose which is for Rs110 on any normal day is easily sold for Rs250 to Rs300!”

Prime Edibles

Lahore’s latest sensation of edible arrangements has come up with a wide variety of assorted truffles, chocolate-dipped strawberry bouquets and candy arrangements. What is really exciting about Prime Edibles is that they have something for everyone. If all hope fails and you can’t decide what to get, a small box of home-made truffles might just save the day. Or even a small bouquet of chocolate dipped strawberries for Rs1,200 is not a bad option.

Ideas Guild

A small enterprise that focuses on novelty items is offering a faux pearl necklace set with crocheted flowers. They might not be for everyone’s taste but for Rs800, they make a cute gift for Valentine’s Day.

Cupcakes

As cliché as it may sound, everyone loves cupcakes! Cakes Matter by Zara Abbas is offering a fun deal which includes five personalised cupcakes in a decorated basket just for Rs1,200. Who says cupcakes are girly? Boys love cupcakes just as much and what better way to start off the day than devouring some delicious cupcakes.

For him:

Movie night

It is always fun to spend the entire day with your special one and if your Valentine is a movie-lover or enjoys TV shows, you could always make a movie basket. Get a season or a couple of movies, add some popcorn, candy and other food items he or she might like and tuck in for a fun night watching shows or movies.

T-shirts from Stoneage

T-shirts are something guys adore and simply do not get sick of no matter how many they have lying around in their closets. Stoneage offers a variety of cool shirts to give away and all under Rs1,000. Go an extra mile and buy yourself the same one and be the cute couple wearing the same tee on the block!

Spa treatment

Yes spas are for women, but men love the ideas of massages and being pampered too. Why not give him a gift voucher to go and pamper himself at the spa? Arammish Spa offers a wide array of services for men and within Rs1,500, you can give him a great deal.

Other Options

Dinner and dessert

With fancy hotels offering dinner and dance combos and restaurants displaying high-priced extravagant menus to celebrate, date planners also have cafés to choose from. Espresso’s Valentine Day platter for two, which includes a full meal and red velvet cupcakes, is under Rs1,500. Café Zouk has their dinner specials starting at Rs1,700 with complimentary red roses before 7pm. A French dinner with a romantic setting at Café Flo is priced a little higher between Rs2,000 to Rs3,000.

From big chocolate heart cakes and small red cupcakes to chocolate truffles, they are all delicious heart stealers. The Muah Ferrero (Valentine edition) by The Riding Hood Bakery tops the list and The Cakery’s Mr & Mrs Cuddles with a teddy couple decorated on the cake is another favourite. Butler’s Chocolate Café is also offering gift boxes between Rs700 and Rs6,000.

Flowers

Flower bouquets can be the best way to express, strengthen or heal your love. A few of the Karachi flower shops made it to our top picks:

Buds n’ Blossoms uses black net and fancy ribbons with their bouquets. Their shop not only offers floral arrangements, but also includes a large number of gift options. All of their products are imported including their fresh flowers; single rose for Rs200 and a dozen for Rs2,400 and a velvet rose for Rs300 and a dozen for Rs3,600.

At Zerritta Flowers, a single rose on a regular day costs Rs150, but on Valentine’s Day, it’s priced at Rs350. Punjab Florist offers floral arrangements at a price of approximately Rs2,500.

Online

Okay, so if you don’t want to step out of your home or office to buy something special for someone, then use the following websites:

www.tohfay.com: Tohfay has a special tab for Valentine’s gifts, including chocolates, candles, oil burners, accessories, gift hampers and clothing.

www.emarkaz.com: Emarkaz delivers anywhere in Pakistan, and their gift list includes flowers, cakes, handy crafts, perfumes, and stuffed toys.

www.sentimentsexpress.com: TCS Sentiments Express is one of the oldest personalised gift delivery service. Their options include floral arrangements, sweets, cakes and numerous gifts.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 13th, 2013.            

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