St. Valentine’s Day, love it or loathe it, is upon us once more. 

If you’re like me, you might be looking forward to this annual marketing event, sorry, ahem, very special day, because its whole purpose is to highlight love, romance, mystery and thoughtfulness. 

Red hearts, big and small, are bursting out of every shop window display as everyone jumps on the love-bug  bandwagon to sell the hell out of this one day a year. And why not? There’s good money to be made when it comes to showing how much you care. However, whilst a diamond ring or yet another designer handbag will likely be well-received, it somehow remains impersonal because it’s boringly obvious and available to anyone that chooses to stump up the cash. 

So, does St Valentine’s day need to be expensive? I like to think not.  In my view, the more creative and resourceful one can be, the more heart-felt and cherished the gift. Ask any recipient of a hand-made card how much they loved it, because it was designed especially for them with love and care, and you’ll get my drift. 

With this is mind I’ve come up with some simple and inexpensive ideas for showing that special someone in Monaco, yourself included (and why not), how much you love them this year;  Take your lover to the “secret beach” next to the Digue for a romantic, sunrise breakfast picnic. Draw a heart with an arrow in the sand for extra brownie points. 

Stand in front of the Casino, pretend it’s Paris in the 1950s and replicate Robert Doisneau’s “The Kiss”. Go large here! It’s the perfect backdrop and highly likely that the meandering tourists will take a photo of you too if you do it well. 

Serenade your loved one on the free-for-all piano in the station. Guaranteed to pull a crowd. Note: only try this if vocally gifted! 

Get a small tattoo with your lover’s name or initials from the talented artists at Dixième Art. Proceed with caution; be very, very sure that this is indeed a life partner! 

Make a donation, sent with love, to one of the amazing Monaco charities to help others in need. Tell your partner what you’ve done and I bet you they’ll love you just that little bit more.

Buy a card from Hallmark, fill it with tiny paper hearts and write one word to describe what the person means to you (or places you’ve been, or moments shared) on each heart. A definite hit, especially if running a bit last-minute! 

If you’re solo, do not despair! This is a day for self-love too. Take a walk around the Japanese Gardens or down to Larvotto beach and repeatedly open your heart as you take your hands behind your back, puff out your chest, lift the chin and raise that glorious heart up to the sky. Watch out though, that outpouring of love into the community may well be contagious, you might not find yourself solo for long! 

Hopefully that’s given you some ideas. There’s no excuse now for forgetting this Valentine’s Day! 

Love, truly, is all there is when everything else is said and done. 

Let’s show the love, Monaco. 

MAIN IMAGE: Robert Doisneau’s The Kiss