Valentine’s Day may well be the day we celebrate love but it’s probably not one of the best loved days of the year. Let’s face it, buying the same box of chocolates or bunch of flowers every year isn’t our idea of a good time.

If you just haven’t a clue what to buy for the one you love, here are some ideas to get you out of your love rut and earn you a few brownie points – and who knows what else – come the 14th. Even better, you’ll be supporting some great small local businesses. What’s not to love?

1Bon Bon Chocolates

2Lissom and Muster

3Soapy J

4Oi Polloi

If your true love is a fan of men’s clobber, Oi Polloi may be just the ticket. One of the places to go for dapper young Mancunians, this crisp and exclusive menswear shop stocks classics like Adidas Originals, YMC and Birkenstock, plus lots in between.

63 Thomas St, Manchester M4 1LQ

5House of Bystander

This might be a little out of town in the quirky suburb of Chorltonville, but frankly, if you’re after an independent gift that’ll leave a lasting impression, it’s the place to go. How do you fancy having personalised prints of you and your loved one framed and ready for gifting? Create a one of a kind present with a unique piece of artwork that includes his or her favourite colour, their name, their favourite drink or the place where you first met and sparks flew. Who says romance is dead?

38 Beech Rd, Manchester M21 9EL

6Richard Goodall Gallery

For all your non-mainstream art work, there really is no better place in town. This gallery offers art aplenty by both new and establish artists. If you fancy getting your loved one a slightly more unusual gift, why not check out the limited edition prints, music and movie posters or vintage photography. The shop is infused with a healthy dose of Mancunian and they’ve previously exhibited work by the likes of Ronnie Wood, Leonard Cohen and Anton Corbijn so you can be sure you’ll find something for any art lover.

59 Thomas St, Manchester M4 1NA

7Flourish Flowers

8Franny and Filer

If you’re on the hunt for a little bling for your bae (are we cool now?), the bespoke jewellery selection at Franny and Filer should do the trick. All of the collections are made in store which allows customers to see the techniques, skills and time spent creating each piece. It also gives you the chance to make the gift personal by requesting custom design services. This way you can be sure that your handmade Valentine’s gift can’t be found anywhere else. So, if you’re in the market for adorable trinkets, bracelets and bespoke necklaces, then this is the place for you.

70 Beech Rd, Manchester M21 9EG

9Piccadilly Records

10Kiku

Lingerie rarely fails as a Valentine’s Day gift and is guaranteed to please all parties involved. If you’re looking for something a little bit different from the raunchy lace and silk selections of Anne Summers, opt for some of the vintage pieces sold at Kiku. They stock brands like What Katie Did and Playful Promises and have plenty of one off pin-up style bras, French knickers and loungewear. Expect endless flirtation inspiration and plenty of sexy one off pieces that would be a brilliant addition to any woman’s wardrobe.

100 Tib St, Manchester M4 1LR

11Neon Creations

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