This week marks the annual celebration of St Valentine in the UK. Valentine’s Day is the time to shower your loved one with gifts and a whimsical rhyme about roses and violets scribbled in a card. At Clock Out Check In, we think that it is so important to take time out to appreciate the people that you love. But does it really have to be on February 14th each year?


As I walked down the high street earlier today it occurred to me that Valentine’s Day is absolutely everywhere. No sooner had we given up on our New Year’s resolutions, than we were confronted with Valentine’s promotions in every shop window. And what a profitable business it is! Brits spent roughly £670 million on Valentine’s Day last year. That works out to about £60 per person and it’s not difficult to see how we manage to spend so much. £3 on a card, £20 on a bunch of flowers and £10 in Hotel Chocolat. Throw in Valentine’s Day themed cocktails and outrageously priced set menus at your local restaurant too. On the night itself you are squeezed in between all the other bemused couples in your local area and you can’t help but think that their normal menu tastes better and costs half the price. So why do we do it?

As with most other vices, we can probably point the finger at good advertising. Valentine’s Day is an important feature of the British retail calendar alongside Christmas, Easter, New Year’s Eve and increasingly Black Friday and Halloween. All of these holidays are designed to encourage you to spend your hard earned cash showing someone else how much you care.

But this year we are going to try something different and not get each other anything at all! “Crazy!” I hear you scream but hear me out…

A weekend in Paris

Getting engaged in Brighton


Remember I said earlier that the average Brit spent £60 on Valentine’s Day last year? Well to put that figure into context, a return flight to Nuremberg in early March would set you back £34 each. If you are anything like us then a weekend away together exploring a beautiful European city is a much better way to spend your money than a card or a box of chocolates and that’s what we decided to do. We booked our Eurostar tickets this morning and will be celebrating Valentine’s Day (and two years together) in the City of Love itself – Paris. I am so excited!

So on February 14th we will be having a quiet night in with Netflix but we will be quite content knowing that we will soon be sipping coffee with a freshly baked croissant in one of the most romantic cities in the world. Still think we’re crazy?

What are you doing for Valentine’s Day this year? What is your favourite thing to see and do in Paris? Let us know in the comments below.

Image Credit: Rawpixel on Unsplash

Alex is a solicitor at an international law firm based in London. He has always loved travelling and loves to eat like a local. His favourite destination is Peru where he spent a month travelling in 2009 with World Challenge.

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