It's hard to be romantic when you've not washed your hair since Boxing Day. You know what you can do, though? You can order something heart-shaped and edible. Because foods that are heart-shaped are intrinsically romantic. Don't argue. They are.
There's also something very extra about consuming a heart on Valentine's Day. On one hand it is romantic. On the other, it sort of makes you a modern day Unas, the fifth century Egyptian pharaoh who ate the flesh of men to absorb their strength. Does this sound like you? Good. Read on.
The Loverboy, being hawked by Camden wags The Cheese Bar is a heart-shaped chunk of unpasteurised Baron Bigod (£38). It comes with some other bits too, including some novelty sweets and other top-quality cheeses (none of which are heart-shaped, unfortunately). If for some reason that doesn't float your boat, Oh Briehave (do you get it?) have a few sizes of 'Deluxe Cheese Box' available, featuring their own heart-shaped brie (£60).
How heart-shaped is it? Both cheeses are sufficiently heart-shaped.
The Proof, a very slick Hackney bakery, specialises in those little brown bad boys known as profiteroles. You'll never guess what they've gone and done. They've stuck a load of them into a heart shape (£17.50)! Each one is full of Chantilly cream and coated in dark chocolate. Actually looks surprisingly class, so top marks guys. Could use that as a sticky pillow.
How heart-shaped is it? While each profiterole is, sadly, a regulation orb, the shape they make when stuck together is hearty.
First up are our pals at Yard Sale. Boys, boys, boys, you've outdone yourselves here. That pizza is definitely extremely heart-shaped. Only available on Feb 14, for delivery or collection across YS's six London shops, the Ooh-La-'Za (as it should be known) is available as margherita or pepperoni (£7.50-£10.50). Order yours here.
How heart-shaped is it? Undeniably heart-shaped.
Heart-shaped French pastry
Le Comptoir and Le Deli Robuchon’s Dario Avenca has dreamed up a very high-class Valentine's hamper (£150 for 2 people). It's four courses, the last of which is 'blueberry cream and jam served on heart shaped puff pastry, topped with a vanilla chantilly'. Bam! Heart-shaped! The menu is available for delivery on Saturday February 13 for lunch and dinner and Sunday February 14 for dinner only. Order it on Robuchon’s website here. Oh, and you'll want to give them 24-hours notice. You can't rush quality, can you?
How heart-shaped is it? Hard to tell from that photo, but we're willing to bet it's pretty damn heart-shaped.
Let's get this one over and done with. A tube of 'mallows, courtesy of Knoops who do very, very, very special hot chocolate. This love-themed edition (£19) contains naturally-pink, 47% ruby hot chocolate flakes, as well as those all-important heart-shaped soft bois.
How heart-shaped is it? Good showing. Definitely heart-shaped.
Heart-shaped posh biscuits
'While the hamper is not heart shaped,' stammers the Ottolenghi website, 'the raspberry lollipops, Valentine's shortbread, both chocolate brittles and our irresistible, usually square, tahini linzers are.' Seems a bit defensive, Yotam. No one minds that you didn't make the hamper heart-shaped. Anyway, Ottolenghi's Valentine's hamper (£55) is full of sweet bits and bobs.
How heart-shaped is it? There are five heart-shaped elements here. Faithfulness to the form varies from object to object. Overall strong, though.
Ah, Devon. Famous for its beaches, cream tea, the smuggling of heroin into the UK, and of course pasties. The difference between a good pasty and a sub-standard one is massive, and you can rest assured Chunk of Devon know their stuff. That's why we're recommending their heart-shaped steak pasty (£25, including four little pies). Look at that thing. It looks heavy. In a good way.
How heart-shaped is it? A little tall for some, perhaps. But the appeal of this heart lies more within its charming trim and eggy glaze.
You knew it was coming. The heart cake. 'Big deal,' you think to yourself. 'Everyone does heart cakes.' You insolent child. Does everyone do 'tie-dye' heart cakes? They do not. Because not everyone has the wherewithal and gumption of much-loved, family-owned bakery Primrose Bakery. Get yours here (£37.55).
How heart-shaped is it? It's not so much the heart-shape we'd quibble with here, but the tie-dye nature. Is that tie-dye? Has the definition of tie-dye changed recently? Maybe it is tie-dye. Maybe we don't know what we're talking about because we've been staring at heart-shaped foodstuffs all day.
Say it out loud: 'heart-shaped ravioli'. Hard to imagine a more erotic phrase. Ravioli. But hearts. Thanks muchly to La Tua Pasta for including said items in their splendid San Valentino's Box (£38). Said box includes tomato and mozzarella heart-shaped ravioli with sauce, antipasti, dessert and bake-at-home focaccia with tapenade and Italian chocolates. Sexier than this photo of Paolo Maldini.
How heart-shaped is it? Not that heart-shaped tbh. But we're talking about hand-made ravioli here. When was the last time you saw ravioli in any shape that wasn't ravioli? Eat it and be grateful.
Heart-shaped cookie dough
We love The Treats Club, Netil Market's 'female-owned, female-led' desserts bar. For Valentine's Day they're selling these, heart-shaped molten cookie dough kits (£17.50). Choose from five types of cookie dough and then you can even affix a cheeky phrase atop your box! 'Best D Ever!' shrieks one option. That 'D'? They want you to think it stands for 'doughnuts'. It doesn't. It stands for dick.
How heart-shaped is it? Sufficiently heart-shaped. Nothing more to see here.
Heart-shaped fresh pig’s heart
Haha, just kidding.
Top London restaurants doing Valentine's Day meal kits.
The five types of lockdown date it's possible to have on Valentine's Day.