Little luxuries: where to snag last-minute Valentine treats in The Rocks
FOOD & FASHION
This Rocks institution makes delicious old-fashioned rock candy in more colours and flavours than you can shake a, uh, rock at. Pick your beloved’s favourite fruity flavour, or go with a message – the I LOVE YOU design is a traditional choice this time of year, but they might also enjoy the BITE ME. Your call.
Browse the local artisan body products, artworks, and jewellery on display here for something nobody else will have, for a gift that says “Look, I didn’t just grab chocolates from the supermarket this year!”
A beautifully edited collection of in-demand Australian labels. From Josh Goot and Shakuhachi to Sass & Bide and Bec & Bridge – the gang’s all here. (Good for sorting yourself a date night outfit as well, if your Instagram-messaged hints didn’t quite sink in.)
Who doesn’t love a nice (hand-poured, all-Australian, cruelty-free) scented candle or three to set the mood on Valentine’s Eve? DUX’s range also includes body butters and massage oils, if you need a little extra inspiration.
Love a hard-to-buy-for bloke? Treat him to a super-soft t-shirt or classic Aussie cowhide belt at this cheeky, luxe boutique.
Uashmama’s sustainable handmade paper goods are a gorgeous gift, as tactile and durable as leather, without the ethical minefield. Browse a range of bags and pouches, like metallic coin purses, backpacks handsome duffels and everything in between, and homewares in a range of modern neutrals. Plus, the paper dog collars and leads are perfect for if your Valentine is furry and four-legged.
If you just want to buy something beautiful but don’t know what, these emporia have your back. The MCA Store has a range almost as meticulously curated as the Museum of Contemporary Art’s exhibits. Find the gorgeous accompanying book to Pipilotti Rist’s blockbuster exhibit Sip My Ocean – a nice memento if you enjoyed the show together – and a range of homewares including elegant Australian designs or a Pantone mug to bring your Valentine their morning coffee in. There’s also a range of Aussie jewellery, from delicate silver pieces by Lucy Folk and elk, to Haus Of Dizzy’s bold glitter statement earrings.
Shab & Shadi, meanwhile specialises in on-trend homewares and casually glam accessories everywhere you look – you’re bound to find something they won’t be able to resist.
BEAUTY & GROOMING
You really can’t go wrong in this little haven of luxe, grown-up botanical beauty. If in doubt, though, the travel sets are beautiful, and the hand creams and washes from the Resurrection Aromatique range, with its distinctive citrus-herbal scent, are scientifically proven to induce delight in 100% of recipients.
The Rocks’ resident spoil-yourself space is offering free bubbly during your couples’ massage, as well as a couple of special deals on products if you opt for take-home gifts.
Shout your favourite fella a fresh fade or an old-fashioned shave, or pick up grooming products from Uppercut Deluxe and Baxter of California so he can treat himself at home.
The world’s most talked-about beauty company – from the ultra-affordable cult brand The Ordinary up to the haute-scientific NIOD, this is ideal Valentine’s shopping for your beauty-nerd besties.
The best-kept secret of your mum’s favourite hand cream brand? Its fragrances, which are head-turning and classic in their use of deceptively simple French-floral notes.
Time is of the essence in this raw, creative studio, leading designers in steampunk jewellery, industrial reworkings and old-fashioned horological (watches and clocks, to you and me) aesthetics.
Whether it’s an existing piece that needs a refresh, hand engraving, or a custom new design, Mancuso specialise in one-offs and in-depth design consultations.
Describing their business as “emotional distillers and treasuresmiths”, the craftspeople at jeweller Jason Ree can work in modern styles just as easily as classic.
Valentine’s Day is on a Wednesday – tell the boss you’re coming in late on Thursday, and enjoy a romantic mid-week staycation. At the Holiday Inn, guests can enjoy the rooftop pool with unbelievable bridge and Opera House views, as well as special deals at the nearby Endota Spa. And the Harbour Rocks Hotel offers a Romantic Getaway Package with free sparkling wine and chocolate strawberries, buffet breakfast and late checkout.