Do you dread Valentine’s Day, unsure what to get your special someone to possibly reflect how you feel about them? Skip the roses and try one of our unique 18th-century inspired gifts with a story! We’ll even let you take all the credit.
Imagine you’re 21 years old and you’ve been tasked to deliver a letter to the local French commander demanding that he and his forces leave British territory. The Journal of Major George Washington ($9.95) is the firsthand account of this adventure. What’s more romantic than a little bedtime reading?
With refrigeration and canning yet unknown, the colonial housewife depended on other techniques to keep her food supplies edible and to provide variety in the diet throughout the year—including jellying. Show your love of history and your good taste with this preservative-free Mimosa Jelly ($6.95).
Looking for something a little more original than chocolate? Try this American Heritage Historic Chocolate Drink Mix ($24.95) and then give our historic hot chocolate, chocolate mousse, or crème brûlée recipes a try.
Help your valentine unwind with this WILLIAMSBURG exclusive Lavender Lemongrass Body Lotion ($22). Lavender was one of the favorite perennial herbs among 18th-century gardeners. Its name comes from the Latin root lavare (“to wash”), most likely because it was frequently used in baths to help purify the body and spirit.
The citizens of 18th-century Williamsburg often wound down with “shrubs”—fruit syrups or purees mixed with gin or plain water in a simple, sparkling glass. We think these Tavern Shrub Glasses ($42/set of 4) would be perfect with one of these cocktails.
Designed by Thomas Jefferson himself, this plain pewter cup makes an ideal gift. Personalize your Pewter Jefferson Cup ($30) by engraving a monogram, initial, crest, or sentimental inscription.
“O! If you knew how I sigh to see you.” The romantic words of Marquis de Lafayette, taken from a historic letter, are captured on this unique Necklace ($60).
This Sterling Silver Witches Heart Bracelet ($99) was inspired by a garnet-encrusted pin in the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation collections. The English antique dates from the second half of the 18th century. According to some accounts from the period, nursing mothers sometimes wore pins in this design to keep their milk from being stolen by witches.
The best gift you can give? Shared experiences. Explore the Revolutionary City anytime you’d like, for an entire year, with an Annual Pass ($129.90 for two). The memories you make will last longer than any bouquet.
Is your sweetheart stressed? Help him/her relax with a 90-minute Massage Sampler ($185) in the most serene atmosphere you can imagine. If you’re feeling stressed yourself, try a couples’ massage!
Whether you’re looking to save a little money or show your valentine your creativity, DIY-ing is a great option. May we recommend baking up a batch of our famous Raleigh Tavern Gingerbread cookies? The combination of nostalgia and deliciousness makes for an unforgettable gift.
Or, give the gift of dinner! Try one of our filling “tastes like you spent forever in the kitchen” but secretly simple history-inspired soup recipes like Carrot Almond Soup or Spiced Garden Vegetable Stew.