Ditch the flowers this year, lovers. Or better yet, add to them with something special from a local venue. Maybe custard-filled tarts delivered to their door, a chocolate heart made by one of our top pastry chefs, or a Parisian picnic.

The Charles

Love notes are always a good idea, but the pastel beauties Rhiann Mead has created are especially so. Using Valrhona Opalys white chocolate, and inspired by the sherbety candy hearts, the head pastry chef made four to choose from: “Love You”, “Be Mine”, “XOXO” and “BFF”. Filled with salted caramel or praline, they’re the sweetest gift. Order by February 11, for pick up on February 13 and 14.

Fabbrica Bread Shop

We’re calling it: Fabbrica Bread Shop has the bouquet of the year. The extremely pretty Valentine’s Day box contains four petalled tarts – banoffee; chocolate and hazelnut; lemon meringue; and apple, vanilla custard and prosecco jelly – and two petalled pastries in the limited-edition box. There are only 25 available to pre-order and pick up on February 13 or 14.

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Paris, the city of light, is one of the most romantic in the world, and dining with Loulou is one of the closest experiences you can get in Sydney. The team has a collection of hampers especially for February 14. Breakfast in bed with granola, madeleines, a rustic batard and French butter; or lavishly picnic with your lover with house-baked crackers, a baguette and selection of charcuterie. Be quick, available to order until midday on Friday February 9.

Sweet Belem

Win February 14 with some of the best Portuguese tarts in the city. Petersham’s Sweet Belem’s got a red-hot box of treats you can have delivered to your mate or date. Four of the perfected custard tarts will arrive, along with two raspberry frangipane hearts and a bottle of Portuguese sparkling rosé.

Never Never Distilling Co

And, while not a Sydney-based spirit house, if you or someone you care for is trying to end the relationship, Never Never Distilling’s Break Up Box is for you. Order it to receive a bottle of its Triple Juniper Gin – and an empty bottle sent to your ex, breaking the break-up news. Yep, send them a bottle of air. Choose from a message – maybe “I can’t wait to not share this with you” or “Roses are red, empty bottles are sad, I’m definitely going to sleep with your dad”. If nothing else, it’ll be effective and you’ll have the juice for a top-notch G&T.