Love, love, love….
Everywhere you look it’s full of hearts, pink stuff, teddy, flowers, candles, lots of chocolates and you add more to the list. It’s that time of the year when we get intoxicated with so much passion. Wait a minute, don’t get me wrong…I got nothing against all of this. I just don’t like artificial things…like the “makeover of love”.
Who decided all of these means love? And why if this is how love gets to be celebrated, it’s only once a year? I’m the least entitled to talk about the love subject. That’s why I’ll better stop here.
But what do you do if you let yourself carried away by all the commercials and the soapy dramas you get to see in this time of the year?
And what if you decide you would like to surprise your other half? You haven’t had the chance to plan it, to budget it or to save for this. But there are still plenty of ideas where to. I would like to share with you some of them because keep in mind that if you don’t make it possible for you, no one else will.
(Ready for a surprise tea party at the castle)
Home sweet home
I wasn’t thinking exactly to stay at home but to see what’s around you that worth exploring.
England is not doing bad at all when it comes to romantic places. It’s true that the weather doesn’t help but no storm will stop two birds like you two.
I know many people born here that never been in London? What?!!…
I love London. It can be very sweet even if you go for one day trip. Trains can be quite expensive but even so you find plenty of deals. Once they had offers for £5 train ticket to London. Of course that’s not something you find every day. We have been a couple of times with National Express coaches. Very comfortable, pretty cheap ( £20 return) and easy to book.
What to do?
– Of course pay a visit to Her Majesty at the Buckingham Palace. It’s a lovely atmosphere when get to see Changing the Guard. The garden in front of the Palace it’s more than any bunch of flowers you can buy for your sweetheart.
(What did I say? It’s the magic of the flowers)
– Get lost in the Westminster Abbey. Actually, what is it more romantic than to be where seventeen royal weddings have taken place over the centuries.
– London Eye. You might not get to see everything in one day but from the wheel you can see most of the city’s landmarks. Situated on the South Bank of river Thames it guarantees you a nice walk and beautiful views.
It’s a lot to impress with in London. The list is quite long and open for your preferences. Perhaps you’ll choose to take pictures next to your favorite Hollywood celebrities in the Madam Tussaud’s wax museum. Also you might want to meet the old Big Ben at the Palace of Westminster (called Houses of Parliament). You’ll find many tourist points, ready to feed you hunger for more.
When I say Cotswolds it’s actually a very big area. It stretches from the border regions of South Warwickshire and Worcestershire, through West Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire, and takes in parts of Wiltshire, Bath and North East Somerset in the south.
(I love the colors, it’s like therapy to me…)
Bourton on Water
I especially like Bourton on Water which is called the “Venice of the Cotswolds,” due to the fact that the River Windrush flows right through the centre of town. I love the old artisan village bakery from here. Their cakes and pastries are delicious and you can have a seat in their riverside garden and relax with your loved one.
Stratford upon Avon
I have said it before but Stratford upon Avon it’s part of the Cotswolds too. What can be more appropriate for celebrating love than to spend a day in the home town of Romeo and Juliet‘s writer? It’s a beautiful drama but at least you can be happy your love story didn’t end that way. After all, Juliet wasn’t meant to die. She only drink that potion in order to cancel an arranged wedding. The potion only make her fall in a deep sleep and everybody thought she is dead. But the one who fabricated the potion, Friar John has been unable to deliver the letter to Romeo informing him of the plan. So when Romeo’s servant brings him news in Mantua that Juliet has died, Romeo is heart-broken. In the end they both die by suiciding themselves.
Still Stratford remains one of my favorite places when it comes to romanticism. It’s got all the secret ingredients for a stunning day out. And one of these ingredients I’m talking about are the rowing boats. You can row past the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and Holy Trinity church and enjoy uninterrupted and unique views from the Avon river or simply take a peaceful trip into the countryside. If you don’t afford a fancy dinner, I suggest to get a picnic basket, stop along the river and fall in love again…and again.
Also a very good thing is that you can come by train in Stratford and it’s quite cheap. So here you go, stop making excuses like you don’t drive and so.
The next one I’ll tell you about it might be quite popular among you guys as a holiday destination by the seaside.
Even if it’s still winter according to the calendar, Barmouth remains as beautiful for me as it’s in the summer.
Why this place? Because the majority of accommodation places are practically on the beach. You can get a cozy room with sea-view in a lovely cottage. Who cares it rains? if it rains? You got the one you love, a cuppa and very large windows from where you feel above this world. Beside that being winter, not many people dare to adventure and the beach look more wild and like it’s been specially created for you. On a clear day the view across to the Lleyn Peninsula is breathtaking. I do recommend walking over the Barmouth Bridge to get a different view of Barmouth.
Again, it’s possible to get here by train. The train station it’s in the center of the village. You can walk to most of the hotels and cottages from here.
Thinking of escaping abroad?
For years it’s been described as “city of love”, as the best place to impress and to be when you deeply in loved. Right…
It is a beautiful city indeed but it might be to much for some of us. Who knows how much you wish to escape, you barely found somebody to baby sit the kids and you dream for that oasis of peace and relax. Paris is nothing close to this. It’s very crowded, it’s unnecessarily expensive and you need time and patience to get the most out of it. Therefore, a weekend in Paris is not something you might be keen for. You can leave it for a bit later in life, when kids start going in camps with school or scouts. The reason is that is so much to do and visit you will regret that you had to queue for most of your time here.
Paris on a rainy day…in front of L’Arc de Triomphe
No matter where you choose to go in Italy, you’ll find it to be probably one of the most romantic countries you ever been.
Maybe you decide to join the Venice Carnival, which is the biggest party of the year and it’s happening now in February. Don’t forget to dress up. The most popular outfits are traditional costumes of 18th century lords and ladies. But Venetian masks have an extensive history and were once worn throughout the year to hide people’s identities. And it’s not just this mister that floats around but they are truly welcoming when it comes to guests. The amazing food they cook, the language…aww, sweet language. Italian it’s the most beautiful language I’ve ever known by now.
Of all the major Romance languages, Italian retains the closest resemblance to Latin. The struggle between the written but dead language and the various forms of the living speech, most of which were derived from Vulgar Latin, was nowhere so intense or protracted as in Italy.
If you ever wondered where the Bolognese pasta it’s coming from, this is the place. The authentic recipe it’s far from what people are cooking here in England as Bolognese. I lived here for a year when I was a student. Had the chance to meet a 87 years old person who was cooking at least once a week the Bolognese pasta. It was something like a ritual. He was going in the morning at the local market, choose his favorite beef meat not the mince and then doing everything at home( chopping the meat, the herbs) Than everything was slow cooked for a couple of hours. The smell of it was absolutely gorgeous.
My favorite places from Bologna are Piazza Maggiore, a place where people use to gather in the 15th century and where the markets where held and also Giardini Margherita. Why? I like Piazza Maggiore because is surrounded by the most important buildings of the medieval city and it’s history at every corner. Giardini Marherita because is the most romantic city park I ever seen. The garden has a surface of 26 hectares and many exotic trees (cedars, pines, horse chestnuts, sycamores, bald cypresses, English oaks, a sequoia). Both of them are free to visit. Therefore, you’ll have to worry about where to stay (you find cheap accommodation like 50-70 euros for a couple a night). And recently, I’ve searched the web and have seen really low price flights. Also you don’t have to worry to much about food. Everywhere you look you find amazing woodfire cooked pizza. A huge one is between €5-€7, let’s say £5. My favorite one is pizza salsicia ( italian sausage). It’s really really good, trust me.
Now, I can tell you about more places I’ve been in Italy as we managed to visit a big part of it. My conclusion is that you can’t fail with Italy, no matter what area you’re going.
More and more…
We lived for another year when Christian was a baby in Turin, which I find it to be amazing. It gives you a chance to get really close of the true Italian taste.
Christian in Turin (Parco Valentino)
We was by the Italian sea side in Rimini and Ravenna. Or try “la dolce vita”of the Tuscany Region. This part of the world impressed me a lot. Everything it’s pure beauty. Their culture is to celebrate and appreciate life. It’s all about art, talent, love, music and wine.
If you decide that home, probably in your garden is the right place for you, that’s wonderful. Just don’t forget love is you, is in you and it can be everywhere and anywhere. Also keep bringing joy, smiles and blessings in your other half’s life. And not only…