5 unusual romantic weekend mini break destinations
Whether you’re looking to rekindle the romance, or light the first sparks, a weekend getaway is a great way to bring a little fiery passion into your love life. Getting away from it all and seeing somewhere new gives the two of you some much needed private time to focus on one another.
The usual suspects, like London, Edinburgh, Bath and York, are undoubtedly great. But as you walk hand in hand down Portobello Road, it can all feel a bit clichéd. Retracing those same steps that a million couples before you have already tread. Chances are, if you look behind you you’re likely going to see at least one more set of lovers actually walking down that same road. Sometimes, the greatest joys in life come from doing something a bit different.
Blackpool might not the first place that jumps to your mind when you think romance. The sun, sea and sand have made it a classic getaway for rambunctious parties, long weekends with your friends and for a traditional British summer holiday. Heading there out of season though, on a trip hoping to inspire a bit of romance? Now that really is something a bit different.
However, behind the stereotypical image there’s a town full of charm, culture and a surprising amount of intimacy. Tear yourself away from gazing in one another’s eyes for a minute and admire the fine collection of watercolours at the Grundy gallery. Go for a long walk through Stanley park in the sunshine and, if the weather permits, take a picnic basket full of goodies. There’s plenty of excellent produce on offer in the town centre, including some killer pastries. They say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach but we’ve found it to be a pretty gender neutral way to put a smile on someone’s face. Finish your night with a show at the Grand Theatre or get truly classy and head to the opera house.
Where to stay: Number One Saint Luke’s
Away from the hustle and bustle of Blackpool pier, Number One Saint Luke’s is nestled in the quiet little area of South Shore. It’s ideally situated to escape the crowds and catch your breath, especially during the busier months. No matter when you head down
A classic for a raunchy weekend of fun and partying, Brighton has long been the go-to for those that fancy a bit of eyebrow raising pleasure by the sea. Whilst there’s nothing wrong with sending the neighbours scurrying for their earplugs every now and again, the town has a much sweeter side that’s less often shouted about.
Dinner at Silo is sure to set the mood. The zero-waste restaurant is so squeaky clean in its ethics that most diners leave with a beaming smile on their faces, inspired by the infectious enthusiasm of its plant based menu. The food is also stellar, looking to highlight fruit and vegetables over meat, although the latter is not entirely missing from the menu. Instead of allowing it to dominate, the talented team at Silo use meat much like another restaurant might use a vegetable: to make a great sauce or to accentuate a core ingredient. It’s rarely, if ever, the focus and this unusual style of dining is sure to spark some conversation at the dinner table. Sharing a great meal almost feels like cheating when it comes to creating romance: sharing those lingering glances over candlelight, the great conversation, all the ingredients needed for an unforgettable night.
If that all sounds a little wishy washy for you, then you can always head out to the Lucky Voice karaoke bar and sing the night away. Even the most reserved of couples can find themselves belting out a classic after a bottle of wine or two (or three…) You can try singing a barnstorming bit of hair metal together – Pour Some Sugar on me is a delightfully cheesy way to flirt with your partner. Or you can stare deep into their eyes and croon the sweetest song your vocal chords can pull off. Don’t worry if you can’t hit all (or any) of the notes, remember that scene in My Best Friend’s Wedding where Kimberly serenades Michael with her remarkably off-key rendition of “I just don’t know what to do with myself”? Of course, you do, it’s a rom-com staple. That could be you.
Where to stay: Blanch House
The afternoon tea has its place. Cream tea on the other hand, that’s where it’s at. Thick slabs of fluffy scone, indulgently luscious clotted cream, beautifully fruity jam (raspberry or strawberry only please). It’s a full-bodied, no holds barred bit of indulgence, a forbidden tryst you know is bad for you but simply can’t resist. It’s romance in calorific form