Valentine’s Day can be a strange one.
To single boys and girls it’s probably just another frivolous day full of irritating reminders of what you’re missing. Or maybe not.. I mostly remember silly nights of champagne and pillow fights with the girls – one of the best ways to spend it til you find your other half. For others though it might mean another little date in the diary to stop and take a breath in this madly busy world and show your loved one just how much they mean. Whether that means going all out with roses, champagne and a romantic getaway, or snuggling up in pjs and enjoying a cosy night in – or even ignoring the hype altogether, because let’s face it, when you’ve got that really special person in your life then every day is probably treated like Valentine’s.
This year, with a rare three days off from rugby, Jamie surprised me with a romantic trip to the Cotswolds where we stayed right in the centre of the pretty little town of Stow-on-the-Wold, in a cosy hotel called The Old Stocks Inn. Definitely a place worth making a special trip for – the hotel was super cosy, very convenient being right in the town square and full of the friendliest staff. And the little town itself is bursting at the seams with gorgeous little antique shops, filled with some perfect props that we picked up for our foodie ventures and photography, beautiful independent retail boutiques, cosy coffee shops and a handful of wonderful art galleries where we spent hours chatting to the owners and browsing their pieces.
After exhausting ourselves in the shops, we stopped off for a bite of traditional afternoon tea in Lucy’s tearoom, a snug little tearoom on market square where the window glows enticingly on a gloomy snowy afternoon, and it didn’t disappoint.
Three triumphant layers of indulgence arrived, a truly yummy spread to fill hungry tummies on a wintry day.
After a wonderful night at the hotel, we enjoyed a delicious breakfast, the full English followed by an extravagance of fresh pastries.
And finally we set off for Daylesford Farm. If you don’t know what and where Daylesford is, it’s worth being acquainted.
We could have spent the whole day walking round the place. A feast for the eyes, all the products in their delicatessen are organic, oh-so-scrummy and beautifully packaged, while their homewares section is brimming with pretty, functional pieces, cookbooks and tableware. The cafe boasts a menu bursting with organic goodness and you can be sure that everything you eat is sourced ethically and humanely – the only way that farming should be done in my opinion, and the reason that all the food we buy at home is soil association certified organic from respectable farms.
And if you’ve not spent far too much money or made a thousand excuses for the mountain of ‘gifts’ you’ve bought and can barely carry home, why not blame shopping exhaustion for a plausible need for a pampering session in their Bamford Haybarn spa retreat to round off the day. We headed home at last enjoying the beautiful scenery of the Cotswolds in the snow, and after a gorgeous romantic weekend away, Tuesday brought with it an exquisite bouquet of long stemmed red roses along with a love letter to greet me on the doorstep…
…followed by beautifully seared fillet steaks, a scattering of rose petals and a bottle of Bollinger’s finest – it has to be said, the boy didn’t do too bad!
So what do you reckon about Valentine’s Day? Did you paint the house pink? Or just snuggle down with champagne and a film?