How to plan a real romantic break

Love is in the air here at Warner Leisure Hotels and we’re shouting it from the rooftops. It’ll soon be Valentine’s Day, one of our favourite holidays of the year. The more cynical among you may regard this celebration as something which has become far too commercialised and money-focused. We’re here to tell you otherwise. After all, Valentine’s Day is a day for love, and there are plenty of romantic and thoughtful ways by which you can show your partner just how much you love them. So sit back, relax, and read our guide on how to plan a real romantic break for you and your loved one this Valentine’s Day.

It’s all in the preparation

Everyone knows that Valentine’s Day is the 14th February. So why do so many people leave it until the afternoon of the event itself before deciding how to mark the occasion? A sure-fire way to ensure that your Valentine’s Day runs smoothly this year is to plan plan plan.

Follow these tips to help you organise and execute the perfect surprise romantic getaway:

–          Clear your schedules

This may be tricky if you’re planning a surprise break for you and your loved one. However, you can make life a bit easier for yourself by letting others in on the surprise. If you know one of your partner’s colleagues for example, you could ask for their help with booking time off work, or keeping your partner occupied and out of the house while you complete the preparations.

–          Pick a special location

There are no set rules about where you should spend Valentine’s Day. You may find the likes of Paris or Rome romantic, but the true romantics will find love in the least likely of places. There are plenty of beautiful spots in the UK, with each of the Warner Leisure Hotels properties situated in some of the country’s prime locations. Why not book a trip to somewhere new and exciting? Or better yet, choose a location that has special meaning for the both of you, whether it’s where you had your first date or where you grew up together.

–          Book your trip in advance

As Valentine’s Day is such a popular holiday, hotels can quickly get booked up. Make sure that you secure a room at the location of your choice by booking your stay plenty of time before the occasion. You can also enquire about entertainment or onsite activities at your time of booking. Here at Warner Leisure Hotels, our aim is to cater for your every need, which is why you’ll find a wide range of evening entertainment and onsite leisure facilities available. We also serve up fine-dining experiences in our excellent onsite restaurants – ideal for treating your loved one to the perfect Valentine’s Day meal.

–          Remember to be flexible

A bit of spontaneity never hurt anyone so remember to leave some time in your schedule for impromptu trips or languorous lie-ins. Ask your loved one what they want to spend the day doing – it could be something as simple as sharing breakfast in bed. This is your time together, so enjoy simply spending quality time with each other.

–          Pack some treats

Of course, if you’re booking a surprise trip away, you’ll need to take care of the bag packing. For gentleman this may be a little tricky. Try to picture the various outfits that your partner wears for casual days and choose a few items which she usually reserves for special occasions. Don’t forget to pack underwear, make-up, and toiletries. You could also pack a couple of extra treats such as a fancy bottle of wine or some posh bubble bath.

Romantic activities around the UK

Many people make the mistake of assuming that you have to go abroad to find romance. That’s not the case. Be inspired by the great romantic couples throughout history, both legendary and literary. Think of the likes of Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett, of Robin Hood and Maid Marian, or of Prince William and Kate. You can find romance simply by walking in the stunning UK countryside, gazing up at the night time stars, or enjoying a picnic for two. Let’s take a look at some of the most romantic activities around the UK.

–          Nottingham rowboats

Head to Lakeside in Nottingham and hire a rowboat. You can be as cheesy as you like, reciting old poetry while gazing into each other’s eyes, or simply taking in the picturesque scenery as you glide across the lake. There’s even a café where you can enjoy a warming cup of coffee and a slice of freshly baked cake

–          Bike riding in Malton, North Yorkshire

If you’re looking for somewhere with truly spectacular scenery, look no further than Malton, in North Yorkshire. Hire a couple of bikes and take a picnic. You don’t have to ride particularly far, just enough to find the perfect secluded spot. Return to one of our luxurious properties in the evening and settle down for a night’s entertainment of nostalgic music that takes you back to when you first got together.

–          Mottisfont, Hampshire

This romantic stone house and its surrounding gardens ooze charm. You can take a walk along the river, marvel at the 60,000 spring bulbs which are planted here, or explore the artistic treasures homed in the resident art gallery. And if you’re feeling peckish afterwards, why not stop off at the kitchen café for a bite to eat.

Open times

Garden: 10-4pm

Kitchen café: 10-4pm

Art gallery: 11-5pm

House: closed

–          Go to the seaside

Yorkshire boasts some truly charming coastline. Being romantic is all about he thought you put in. anyone can buy a box of chocolates and a bunch of flowers. Whisking your loved one to the beach and stirring up memories form the past will create a perfect romantic setting. Whether you choose to stroll along the sand, hand in hand or eat fish and chips from old sheets of newspaper, you’re guaranteed to enjoy the delights of the pure and simple romance of Yorkshire.

Special touches

Pull out all the stops this Valentine’s Day and give your loved one a real treat. You won’t have to venture further than your hotel to give your partner a day to remember this year, as we’ve got a large selection of packages to choose from to add some extra sparkle to your stay. From as little as £12.95, you can add wine, chocolates, flowers and confetti to your stay – ideal for giving your loved one a little extra surprise and for creating a truly special break. Take a look at the full selection of extra touches to choose the best package for you.

Romantic food

We mentioned earlier that our onsite restaurants offer you the full works when it comes to fine dining. However you may prefer to organise food yourself one night. Here are some of our all-time favourite romantic food options – this is a great idea if you’re organising a surprise for the man in your life, as they say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.

–          Breakfast

Poached eggs on toast

It’s really easy to make poached eggs on toast, so you don’t have to be a culinary expert for this to work. As it is Valentine’s Day however, we think it’s romantic to go with a heart theme. Use a heart shaped cookie cutter to make a love heart shape in the toast, and cook your egg inside it.

Pancakes and syrup

If your loved one has a bit of a sweet tooth, you can’t go wrong with pancakes. Again, shape them into love hearts and drizzle over some golden syrup. Decorate with raspberries for the finishing touch.

–          Lunch

Steak salad

This option gives you the best of both worlds – it is low in calories for those watching their waistline and utterly delicious for meat lovers. Plus it’s not too filling so you can save room for pudding. Buy frying steak cut into strips and lightly cook on both sides for a minute. Serve on a bed of salad with a little honey and mustard dressing.

–          Dessert

Baked goodies

Why not indulge your love of baking by whipping up a batch of love heart cookies or some cherry jam tarts? For the cookies, take inspiration from the love heart sweets and pipe sweet messages for your loved one. The jam tarts of course require that handy heart shaped cutter again.

There are plenty of romantic food ideas to be found – a simple Google search will come up with hundreds of options so you can tailor your menu according to your preferred dishes.

Making Valentine’s Day more meaningful

It’s all too easy at this time of the year to get caught up in the love bubble and assume that the amount of money you spend correlates directly with your love for your partner. This year, we’re encouraging couples to move away from the idea that you have to spend a fortune and instead focus on the little special touches that show your true feelings. After all, the best things in life can be free.

Here are some ideas to help you make this Valentine’s Day more meaningful:

–          Throw confetti around and write a special message of love

Select a card which gives you plenty of writing space. Think of all the reasons why you love your partner and write them down. You could even think up a sweet little poem if you’re feeling creative. The night before Valentine’s Day, sprinkle the table with love heart shaped red confetti and place the card in your loved one’s seat – watch their face light up as they read your declaration of love. Trust us, this is far more romantic than buying a bunch of half price flowers, and a thousand times more thoughtful and imaginative than buying a box of heart shaped chocolates.

–          Hide some Valentine’s notes

Get your hands on a pack of blank index cards and write a cute message on each one. It could be anything from “I love you” to “I’m going to cook your favourite meal tonight”. Hide them in places where your partner will go throughout the day, such as under the cover of their laptop, on the fridge, or in their lunch box. Little notes like this will keep your partner smiling the whole day long.

–          Create a photobook

Buy a scrapbook and scour the internet for some inspiring quotes. Look for sayings or quotes from famous people which remind you of your loved one and your relationship. Then get to work browsing through some of your old photos and choose one photo per quote. Stick a photo on each page of the book and write your chosen quote underneath. You could leave a few pages blank for them to fill in themselves.

As you can see, Valentine’s Day is about more than just flashy gestures and over the top declarations of love. Show you loved one how precious they are to you this year by booking the ultimate treat – a surprise Valentine’s break, complete with a few special touches chosen (or handmade) by you.

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