When was the last time you planned something truly special for your partner? For their next important date, whether it's a birthday or anniversary celebration, why not surprise them with an experience to remember? Here are some tips and ideas for the perfect romantic escape for two. Naturally, our suggestions are likely to have a South Wales bias- but the same rules apply wherever you are.
Use the element of surprise
Ok, so it's one of the oldest tricks in the book, but springing a total surprise or whisking someone away on an unexpected journey is always exciting. The key to the latter is to make sure he or she is off on the day(s) in question, while you play it cool until the critical moment. By all means ham it up a bit to accentuate the surprise… perhaps they think they're required to sign a load of boring documents at the bank, or endure an encounter with the mother-in-law?
Go somewhere completely new
It’s not domestic politics that kill romance most these days so much that deadly word “habit”. So do yourselves a favour and break with it. If you always nip down to Devon or The Lake District, go somewhere totally different. The UK alone has a thousand and one magical destinations. A little tragically, many of us only explore a tiny fraction of them. Be brave and go boldy forth next time!
Think of experiences rather than things
There are some gifts which are never forgotten; unfortunately few of them can be bought "off the peg". They require more thought. Perhaps this is why more and more of us are looking less for solid, tangible things but experiences themselves these days. If it is a really special occasion and you have some initiative, the sky is the limit. Perhaps a hot air balloon ride, a private cruise, a close encounter with their favourite wildlife or something totally out of the ordinary?
One of the hardest qualities of all to find for couples these days is simple peace and quiet. That spot where it’s just the two of you, free of phones, Facebook and emails. The answer is simple: use a map and your feet to find some wilderness. In some areas this is easier than others. Here in South Wales, look no further than the Glamorgan Heritage Coast for stunning -and often deserted- beaches. Take a picnic; take a bottle of wine; switch off that mobile and go AWOL for a few hours together. It’s not only good for romance, but good for the soul.
Love and learn together
For so many of us, life becomes far too busy to try all the things we might enjoy. For virtually all of us though, there is an activity or craft we have always fancied but just never got round to. It could be learning to surf or painting watercolours. It might be offroad driving or pottery. The specific activity matters less than the great enjoyment of learning or experiencing something new alongside the one you love. Most regions have stacks of special workshops and one day courses these days too, to say nothing of the huge range of gift experiences that can be had at the click of a mouse. Simple conclusion: stop putting off that thing they've always liked the look of and book it today!
Retrace your roots
If you are celebrating a really significant milestone such as a big birthday or landmark anniversary, it can be great fun to turn back the clock again. You could return to the very first place you met or had your first date, for example. Another great trick is to go back to the location a really early picture of the two of you was taken and try creating a new version! The results could be truly romantic, hilarious, or both.
Dine like a King and Queen
Most of us are creatures of habit when it comes to dining out, even on a birthday or anniversary. As for special occasion dining, well, the clue is in the word “special”! You only live once, so treat your partner to the best on your next special occasion. It doesn’t matter if it looks “a bit posh” and yes, you are definitely allowed something from the cocktail menu. Two simple rules to abide by: the recipient must not pass up anything they fancy (including a dessert) and under no circumstances are they to look at the bill, let alone settle it. If spice is your thing, you could always dine with us at the Bokhara Brasserie, long regarded as one of the best Indian restaurants in Wales and the UK...
Book the best
When was the last time you booked a really decadent stay somewhere? For once, stuff the money saving and get something amazing. Swap the Travelodge for a four star hotel and take the bridal suite, along with whatever else you fancy. Breakfast in bed? Flowers and chocolates? Hot tub session? Stop counting the pennies and count the smiles instead. Or if you must count the pennies, shop around for best value. Outside peak season you'll often find even the best hotels offer special deals and lower rates.
Court Colman Manor: Perfect for romantic getaways and breaks for two in South Wales
Court Colman Manor is one of the most romantic hotels Wales can offer. A lavish wedding venue with stunning surroundings, the hotel is also a wonderful place to enjoy special breaks for two. Situated in Bridgend, South Wales, guests love the rural location and stunning nearby coast. However, we are also within just a modest drive of Cardiff, Swansea and Newport, making us an ideal location for a last minute romantic escapes! Keep an eye on our Facebook page for the latest news, hotel deals and more.