romance

A Perfect Valentine’s Day Tea

Sometimes the hype surrounding Valentine’s Day can be a little bit overwhelming.  I for one have not been out for a Valentine’s Day dinner…ever I think.  All too often I find that on days like Valentine’s Day there are overpriced set menus and too much “keeping up with the Jones’”.  I prefer a quiet evening meal at home or a perfect Valentine’s Day tea.  As an Amazon Associate, we earn a commission from qualifying purchases.  Some of the links on this post are affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and make a purchase we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more here. For me, planning a perfect Valentine’s Day tea for your loved one is a truly thoughtful way to celebrate your connection. In this blog, we will provide you with all the information and links you will need to help you craft a romantic and delightful experience. Plan Your Table Decoration Choose a colour palette that reflects love and romance. I like pink and gold hues rather than the traditional Valentine’s red.  For me, it looks softer and classier.  Use tablecloths and napkins such as these and use your china plates and best glassware.  I also love these rose gold cake stands to elegantly display your cake and sandwiches. Add a further touch of elegance and romance by arranging a beautiful bouquet of fresh flowers in the center of the table. Roses, tulips, or peonies are perfect Valentine’s choices but if your partner has a particular favourite then go for those. This rose gold vase would look stunning as a table centrepiece. Set the mood for a romantic tea with candles. Use a mix of tea lights  and candlesticks to create a warm and intimate atmosphere. You can also consider scented candles with subtle floral or fruity fragrances or ones which complement your flower arrangement choice. Create a playlist of your favourite romantic tunes to play softly in the background. The right music can enhance the overall experience and set a romantic tone. Plan Your Menu Here’s our suggested menu for a perfect Valentine’s Day tea.  The recipes have been designed for just two portions but, if you are not big eaters then you may have a little leftover for another special treat the next day.  Double result! Mini Sandwiches Start off your perfect Valentine’s Day tea with a selection of mini sandwiches. I would have 3 different sandwich options such as:: Biscuits and Cakes Moving on to the sweets, you can’t go wrong with these Strawberry Jam Shortbreads by Baked Ambrosia. Follow this with delicious Red Velvet Cupcakes by Dessert For Two. Next, let’s switch it up with our Lemon Curd and Raspberry Cheesecake for Two. Finally, who can say no to chocolate-dipped strawberries and Champagne? Chocolate Dipped Strawberries This is such a simple yet elegant, delicious and “healthy-ish” treat (come on, it’s got strawberries in it lol!) For a romantic tea platter for two, serve around 8-10 chocolate-dipped strawberries. To prepare the chocolate dip, melt around 180-300g (6-8 oz) of high-quality chocolate in a heatproof bowl over simmering water or use a microwave in short intervals, stirring in between. Dip each strawberry into the melted chocolate, allowing any excess to drip off, and place them on parchment paper to set. Optionally, you can add a drizzle of white chocolate or sprinkle with chopped nuts for an extra special touch. Champagne A bottle of chilled Champagne is the perfect finishing touch to this already spectacular Valentine’s Day tea experience.  It’s the thoughtful details that make all the difference By putting effort into planning a perfect Valentine’s Day tea, you’re sure to create a memorable and cherished moment for both you and your loved one. Cheers to love and delightful afternoons! Sharing Is Caring: Related Articles You Might Enjoy:

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20 Summer Romance Reads

20 Summer Romance Reads 2023

It’s June, which means summer is upon us. I am a winter kinda gal, but I can’t deny that during the summer I get a lot of reading done. I spend many hours at the beach, which gives me the perfect excuse to be unsociable and lose myself in a book, or two. So right now is the ideal time to start planning our summer reading lists. With that in mind let us dive into these 20 summer romance reads. As an Amazon Associate, we earn a commission from qualifying purchases.  Some of the links on this post are affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and make a purchase we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more here. 20 Summer Reads – The Romance Edition I have divided these book recommendations into two lists. The rom-com list is light, funny and witty with some sexual tension thrown in the mix. Followed by the contemporary romance list. With these books, you can expect, slow burn romance, drama, more sexual tension and at times a whole lot of heartbreak.  Out of the twenty books on this post, I’ve read sixteen of them. The ones I haven’t are listed at the bottom of each list with a note, to let you know that they are the ones on my TBR (to be read) list for the summer. RomComs, The Laugh Out Loud Food For My Soul 1. It Happened One Summer – Tessa Bailey Piper has a perfect life. Or so it seems on her social accounts. Step-daughter to a successful businessman, she has everything she wants and then some. One night one of her wild shenanigans gets out of hand and lands her in jail.  When Piper gets home after being bailed out by her younger (and much more sensible) sister Hannah,  she is in for a shock.  Her step-father has had enough and is sending her away to her birth town, to run a local dive bar left to her by her late father. In other words, Piper needs to fend for herself. But how is she supposed to pull it off? After all, it’s not like she has had to work a day in her life.  When she arrives at the fishing village of Westport, with Hannah by her side, Piper is appalled by her new living quarters. How is she supposed to sleep in a bunk bed, in a flat that is smaller than her walk-in closet in LA? And is she going to have to cook? Luckily most of the local townspeople are welcoming except for the hot grumpy fisherman who just doesn’t seem to like her…..at all!!! He obviously has a problem with Piper, and all she can do is count down the days until she can go back to LA and her high-profile life. 2. Things We Never Got Over – Lucy Score Naomi Witt arrives in the rough-around-the-edges town of Knockemout, Virginia after escaping her seemingly ‘perfect’ wedding. Her excuse? She is running to the rescue of her estranged twin, Tina.  Unfortunately for Naomi, she soon realises that her evil twin hasn’t changed at all. Tina steals Naomi’s car and cash and also leaves her to provide and care for her 11-year-old daughter. A niece, Naomi had no idea existed. She finds herself stuck in this town with no job, no plans, no home and a big bundle of extra responsibility. Local barber Knox likes the simple life. He stays away from complications or high-maintenance women, especially romantic ones. But when the new girl in town Naomi runs into him, with her life out of control, he feels he has no choice but to help her out of her jam. Once she gets back on her feet, he can leave her alone and get back to his simple life. Right? 3. Love On The Brain- Ali Hazelwood Bee finds herself in an impossible situation. She has been offered the opportunity of a lifetime. A chance to work on a neuro-engineering project, a dream come true. Downside? She has to work along with her nemesis Levi, a NASA engineer with whom she doesn’t exactly share a good history. Not wanting to give up on her dream job, Bee accepts the offer. But when her equipment starts to go missing, the staff ignore her and her emails are never answered, she swears she can feel Levi softening into an ally.  It doesn’t take long for their relationship to evolve into more than just work colleagues. Bee will question everything she has ever believed about the handsome Levi Ward. 4. The Unhoneymooners – Christina Lauren It seems to Olive she always ends up with the short end of the stick. Unlucky is how she best describes herself. On the other hand, her identical twin Ami seems to have all the luck in the world. So much so, that she manages to win a series of competitions that ultimately provide her with her dream wedding.  Although Olive couldn’t be happier for her sister, she isn’t exactly thrilled about having to spend time with the best man, Ethan. She doesn’t like him and he doesn’t like her.  As luck would have it, or not, everyone who attends the wedding ends up with food poisoning from eating shellfish, everyone that is except Olive and Ethan.  An expensive (although free) honeymoon is us for grabs and seeing as the bride and groom are currently indisposed, Olive and Ethan reluctantly take up the offer to go in their stead. However, when they arrive in paradise, Olive runs into her future boss. In an attempt to impress him, she tells him a little white lie, one that ultimately spirals out of control. As she and Ethan play the role of newlyweds, Olive finds herself enjoying the forced proximity of their well-schemed lie. Could it be that there is more to Ethan than she thought? Or is he a pro at the pretending game?

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Romantic Weekend Away

Romantic Weekend Away – La Cala Resort

February seemed like the perfect month for a romantic weekend away. For starters, most of us have recovered from the crazy spending that occurred in December. Secondly, if you travel nearby (as in drive to the destination) the cost can be reasonable and peak season is still a few months away. My husband and I rarely go away for Valentine’s Day. It’s either his shift pattern at work getting in the way or family commitments. It never seems to happen. The last time we went away for Valentine’s weekend was in 2016. This year though, we did manage it.  Because of work,  we could only manage one night, so we decided to go a few days before Valentine’s, mostly to avoid the hustle and bustle of the actual day.  La Cala Resort – Our Romantic Weekend Away Every year without fail, we go away for 4 or 5 days to what we consider our happy place. I’m talking about La Cala Resort. A beautiful Andalusian hotel, nestled cosily in the Sierra De Mijas – Spain.  With its breathtaking views, amazing golf courses and Hydrotherapy Health Spa, La Cala Resort has undoubtedly become our favourite hotel in Andalucia.  This year we decided that a visit in February wouldn’t go amiss.  Our Happy Place The rooms in La Cala Resort are comfortable and clean and the best part is the outdoor terrace and the incredible views.  For us, getting away from our everyday life is all about peace, chilling and indulging in good food. We love sitting on our room’s outside terrace. I will read a good book whilst my husband listens to a football match on his phone’s radio or just enjoys the scenery. A nice glass of wine is often part of the ritual. We obviously couldn’t enjoy the outside space in February. It wasn’t only cold, but quite windy too. Nevertheless, we still enjoyed a good dose of the fresh outdoors. Hydrotherapy Health Spa I cannot emphasise enough how much I love the spa at La Cala Resort. The circuit consists of the hammam and herbal steam rooms, the garden crystal sauna (with views to one of the golf courses, an igloo room and relaxation rooms. The indoor and outdoor pools provide amazing views over the complex. Both pools provide water jets for a full-body experience. They have a great menu of treatments and massages available too.  These need to be booked beforehand. Also available are the Spa Boutique, a hair salon and a fully equipped gym.  I have often told family and friends that the spa’s outside pool, overlooking the golf course, as the sun sets is indeed my favourite place on earth. I feel so at peace and so blessed every time I’m there.  La Cala Golf I don’t play golf, much to my husband’s dismay. In my defence, I have given it a go, but I’m no good at it. My husband, on the other hand, loves golf. With a handicap of 13, he will play the sport at any chance he gets. On many occasions during our summer stays, Dave has left me chilling by the pool with a mojito in one hand and a book in the other, whilst he has gone off to play 18 Holes.  The resort offers three different golf courses. Whilst I have never played, I can say that I have walked all three of them. A favourite activity of ours is to put on our trainers and go for a long walk along a golf course, just as the sun is setting. It’s one way to burn all the extra calories, and the scenery makes it an experience.  The Outdoor Pool Staying over in February meant no sunbathing and no pool. Needless to say, during our summer stays, this is where I spend most of my time. The pool bar, Limonada, provides snacks, smoothies, ice cream, alcohol…..anything you need to make your holiday as relaxing as possible. The staff is always friendly and willing to help. Those who know me by now, know that without a shadow of a doubt the most likely thing I will be doing whilst sunbathing is….reading!! Every time we go to La Cala I read approximately three books. It’s the perfect combination of total chill and indulging in my favourite hobby. Whilst this time round there wasn’t any sunbathing involved, I still managed to get some reading done. It’s such a peaceful setting, that it’s impossible to not relax completely. La Cala Resort Boasts Five Restaurants During the summer, we eat breakfast and lunch at the pool restaurant.  Breakfast is always of a high standard and with an impressive selection. For lunch, we always prefer to have a light snack. The Clubhouse Sandwich is my husband’s favourite.  We like to alternate dinner locations, depending on how many nights we are away. One night we will indulge in the beautiful food provided by La Bodega Tapas & Grill, another evening we will enjoy dining al fresco at La Terraza Restaurant. Another alternative is dinner at the Clubhouse Restaurant.  On occasion, we have visited the town of La Cala De Mijas. It’s a 10-minute drive from the hotel and the town boasts a grand selection of restaurants, many of them specialising in seafood.  A nice meal followed by a walk and homemade ice cream from the local parlour is always a great way to end the day. For our Valentine’s trip, we had lunch at the Clubhouse Restaurant. The quality of the food is always of high standards, and this time round was no exception. Time To Go Home It was a very short trip, but it was just what we needed. By Sunday morning we were driving home, relaxed and batteries fully charged for the week ahead. Sometimes all we need is a change of scenery, a break from routine. My husband and I will try and go away a few times during the year. Yes, we always make it a point to go on

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