Valentines Retreat.

I have a very travel-savvy partner. I’m lucky. He doesn’t freak out about travelling like I seem to. Well, to be honest, he doesn’t freak out about any of the things I seem to.

As we were replacing our kitchen last August, we couldn’t afford the time to travel abroad, having to fit around OH’s leave and fitting the kitchen. We were running about all over the place with things for the house and I had a hissy-fit one night about the RIDICULOUS time it would take to get from Gatwick to Rome, via Russia by the bloody sounds of it. For some reason the airline didn’t have direct flights at the times and dates we wanted them and me being me, refused to go to Rome.

OH likes his holidays. A lot. He didn’t let it stand and we finally decided yes, we’d go somewhere but in the UK. The only way I was going was if I didn’t have to organise it.

‘Surprise me.’ I said. So he did. Bath.

We took the train so I packed a small bag and put my comfy jeans and a slouchy american flag top on. Remember that.

We hopped off the train and preceded to get slightly lost in Bath city centre, which is one of the most beautiful Cities I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting I must say, having grown up around the stunning city of York that’s saying something. After using my trusty Blackberry and it’s smashing Googlemaps we found the right address.

The Royal Cresent Hotel & Spa.

Stepping up the beautiful soft-yellow stone steps to the large and stately front door we were met by a rather smart looking porter. I didn’t have any bags to give him so he took us to the Formal Lounge. Yes, Formal Lounge.

Looking around at the antique furniture and exquisite artworks dating back hundreds of years my heart started to jump. Here I sat, at my surprise weekend away venue, in I-kid-you-not ripped knee bleached jeans and an american flag tee. When the hotel manager came to meet us I thought they had suspected foul-play and were about to chuck us commoners out. Thankfully not, after a surprised once over that was very professionally concealed by the wonderful manager, we were shown to our room on the ground floor which had apparently been upgraded for us. Mortified by my fashion faux-pas we dropped our bags and sat down at our small table for a glass of white wine which had been left in our room for our arrival.

The room was stunning, as was the dining room; sumptuously decorated and very comfotable, with a huge dose of the ‘wow’ factor thrown in. Now, I like nice things but this place for someone like me, is a little daunting. There is Money here. Like Old Money. People are so rich they smell of money in this place, which made me a little uncomfortable. If you can get over that and act the part, which I did eventually, you’ll enjoy every second.

The Spa was our first stop; out in the gardens of the hotel beside the resturant.

Having never been to a spa before but really wishing I’d had an excuse to, I was pleasantly surprised. The luxurious changing facilities gave way to the most beautiful pool and was, to both of our surprise, completely deserted. Heaven.

OH had booked a couples massage for the next morning so we took our time in the steam, sauna, jacuzzi and pool.

That night we went to the onsite resturant.

Our food was superb and beautifully presented although I did feel the tone was a little too quiet and the light a bit too bright. We also had breakfast there both mornings of our stay, one buffet style, one cooked. The picture above shows tables set for breakfast.

The Cresent Hotel’s resturant have a Valentines menu and I must say, this place would be the most incredible couple of days away for this romantic time. We would both highly reccomend the full massage and aromatherapy session too. OH was taken to his treatment room after I had gone and was waiting for me out on the balcony, wrapped in a fluffy white towel with a green tea on my return from the most relaxing experience of my life. Honestly, I didn’t want it to end. It was definitely the joint highlight of our stay.

Treatments usually have to be booked with your room before you arrive just to make sure they can fit you in.

All in all, a wonderful experience as Bath City is an incredible place for shopping as well as eating and drinking out. We visited Bath Abbey and The Roman Baths and found both places reasonably priced on entrance and a great way to sample a bit of much loved history.


Valentines Day Food.

Unfortunately for me, OH is away this year for V-day. Again. In the 5 Valentines Days we’ve been together the poor thing has only actually seen me on one. I know, he’s lost out on so much…

But, despite this, he ALWAYS sends a gift home and a bunch of flowers. I’ve always had that. So really, I get the gifts and don’t have to make conversation all day. There’s always an up side 😉

So this is for those of you who have someone to actually make an effort for this Valentines!

The V-Day meal.

Hmm, depends when you are able to see your loved one through the day but here’s some ideas for Valentines food!


A full English never goes amiss in this house but you could mix things up a bit by making up a lovely big bowl of porridge (to share of course) with chocolate chips/a drizzle of maple syrup/fresh red berries…

Check out the recipefor more info on this one!

Or how about a breakfast muffin? Blueberry is a great all-rounder, if you don’t want to make your own then go ahead and BUY them! Don’t feel you have to hand over flat, tasteless, berry-ridden failures for V-Day breakfast if baking isn’t your strong suit.

The recipe for these lovely looking creations can be found here.

Enough about breakfast. How about…


I’m not sure where the idea of brunch came from but I LIKE IT! HAve a look at these ideas for a late morning to early afternoon meal.

This is a Baked Italian Frittata which includes a combination of hardwood-smoked bacon, ricotta cheese, shredded mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, roasted red bell peppers, caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms and spinach. Heaven.

Find thid recipe by Holly Hanks here. To be honest I’m a fan just from the fact it’s savoury. I love savoury…

Another classic idea is Smoked Salmon and cream cheese bagels. You can buy cream cheese with added flavours now- Garlic, Herbs… or mix up your own. Chive or dill work particularly well with good quality Salmon. You could make up tiny blinis with this idea, savoury pancakes, toasts, add grilled or blanched asparagus to warm it up, the choice is yours and this is such an easy combo as long as you stick to the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) idea you just have to make up a delicious looking and easy brunch.


Now I like the idea of romantic red food… Beetroot soup anyone?

The Veg Box Diaries has a wonderful recipe here for a spiced beetroot soup. You must make sure your beets are small and fresh, they’ll be sweeter and less woody meaning a nicer soup at the end. Supermarkets are catching up with new and unusual recipes so you may find a great ready-made alternative in the shops too.

And who doesn’t love Nachos? You can add anything you like to a topping, don’t just stick to the rules! Chopped grilled smoked bacon, roast shallots, feta cheese… Anything really. Although I do love a good jalepeno pepper or two.

And my FAVOURITE Chicken Club Sandwich. Here’s a great marinated version from

So after all that eating and if you have space for dinner, what should you prepare for a really romantic night in? Firstly, BAN the tv. NO TV for romantic nights. It’s just a zombie-maker…


I think you can go one of two ways here, small foods you can pick and choose and eat at your leisure perched on the coffee table or a full sit-down dinner, three courses and everything.

Personally, I like little dishes, hot and cold, premade and quickly cooked and served. Half the fun in our house is the cooking and preparing, it always takes longer than the eating…

You can’t go wrong with Tapas and has the most fantastic tips and recipes for trying out. The thing with Tapas is to go with your gut, try flavours out that you know have chemistry. I made a tapas dinner for my Parents, Brother and OH with a few measly bits from the fridge- Chicken, Chorizo and Apple fried with a shallot. Simple. Cold cuts of european meat, chunks of delicious cheeses and bowls of hot paprika dusted onion rings, the choice is yours. Add in a Frittata or large chiken, mushroom and chedder Quesadilla and you’re on a roll!

Finish the day’s eating fest with an expensive box of truffles and a large glass of wine and you’re done. You couldn’t not be loved for all of that effort! 😉

Valentines Day Craft Ideas!

I’ve found some wonderful DIY Valentines Day gifts and crafts and wanted to share them here. Some people don’t like the idea of all that commercialism and money-making in retail around this time of year but if you make-it-yourself then there should be no reason not to really enjoy a good excuse to spoil someone you love!

This amazing idea comes from the very talented Amy Huntley at theidearoom. For the tutorial see

Absolutely smashing Valentine Subway Art from todaysfabulousfinds. The download can be found at-

I’d love to see more Subway Art, if you have a design you’d like to share then drop me an email to let me know!

This really cute Printable is courtesy of Oopsey Daisy, you’ll find it here in different colour ways-

There’s so many ways you can use these printables, they’re just so versatile. Here they’ve been used as a framed piece and as sweet Valentines Cards!

I Love this alternative idea for Valentines Cards/Gifts! It’s such a quirky and toungue in cheek idea that I love it! And it’s cheap! I mean, how much does a bag of plastic soldiers cost? Great idea from Jac o’lyn Murphy’s great blog

And last but by no means least…

Brought to us by Helping Little Hands. You can find all the details here-

I LOVE the twig and tiny felt heart decorations too.

Please head over to these blogs, they are wonderful and so full of great ideas and inspiration!