Tag Archive for afternoon tea

Romantic treats for Valentine’s Day

I’m a big fan of Valentine’s Day. In fact, you’ve probably already worked out, I’m a fan of any occasion! But, one that involves me, my husband and a bit of romance is always going to make me happy.

Sopwell House

Sopwell House

As with everything we do, we don’t like to follow the norm and just book a meal out on February 14. We like to find something just a touch different to do – that may even mean dining out on an alternative day that week and then indulging in an intimate meal for two at home on the day of love itself. It doesn’t need to be elaborate or expensive, but it does have to be special.

 

If you’re looking for inspiration to make your Valentine’s Day go with a bang, take a look at these ideas I’ve come across…
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Review: Eric Lanlard’s Afternoon Tea book

I’m a bit of an afternoon tea fan. They’re a beautiful way to celebrate an occasion or to catch-up with friends and loved ones. Whether it be at a vintage tea room, a posh hotel or in my own kitchen, I love the vision of cake stands piled high with goodies and making use of mismatched china.

Eric Lanlard afternoon tea book

I’m also a huge fan of French patissier Eric Lanlard, having worked with him a few times in the past when we both did some work with Sainsbury’s. Mr Robertson and I had the pleasure of sampling his delicious handiwork recently when he provided the cakes for our friends who married live on TV’s This Morning, too.

 

So, being sent a copy of his new book, Eric Lanlard’s Afternoon Tea, packed full of hints, tips and, of course, stunning recipes was a real treat.
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My friend, the This Morning bride!

Do you ever watch those mind-blowing experiences on TV and wonder what it would feel like to be chosen to take part? To be sent on an exotic holiday or take delivery of a luxury car…or have your dream wedding day planned for you. Well, it turns out, those fantasies do become reality for real people!

 

When I spotted ITV’s This Morning was looking to throw a wedding this spring, I knew the exact people who should put themselves forward. My good friend Annie is, thankfully, just coming out the other side of a hellish year, having discovered a lump in her breast while watching a feature on This Morning this time last year urging women to check themselves.

During her 12 months of treatment, losing her hair, feeling poorly and terrified, one thing that kept playing on her mind was maybe never getting the chance to marry her man, Gareth. They had already got engaged, but finances and then Annie’s illness meant any solid plans to become man and wife had to go on the backburner indefinitely.

 

And then came This Morning Throws A Wedding.
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Getaway: A romantic break at The Angel Hotel

It’s been a couple of months since the husband and I have packed a bag and headed off for a romantic break. So, when the opportunity for a road trip to Bury St Edmunds and a stay at The Angel Hotel came up, we were there like a shot.

 

I had spotted this pretty, ivy clad hotel when I visited the Suffolk town for their wonderful Christmas market back in December and had made a mental note to have a stay there sometime. It proved to be the most ideal spot to enjoy a romantic, relaxing getaway, with everything on the doorstep we could need, yet with a calm and peaceful environment to unwind in and just be together. We adore our home, but the fact I missed our Contemporary Suite when we left says it all. And that copper bath, wow.
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Gifts, dates and get-aways: Unique ideas for your sweet Valentine!

As soon as Christmas festivities are over with, my thoughts turn to the first romantic date in the calendar…Valentine’s Day. I love any excuse to turn on the romance and spend some lovey-dovey time with Mr Robertson. Although we don’t tend to splash out on expensive gifts at this time of year, we love finding more thoughtful, meaningful presents which are special to us and our relationship. And, of course, who doesn’t enjoy being taken out or whisked away at any time of year!

 

Stuck for ideas this year? Worry not as here’s a round-up of a few of my favourite finds this Valentine’s…
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Venue: Glamour on the cobbled streets of Rye

You may recall, recently mum and I visited Sussex to check out a couple of wedding venues to tell you about. The first was a beautiful seaside themed hotel right on the beach of Camber Sands. Our next stop was a complete contrast and stunning in a different way.

wedding venue

The George in Rye (www.thegeorgeinrye.com) is a sixteenth century building on the cobbled streets of the medieval town. The Grade II listed bolt-hole offers a wealth of interest for foodies and design lovers, with rooms individually created, each with their own theme.
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Hen: Have a TOWIE or Made in Chelsea hen party!

Go on, admit it, you have a guilty pleasure for scripted reality shows such as The Only Way is Essex and Made in Chelsea! I admit to having dabbled with both, with a particular interest in TOWIE as I live in the heart of Essex myself (no, I don’t drive a Range Rover!).

hen

Now, you can live out your very own reality hen party, thanks to Henparty Academy (http://www.henpartyacademy.co.uk/packages/).
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Venue: Our romantic stay at Hotel du Vin, Tunbridge Wells

One of the many things we loved about our wedding venue was that our nearest and dearest could celebrate with us in the most beautifully homely surroundings. Although the venue was large, it had intimate spaces which meant our wedding had a cosy and comfortable feel to it.

Hotel du Vin

When we were invited to stay at the Hotel du Vin (www.hotelduvin.com), in Royal Tunbridge Wells, I didn’t for a moment realise I would get a similar feel about such a different venue to our own. We married in a Tudor mansion set among 40 acres of parkland, while Hotel du Vin is a converted Georgian mansion with a French feel in the heart of historic Tunbridge Wells town.
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The Shard…as a wedding venue!

Wow is the only word I can say. My husband and I (yep, still love saying that!) were invited to spend 24 hours at the most incredible wedding venue. Standing proud above London’s skyline, The Shard is actually a wedding venue. Who knew!

The Shard

Shangri-La Hotel, at The Shard, (www.shangri-la.com/london) occupies levels 34 to 52 of western Europe’s tallest building.
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My stay at a boutique Norfolk hotel

Last week was my precious mum’s 60th birthday. As my stepdad is in care with Alzheimers, I saw it as my job to make sure she had the most wonderful birthday on his behalf. After a few days of family gatherings and surprises, I whisked mum off to Norfolk to relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

wedding venue

I could not have picked a more perfect base for our three-day trip than Strattons Hotel (www.strattonshotel.com). The small boutique hotel offers rooms, suites and self-catering apartments, as well as a restaurant and cafe deli. While our visit was to celebrate a special birthday, the venue also offers the ideal package for a classy hen weekend or back-drop to an intimate wedding reception.
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