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For the ultimate romantic, gastronomic experience, Hotel Chais Monnet & Spa offer the best of regional French cuisine at the Michelin starred fine-dining restaurant Les Foudres. Head Chef Marc Antoine Lepage creates show stopping seasonal menus using the best local produce (sample dishes include organic farm eggs cooked at low temperature with truffled pecorino cream and organic roasted saddle of lamb from Poitou-Charentes). Les Foudres greets its guests with an entrance of towering tonneaux, or cognac casks, before they enter more intimate dining areas to indulge in multi course tasting menus and wine pairings. Inviting guests to a unique dining experience amongst the ancient Cognac barrels in the building’s historic ‘chais’, they are fully immersed in the building’s architecture and industrial past.
Down Hall Hotel, Spa & Estate, Essex
Love is in the air at Down Hall Hotel, Spa & Estate with the property’s magical ‘Eat Stay Love’ package. Located in the picturesque Essex countryside, the package includes an overnight stay in one of Down Hall’s luxurious bedrooms, a delicious three-course dinner made even more intimate with a live pianist in the Garden Room restaurant, and a delightful aperitif of a ‘Love’ cocktail. After a great night’s sleep, enjoy a buffet breakfast the following morning and then take a romantic stroll around the hotel’s 110 acres of beautifully manicured grounds.
Horwood House & H Spa, Buckinghamshire
If you’re looking for a relaxing, romantic break with the one you love, stunning Grade-II listed Buckinghamshire property Horwood House will pull-out all the stops with a range of dedicated stay and spa day packages. Whether enjoying a romantic overnight stay with or visiting for the day, each package includes a luxurious treatment with Caudalie natural products in the hotel’s brand-new H Spa, alongside unlimited use of the wet and thermal spa facilities.
The Travel Insider
As someone who’s spent their life sharing their passion for travel with others, I’m delighted to welcome you to my new monthly travel column. To introduce myself, I’m Phil Aird-Mash, and I have the wonderful job of CEO at the ITC Travel Group, which includes the Inspiring Travel Company based in Chester along with a collection of other specialist brands. From luxury beach holidays to wildlife encounters, live sports events and off-the-beaten-track tours, we cover only the most incredible travel experiences out there. Each month, I’ll be sharing with you our expert insights on where to find the best places to enjoy a holiday or adventure. For this issue, with love very much being in the air, I’ll be sharing some ideas on where to spend a romantic break.
So, where better to start than with the Maldives? There’s perhaps nowhere else in the world quite as romantic as these luxurious islands. One of my favourite resorts here is the incredible Milaidhoo resort, where I recommend staying in an open-walled Beach Residence for incredible views over your own private infinity pool. Visit between May and October to see manta rays swimming in the bay, or arrange for a secluded sandbank picnic for something truly memorable. Jade Mountain in St Lucia is also perfect for a romantic escape. The resort’s sanctuaries offer unbeatable views over the iconic Pitons; if you’re feeling active, you can take a hike through the rainforest together, or head out for a rejuvenating dip in the sulphur springs. For those who dream of tying the knot, Jade Mountain also offers wedding packages, effortlessly taking care of all legal proceedings for you. For a getaway in September or October, Santorini is heaven. Split your time between two hotels, such as Vedema and Mystique, to get the most out of your stay. Don’t miss Vedema’s incredible 400-year-old wine cave for a wonderfully atmospheric romantic dinner. Then, for the best sunset views, head to Oia’s castle, where you’ll look out over the windmills and white-washed buildings as the sky lights up in its famed shades of orange and pink – an unforgettable moment.