They say that diamonds are a girl's best friend; and should any knight in shining armour come galloping up to me with a great big dazzling rock, I can't say I'd hesitate to accept the gorgeous gift. The likelihood of such a happening is pretty remote, so I guess I'd settle for a romantic gesture at a more moderate level. I would not consider myself spectacularly high maintenance, but I do like a man to make an effort; something a bit beyond a bunch of wilted carnations from a garage forecourt with an accompanying box of maltesers! Although a 24 carat dazzler may be out of the question, there is a comfortable compromise to suit everybody's taste.
A stay away in a boutique hotel can spice up the love life of anyone with a heart. Just getting away from the daily routines of washing and cooking can re-ignite the passion that has fallen by the practicality wayside, to bring back the dreamy eyed lover within. Booking into a romantic room for two, where there are no domestic distractions is guaranteed to be a boost for any relationship, and there are plenty of little extras that can be arranged to make the stay a little bit more memorable.
When planning a week or weekend away with a loved one, choosing the right destination can make all the difference romantically. Ideally choose to use an agency that specialises in romantic breaks, the hotels will be located in areas notorious for amorous antics and will have the facilities that add that extra bit of romance to the stay. Popular European destinations are Paris and Milan for a chic treat, or for somewhere a little more cosy and secluded, a cottage in the Cotswolds is a great place to snuggle up.
Specialist romantic boutiques will have large double beds with luxurious bedding and an en suite Jacuzzi to fit two. Make the most of room service and have chilled bottles of champagne delivered to the suite and pop the cork to enjoy the bottle of bubbly in the bubbly tub for two. For the extra touch of romance, book a table for a candle lit dinner in the hotel restaurant. Once again, choosing to book a place to stay through a specialist agent will guarantee the right atmosphere to smooch and dine with wine, with a menu to match. To get in the mood for a night of passion, order foods that are said to tickle the love buds! Oysters are a well known aphrodisiac, and a great dish to share. If you're not too fond of seafood, then a dish of asparagus is a great alternative. For desert, a simple dish of strawberries is said to have the desired effect.
If the choice of destination is in one of the many romantic cities or beaches in the world, make the most of getting outside to soak up a vibrant atmosphere or the heady haze of a setting sun. For some, the thrill of city night life will get the blood pumping, so a city break to Barcelona will be full of passion, injected with a taste of the exotic. If you like a little more privacy, then choosing a place that has long walks by waterfalls and mountains or wide open beaches can offer the romantic seclusion you are looking for.
Jetting off to sunny spots or secluded log cabins is a great way to show someone how you feel; but there are a couple of basic points that must not be overlooked, or your gesture may seem empty. It's back to the simple stuff of a beautiful bunch of flowers, and a pretty box of chocolates; and remembering to say 'I love you'.
Shaun Parker is a travel expert with many years of experience in the hospitality industry. Find out more about boutique hotels and luxury breaks away worldwide at Room for Romance.