Three great destinations for a minimoon
In a recent post we discussed the many reasons why minimoons are becoming increasingly popular. If you like this idea it raises another question – where to go.
Because most minimoons involve no more than a long weekend the temptation is to make it a staycation. However, there are so many romantic destinations just a short flight from Bristol Airport that it may seem a shame not to venture a little further afield. In this post we provide some suggestions that are pretty hard to resist.
The city is so popular with lovers that in some ways a long weekend in Paris is a bit of a cliché. But don’t let that put you off – although a classic, immortalised in countless films from Before Sunset to Moulin Rouge, Amélie to Midnight in Paris, The experience never fails to exceed expectations.
What could be more romantic than strolling hand in hand along the banks of the Seine, enjoying un café and croissant as you watch the world go by in Montmartre, gazing out across the city from the spectacular vantage point of Sacré-Cœur or the top of the Eiffel Tower, taking a river cruise at sunset , whiling an hour away with a picnic at the Luxembourg Palace and Gardens or sharing a candle-lit dinner in one of the city’s chic bistros?
If art is your thing you’ll be spoilt for choice with The Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, Musée de l'Orangerie and Centre Pompidou just for starters. A glass of pastis or a jug of chocolat chaud, a flute of kir royale or shot of absinthe, savoured at one of the city’s countless bars and cafés, is also a must. The range of dining options, from little bakeries to Michelin starred restaurants and quaint delicatessens to hip bistros, will leave you dizzy – and feeling stuffed. Not forgetting that it’s paradise for shopaholics, with more than its fair share of boutique hotels.
Barcelona is one of those cites you absolutely must visit, whether you are in love or not – but if you want to get the full-on romantic experience the best time to visit is shortly before or after your wedding.
On the shore of the Mediterranean this colourful city is bursting with vitality, energy and fun, perfectly expressed by La Rambla, a wide tree-lined boulevard that cuts right through the centre. There’s no shortage of cafes, bars and restaurants along its 1.2 kilometre length and drinking a jug of Sangria, while you watch the crowds stroll up and down, is delightful – but there are better and less touristy places to eat.
La Boqueria Food Market, just off La Rambla, is a feast for the eyes and senses, with some great tapas bars around the edge. On the other side of La Rambla is the Old Town, a confusing labyrinth of tiny streets and narrow alleyways parts of which date back 2000 years to Roman times. Although many of the buildings are ancient there’s a hip, artsy laid-back vibe – tiny bars, chilled cafés, fascinating independent shops, amazing gothic churches, bustling squares and some brilliant museums.
Architecture may not be a passion for you but no visit to Barcelona would be complete without visiting one or two of the incredible creations that testify to the unique genius of local architect Antoni Gaudi. La Pedrera, is one of the most imaginative houses in the history of architecture while the unfinished masterpiece of La Sagrada Familia (construction should be completed in 2030) is completely unlike any other building on the planet.
If all that culture gets too much, don’t worry. At the end of La Rambla is the seafront and miles of lovely sandy beaches.
Even if you’ve never been to Rome before its main landmarks will give you a distinct feeling of déjà vu – the Colosseum, St Peters, , the Spanish Steps and the Roman Forum will be familiar thanks to countless films set in the Eternal City.
History buffs and art lovers are in for an absolute treat and it can feel like the stage is set for your very own version of La La Land. You may not be able to wade barefoot into the Trevi Fountain like Anita Ekberg in La Dolce Vita but you won’t be short of dramatic backdrops for your own romantic selfies.
You don’t, however, need to know your emperors from your popes or a Bernini from a Michelangelo to have an absolute ball – this is a city with more of a past than most but it’s also still young at heart and brimming with vitality.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do. So try and avoid the bars and restaurants strategically placed to attract the tourists. Get off the beaten track and into the back streets in search of the smaller family-run establishments favoured by the locals. As you’d expect you can get terrific coffee in Rome but there are also some awesome gelateria and pastry shops to be discovered too. Local dishes are too numerous to mention but expect superb pizza, pasta and tiramisu – they all taste so much better in Rome!
Need more inspiration?
The expert team at Clevedon Hall can give you lots of other great minimoon destination ideas if none of these floats your boat. They’re also more than happy to share their knowledge and experience of any other wedding planning matters that you might want help with. Just get in touch and ask away!