Events Lifestyle

A Non-Valentine’s Day, Valentine’s Day Post!

I’m just going to be up front about this, I’ve stressed over this post for a while as I really wasn’t sure how to do it. Obviously it’s for Valentine’s Day and OBVIOUSLY that means that automatically brings a certain level of cringe, cheesy, mushiness to it, especially if you hate Valentine’s Day. I was very reluctant to call it anything like ‘romantic things to do…’, ‘Valentine’s ideas’, because firstly I’m no bloody Cupid or expert, and secondly it’s not meant to be just for Valentine’s Day.

I did consider doing a big Valentine’s Day post for Kieran and slapping it straight up on his Facebook wall for maximum LOLs, as he informed me we absolutely weren’t doing cards or ‘owt daft like that’. But he would actually kill and I’m also not a #luckygirl #valentineswiththisone #myworld type of girl.

That being said we have done some pretty amazing stuff together the past two years, and especially the last year. Travel can give you some of the best memories, whether it’s with a partner, family or friends, but so can just staying at home. If I can just get all sentimental for five…people are what matter at the end of the day aren’t they.



Feel free to move swiftly on if you can’t deal, but here’s all the things in all sorts of places that are pretty cool to do with your favourite person, whoever that is! Most of them I’ve done, but there’s a few special guests in here too.



  • Stay in a traditional canal house. They’re so pretty and it really makes all the difference to a trip to Amsterdam. We stayed in the beautiful Ambassade Hotel.


Ambassade Amsterdam


  • Go on a canal cruise. Try the Friendship Canal cruise for extra luxury and a bottle of wine as you float around the canals and sights.


Amsterdam Canal Cruise


  • Enjoy dinner in a posh restaurant overlooking the canal! We ate on this terrace, literally on the canal overlooking the lit up bridges and boats sailing past.


Bicycle and tulips next to Hoofdstaad Brasserie


  • If the weather is bad and you can’t do anything outside or on the water, find a cute little cafe like Pluk Amsterdam or Ree7 and sit in the window seat with a coffee.


Ree7 Amsterdam



  • Enjoy a Cypriot sunset!


Cyprus Sunset


  • Have dinner outside under lanterns and fairylights



  • Join in some Greek dancing and plate smashing (I mean its not for me but people like it!)



  • Upgrade to a suite – Greece and the Greek islands have some of the most beautiful hotels in the world. In fact, whenever you can take an upgrade!




  • Experience afternoon tea at the Ritz! How proper!


The Ritz

The Ritz


  • I’d strongly recommend Swingers Bar for date night, a cool bar, a fast food corner and a round of Crazy Golf all in one place is a winner.


Swingers Crazy Golf bar

Swingers Crazy Golf bar


  • Enjoy the views of London with some bubbly at the top of the Shard. Champagne and The Shard has a nice ring to it I think!


Sightseeing in London



  • Take a cable car at sunset over the River Rhine in Cologne.


Great St Martin Romanesque church



Padlocks on the Hohenzollern Bridge



  • Swerve the tourist spots and enjoy a peaceful lunch at Ralph’s restaurant in the quaint little French courtyard


Ralph's restaurant Paris


  • Sit in the sun at Chateau de Luxembourg


Chateaux de Luxembourg

Chateaux de Luxembourg


  • Share a seafood platter at Cafe de la Pays or Flottes restaurant


Seafood platter


Tulum, Mexico

  • Enjoy the immaculate beaches in Tulum, either for a walk along or for a doze in a hammock.



Xel ha hammocks


  • Find a secluded spot at Xel Ha just for yourselves.


Xel Ha

Xel Ha


  • Get a double dingy and float down the natural lazy river.


Lazy river, Xel ha



  • Go on a hot air balloon ride! One of Kieran’s best mates Dale proposed to his lovely fiance Hannah in a hot air balloon ride over Coruche near Lisbon. They get married in Portugal next year – how amazing! Thank you Hannah for letting me use your beautiful photos!




  • Explore the boutiques along the Shambles in York


The Shambles, York

The Shambles, York


  • Enjoy afternoon tea at Betty’s


Betty's Cafe Tea Rooms, York

Betty’s Cafe Tea Rooms, York


  • Stay at The Calls in Leeds, a very pretty boutique hotel by the canal and perfect to go back to after a night on the cocktails


The Calls

The Calls



  • Take a walk along the Danube Embankment for the perfect view of the Chain Bridge. Cris from Look n Walk shares her memory of this with her husband:

I’ve fallen for Budapest almost 10 years ago but there’s a certain moment that made me fall even harder for my (now) husband. We love to walk hand in hand exploring cities. Back in 2011, on our first trip together as a couple, we decided to talk a walk on Danube Embankment. Was it the weather? The company? Or maybe just Budapest’s lovely sights passing by us as we walked, but I cannot help not to cherish that moment. Every time we go back, I want to retake this walk. And every single time I fall more in love: with both Budapest and my husband.

Chain Bridge, Budapest

Chain Bridge, Budapest


  • Watch the fountain displays outside the Bellagio, Vegas. Get up close so you can hear the music too.


Bellagio fountains, Vegas

Bellagio fountains, Vegas


  • Have a drink at the Chandelier Bar at the Cosmopolitan


The Cosmopolitan


  • For old school Hollywood glamour stay at the Beverley Hills Hotel in one of the bungalows based on Marilyn Monroe or Frank Sinatra to name a few!


Beverly Hills Hotel


  • Go for a walk through Central Park


Central Park


Other things to do in general:

  • Go on a ferris wheel, whether that’s in Paris, Lille, London, Santa Monica…or even the Hoppings in Newcastle (the latter being definitely more scary than romantic)!


The Hoppings, Newcastle

The Hoppings, Newcastle

Santa Monica beach and pier



We’ve never been keen on celebrating Valentines Day, but last year, we had what I would call a struck of genius. We were chilling on the sofa, watching a very boring French movie, when I say “I wish we could eat lots of cheese and enjoy a promenade by the beach”. My husband, as silly as it is, goes out of the room, just to come back 5 minutes later with a flight to Nice booked for the following day. He found a bargain last minute flight, a great escapade for a couple of days. Upon arrival, we purchased 7 varieties of French cheese, some 5 euro white wine. We enjoyed a rather fun and cheesy dinner in our cheap hotel room.


Nice rooftops

Nice rooftop


  • Watch fireworks – at New Year, bonfire night, any occasion really!



  • Take a spa break somewhere fancy! This was Rockliffe Hall.


Rockliffe Hall Spa garden with infinity pool

Infinity Pool in the Spa Garden


  • Enjoy a staycation! Stay in a hotel where you live and it will feel like a mini break. I’ve lost count of the times we have stayed in Newcastle Malmaison so we can have breakfast by the Tyne and a walk along the Quayside market and lunch in the Broad Chare.


Newcastle Quayside

Newcastle Quayside


  • Plan surprises, my lovely friend Amanda kicked off at her boyfriend Jack when she thought he didn’t have her a Valentine’s Day card, then she came home and he had planned all this!



  • Newcastle is a great city for this – go out for Sport events! You can’t beat match day in the toon and the atmosphere of the Great North Run!


Great North Run

Great North Run


  • Get dolled up for occasions – weddings, engagement parties, or my personal favourite – the races!


York Races

York Races


I think I’m done. Hopefully that wasn’t too OTT?!

Happy Valentine’s Day! x


Valentine's Day

  1. Pete

    14th February 2017 at 11:04 am

    Art and creativity are not just for the trained professionals, obviously. What a delightful collection of ways to say, “You have my heart”!

  2. Sam | North East Family Fun

    15th February 2017 at 9:04 am

    I’m totally with you on this – Steve is dead against cards ect….. and says we only buy them to conform to society and it’s the card companies ect……. who are winning. So in our 15 years together, this was the first year we didn’t buy cards.

    I have to say I’ve come around to Steve’s way of thinking. We don’t need a silly card! and as Steve was saying yesterday, he’d rather surprise me with flowers and treats throughout the year when I least expect it rather than a OTT (and overpriced) gesture on the same day as everyone else.

    It is hugely important to us that we make the effort to spend time together – with three kids and when you’ve been married 10 years it’s tough but we’re strong believers in couples who play together stay together. We’re always planning our next (child-free) adventure. Cuba is next and I can’t wait!

    1. sfox

      15th February 2017 at 9:08 am

      I am SO SO SO jealous that youre going to Cuba, its on my bucket list and we were going to go this year but think it will probably be next year now. Want to get there before it changes to much! Will you be writing about it on either of your blogs?

  3. meg

    15th February 2017 at 2:30 pm

    I’m not a big V-day person at all. I think that love should be celebrated every day. We didn’t plan anything which was kinda nice actually. However, this weekend we are hiking up a 13,000′ peak at sunrise. That’s something we would do together regardless of what day it is! I just think it’s important to make time for the ones you love and go do something you’d both enjoy – regardless of the holiday! <3

  4. Sara - I do what I want to

    15th February 2017 at 3:00 pm

    We’ve never ever celebrated Valentines day, that is in 13 years we’ve been together we’ve never exchanged cards/presents or anything like it. We did wen’t for dinner once not realising which day it was until we saw the restaurant. But all these things you’ve listed are nice things you can do any day with not only your partner but also with friends and family so I really like the swift from cheesy to doable!

  5. Stephanie |

    15th February 2017 at 3:04 pm

    Amsterdam is one of my favourite romantic spots – I think Paris is absolutely lovely but Amsterdam is just something else!!

  6. Jain

    15th February 2017 at 3:27 pm

    What a wonderful list of ideas for each place; done Amsterdam, Paris and London so far :). I remember sitting next to window and having a Gelato in a nice cafe in Amsterdam! Definitely not going on that Giant Wheel, i think i will skip that !

  7. Jay Artale

    15th February 2017 at 3:53 pm

    So many fabulous places to visit! Love this roundup. I love that you have so many UK locations in here. It’s really a fabulous country. It just goes to show that some of the best travel opportunities are right on your doorstep. @rovingjay

  8. Monica

    15th February 2017 at 5:08 pm

    I do not believe in celebrating one day for love as every day we have an opportunity to share love. It can be in any form and any relation. I loved the way you represent love and have Budapest and Mexico on my list this year as I have done quite a few on the list. Your suggestions are great and I would keep them in mind whether I Travel solo or worth my valentine. Cheers

  9. Chiera

    15th February 2017 at 8:31 pm

    Lovely post 🙂 You’ve been to some really amazing places! Is that 4 poster beds on a beach in Mexico? SIGN ME UP!!

  10. Serena Coady

    16th February 2017 at 7:27 am

    Awesome read. Also love that you called out the “luckygirl” stereotypical hashtag bahaha. So over seeing that!

    1. sfox

      16th February 2017 at 7:49 am

      Haha I was worried I might offend one or two people with that but it’s just not me so I thought well I’m putting it in anyway!

  11. Rosemary

    16th February 2017 at 2:09 pm

    Love your interpretation of Valentine’s Day! The memories in the pictures you shared are quite noteworthy. Really love the spontaneous trip to Nice. Beautiful experiences…and may you have many more such adventures to fuel your passions.

  12. francesca murray

    17th February 2017 at 11:35 pm

    Lot’s of great ideas, even if it’s not Valentines Day! For example, I’d really like to stay in a Canal house in Amsterdam next time I go! Thanks for the tips

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