January is rumbling on and with February just around the corner, the time of the year is approaching again when roses double in price and not getting a card can cost you dearly. If you feel like you’ve run out of ideas when it comes to romance on February 14th, but you still want to spoil the one you love, then here is some inspiration for Valentines Day ideas in Hampshire.
If you’ve got a decent budget for Valentines Day, you can’t beat a stay in a gorgeous hotel as a way to score major brownie points. Hampshire is brim full of fabulous residences where you can wine, dine and pamper your other half to their heart’s content. Lainston House just outside Winchester has a range of luxury rooms, suites and junior suites that are sumptuously furnished for the ultimate comfort of its guests. There are tennis courts, a 12th century chapel ruin to wander and croquet lawn in the grounds, as well as facilities for traditional pursuits, such as falconry and fishing for the couple who like the country lifestyle. Rooms start at around £165 a night.
If you are a golf fan and your loved one wants to be pampered then the Old Thorns provides the perfect compromise. With an 18-hole championship golf course and a spa with six treatment rooms, there are opportunities for both play and pampering that are likely to keep most couples happy. Rooms start at around £60 a night. For romance on a grand scale, Tylney Hall in Hook is a fantastic location. The hotel offers some lovely Valentines treats, from spa packages for two, to a romantic candlelit meal in the Oak Room Restaurant and a romantic stroll in the grounds, with rooms from around £300 a night.
Few things say ‘I love you’ better than a delicious meal over a flickering candle flame at one of the county’s best restaurants. Hampshire is lucky enough to have a number of top class eating establishments, including 36 On The Quay in Emsworth (http://www.36onthequay.co.uk), which has held a Michelin star for 12 years and The Black Rat in Winchester (http://www.theblackrat.co.uk), a converted pub, which has also received a coveted Michelin star. The Black Rat’s modern British menu is locally sourced and freshly prepared, with dishes such as lamb neck with seared shin, pancetta and potato terrine and amalfi lemon tart; 36 On The Quay overlooks the bay in Emsworth and has an excellent selection of seafood, including John Dory with griddled asparagus and seared scallops with crisp pancetta. The Chesil Rectory (http://www.chesilrectory.co.uk) is a more informal environment, serving robust British dishes in the oldest house in Winchester. Enjoy a romantic meal in front of an open fire and finish up with a romantic evening stroll through the cathedral city.
If you want to spend your Valentines Day outdoors then the New Forest National Park (http://www.thenewforest.co.uk) is located mostly in Hampshire and is a lovely location for a day of rambling hand in hand. See the cute wild New Forest Ponies, go for an organized ride, or take one of the local tours of the area. The town of Winchester is an atmospheric place for a stroll, coffee and a spot of shopping, the perfect way to spend a Valentines day out. Take your loved one around the cathedral and then head for walk in the romantic water meadows and canoodle by the River Itchen. They say that those who play together stay together so why not treat your other half to a day of sailing on the Solent this February 14th. The Hamble School of Yachting (http://www.hamble.co.uk) offers sailing courses for all levels or you can charter a yacht for a bracing trip around the coast without all the hard work. If you’re more comfortable on dry land then what about a windswept walk along the beach at Netley – fly a kite and keep close for warmth before heading for a delicious winter lunch at one of the area’s dining establishments, such as The Waters Edge Restaurant (http://www.watersedge.co.uk).
Whether you’re a traditionalist looking for a romantic dining destination or you want to try something new and exciting this February 14th, there are plenty of Valentines Day ideas in Hampshire to choose from. With a little imagination and a bit of research this February 14th could be your most romantic ever.
John usually writes at Holidays in the UK and wrote this post on behalf of Tylney Hall – one of the best hotels in Basingstoke or Hampshire and the perfect location for a valentines getaway.