5 dreamy travel themed Valentines date nights
This Sunday is Valentines Day, a celebration of love. And we are planning on celebrating one of our greatest loves: TRAVEL.
If you're anything like us, the pain of missing travelling is MAJOR right now. Our September Scottish road trip seems a long time ago, and to be honest, we have no idea when we will be able to fly again.
So with that in mind, here are 5 dreamy romantic travel themed Valentines date nights for all you wanderlusters out there, where you can rediscover your love of travel without leaving your living room.
Paris is known internationally as being the most romantic city in the world, so this is a perfect destination for a travel themed date night.
Recreate a chic picnic on the Champ de Mars by laying out a picnic blanket in front of the TV, and pull up a photograph of the Eiffel Tower on the big screen. Enjoy a delicious spread including fresh French bread, pate, quiche, grapes, cured meats, cornichons, and of course, a good selection of cheeses! Don't forget a chilled bottle of wine, or if you really want to push the boat out, champagne! For dessert, romantic options are chocolate covered profiteroles or pretty pastel coloured macarons.
You could take turns drawing each other like Parisian street artists, and cuddle up to watch Amelie or Moulin Rouge.
Dress up fancy (this is France, after all!) and up the romance factor with some smoochy music like Maurice Chevalier. Ooh La la...
2. African safari
There is something achingly romantic about an African safari, and it's one of the most popular honeymoon destinations. It's also a really easy travel themed date night to create at home.
First you'll need to build a gorgeous safari tent. Grab your white bedsheets and make a blanket fort, then up the Valentines ante with some battery powered fairy lights (bonus points if you can get heart shaped ones!), throw pillows and a snuggly blanket or duvet to lie on.
Next, tune into a live streamed safari like the ones on the WildEarth youTube channel - unscripted and real, the POV camera work makes it really feel like you're in the safari jeep. See what you spot!
The best way to finish a day on safari is with a sundowner, so fix yourself a gin and tonic (a traditional drink in the Colonial era because the quinine in tonic water turned out to be effective against malaria), or a creamy glass of Amarula - the Baileys like liquor made from the fruit of Marula trees that South African elephants are obsessed with.
This destination date night is inspired by a weekend in London. Start with a posh afternoon tea - lay out a white table cloth, dress up smart and pretend you're at the Ritz!
Serve little sandwiches filled with English classics like smoked salmon, egg mayonnaise, coronation chicken, ham and posh mustard, cucumber with cream cheese and brew a pot of tea. Bonus points if you can serve it in fine china cups! You'll also need a selection of cake cut into small pieces and of course, scones with clotted cream and jam. You could also add a glass of bubbly!
After you've eaten, it's time to watch a West End show. BroadwayHD has loads of filmed stage productions for you to stream, like Miss Saigon, Cats, 42nd Street and Fame. They offer a 7 day free trial! If you have a Netflix membership, you can watch West Side Story, Dreamgirls, Annie, Funny Girl and LaLa Land, and Amazon Prime has Grease, Mamma Mia, Sweeney Todd, Hairspray, Les Miserables, Oliver and the Sound of Music . Don't forget to buy some little tubs of ice cream for that authentic interval experience!
If musicals aren't your thing, you can still get your culture fix online. Globe Player has most of the Globe theatre's Shakespeare productions available to rent for about £6, and National Theatre at Home has a great range of plays to rent from Amadeus to Angels in America, for about £8.
Japan was one of the most astonishing trips we've ever been on, and this travel themed date night sums up a lot of the highlights:
Start off with an online sushi class! The How to Make Sushi YouTube channel has lots of yummy ideas, or the Fortune Cooking channel has brilliant easy to follow instructions. Making dinner together is a great bonding experience, and almost as much fun as eating it!
Warm up those vocal chords, it's time for Karaoke! We had a blast in a karaoke booth in Osaka, and it's SUCH a popular part of Japanese nightlife. Whether you're into classic rock or 80s cheese, find your favourite songs on YouTube and take it in turns belting them out, or team up and duet.
Finish up your Japanese date night by creating your own onsen (a therapeutic hot springs found throughout the country). Run a hot bath for the two of you with candles and some relaxing music. Add your favourite muscle soak, bubble bath or bath salts, or you could even buy Japanese onsen salts online to make your bath even more authentic.
Like France, Italy is one of the most romantic countries in the world, home to Romeo and Juliet, gondolas gliding through Venice, indulgent food and the passions of Casanova. Is it any wonder that the great Romantic poets, Shelley, Keats and Byron, spent so much time in Italy?
Start your Italian night making pizzas together. Italians LOVE to cook and are as passionate about food as they are about, well, passion! Open some good red wine or fix yourself an Aperol Spritz and get stuck in.
Pizzas are so easy to make - you can even buy pre made bases - and can be customised with your favourite toppings! Try parma ham, rocket, sundried tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella, or a Florentine, which has spinach, mushrooms and an egg on top! BBC Goodfood has a Florentine recipe here .
Next it's time for some culture. Head to the Vatican Museum website for a virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel and Raphael's Rooms , then teleport to Florence to admire the artistic treasures in the Uffizi Gallery. Pour your self another drink and "stroll" through the rooms on the gallery's virtual tour, sipping your wine and pausing to look at the paintings on what feels like a private tour. It's nice to be able to look at Botticelli's The Birth of Venus without the usual crowds!
Finish the evening with an espresso and a decadent helping of tiramisu, while listening to the romantic music of Andrea Bocelli. Perfection!
Which one of these would you most like to do? Let us know in the comments below! What are your plans for Valentines Day?