Looking for a romantic getaway for Valentine’s Day, a foodie honeymoon or just some relaxing time with your partner? Read on for the best places to stay for two across the world, or check out our favourite romantic restaurants in London here.
The Shack at Sheepwash Bay, Tasmania
If you prefer your off-grid experiences to come with creature comforts such as freshly baked sourdough bread, linen sheets and a bathtub, this little cabin on an island (Bruny) off an island (Tasmania) at the end of the world is well worth the trek. Hunt for oysters on the rocks along the adjacent waterfront and help yourself to crops from owner Jenene’s vegetable garden. Her partner, John, is an experienced wood-oven baker and makes sourdough loaves most mornings (non-guests can buy loaves from an old fridge with an honesty box by the roadside). If you’d like to learn some sourdough skills to take home, sign up for one of the bread-making courses he’s about to launch on Airbnb experiences (or follow our step-by-step guide to make your own at home).
This stylish lifestyle store/studio/b&b on Bruton’s High Street (read our full foodie guide here) is central to the town’s booming creative scene. Once you’ve browsed Caro’s covetable goodies (including Scandi interiors by Ferm Living), walk further down the street to reach a secluded one-room garden house b&b. Guests are given vouchers for a cooked breakfast at local bakery restaurant At the Chapel during their stay (try the Somerset baked ham with green eggs and sourdough toast). Other nearby must-visits include the buzzy Roth Bar & Grill at Hauser & Wirth gallery and arts centre, Matt’s Kitchen, where talented amateur chef Matthew Watson serves a single-choice supper three nights a week from his front room, The Bull Inn for a slap-up Sunday roast with organic meat from Bruton’s Durslade Farm and The Newt hotel, restaurant and garden between Bruton and Castle Cary.
Life is Good, The Netherlands
Wake up to a breakfast feast of homemade and local foods – including jam, honey, milk and eggs from the owners’ chickens – served in your own enormous suite at this 18th century farm. The Life is Good hotel has just one 80m2 room – and it’s pretty luxurious. Enjoy the farm’s spacious garden, the use of a private fitness area, roof terrace and infrared sauna, or hop on the complimentary tandem bike for rides to the local small town of Heeswijk-Dinther. Fans of experimental fine-dining should book a table at Restaurant Pit (‘Passion in Taste’) or, if you prefer a low-key atmosphere, the De Toren Eten & Drinken gastropub is one of the cosiest pubs in The Netherlands – try the local Berne beer.
The Central Hotel, Copenhagen
Above the smallest café in Copenhagen, you’ll find what is probably the smallest hotel in the world – a tiny but charmingly decorated room complete with a comfy double bed, a skylight window and a shower room. The seven-seat café downstairs serves excellent Risteriet coffee and pastries, but for a more substantial breakfast (included in your room rate), head across to owner Leif’s other establishment, Café Granola, for pancakes or chia pudding. Grab the bikes that come with the room and head out to explore Værnedamsvej – one of Copenhagen’s loveliest streets, home to foodie delights such as Falernum wine bar and restaurant Les Trois Cochons – and the surrounding Vesterbro district.
The Bluebird Penthouse, Devon
If your weekend fantasies involve relaxing under the stars in a hot tub made from a vintage Land Rover before retiring to sleep in a converted Fifties caravan, Devon’s Bluebird Penthouse is for you. The retro-styled caravan, set on a field near High Bickerton, includes a hidden wine cellar, so head to nearby South Molton’s excellent cheese shop, The Cheese Larder, to stock up on local cheeses to pair with a bottle; choices include Ticklemore blue and Norsworthy goat’s cheese. If you’re lucky, you can also catch mobile wood-fired pizza truck, The Pig and Olive, when it rolls into South Molton, or book ahead for a blow out at Weirmarsh Farm restaurant, just down the road. This family-run gem serves home-cooked local produce and will let you have extra helpings of pudding if you can make room.
Arnor the Rangers Hut, Scottish Highlands
Go completely off-grid at this rustic wooden cabin tucked away in an 130-year-old Caledonian pine wood outside Bonar Bridge. The welcome basket of free-range eggs, prosecco, tablet, Shore Puffs (locally made seaweed puffs), Inverness Coffee Roasting Co. coffee and more will sustain your stargazing expeditions, and there are plenty of foraging opportunities in the surrounding woods. Crannag Bistro is a two-mile walk away, or embark on a foodie canoe tour with Go Wild Highlands. Paddle down the Kyle of Sutherland, stopping off for a picnic lunch of Highland Fine Cheeses, smoked salmon from Luss smokehouse, and wild venison chorizo from Roaring Red Stag.
Cascina Adami Il Nido, Italy
Originally a goat shed, Il Nido (‘the nest’) is now a private and very romantic bolthole for two in the Piedmont countryside. Salvaged gems (including pretty pebbles and driftwood) meet elegant simplicity in this secluded hideaway, and the location is ideal for diving into the region’s famous wines, particularly barolo, nebbiolo and dolcetto reds. Opposite is a dairy where you can stock-up on the soft, mild local sheep’s cheese, and a 3km stroll away, in the village of Murazzano, you’ll find excellent unpretentious trattorias such as Osteria Ra Ca’ ‘d Baruc and Trattoria da Lele, which serves traditional Piedmontese dishes such as vitello tonnato and plin al ragu.
Woodsman’s Cabin, France
Loved-up couples would be forgiven for disappearing into blissful seclusion at this romantic eco-cabin, set beside its own lake. The honeymoon package includes champagne, flowers, fresh croissants and jam brought to your cabin every morning, and a home-cooked, three-course ‘cabin cuisine’ dinner on the first night. Should cabin fever set in, jump on the tandem bike provided and pedal off to explore the surrounding villages, caves, vineyards and museums. The Wednesday market in nearby Piégut is gastronomic heaven – stop by Le Petit Baigneur, a café brocante in St-Estèphe, where you can sip coffee while browsing vintage treasures. Cook your own dinners in the kitchen or outside on the stove or campfire BBQ, or ask cabin owner Di for local restaurant recommendations.
Cabin by the River, Rye
Rye has shed its old-school Mapp and Lucia image in recent years and become a real foodie hotspot, complete with seaside food trucks, artisan bakeries and award-winning vineyards. Stay at this dreamily decorated cabin on the River Rother, just outside the town, and wander down to nearby pubs such as The Globe Inn for seafood, or The Standard for Romney Marsh lamb. Get your coffee fix at The Fig, then sample biodynamic and natural wines at Tillingham Winery, or sparkling wines at Gusbourne Estate. After a blast of fresh air on Camber Sands beach, refuel at The Gallivant or at local chef Kyle Tatner’s seafront food truck slightly further along the coast. Seafood lovers should coincide their stay with Rye Bay Scallop Week at the end of February.
Kikili Beach House, Sri Lanka
This colourful and supremely comfortable one-bed private beachfront villa, on the fringes of Galle, comes with its own pool and a smiley house manager/cook, Kumala, who will make whatever you like using ingredients bought from the local market. Start the day with a traditional egg hopper and seeni sambol (caramelised onion spicy chutney), fresh king coconut, buffalo curd and kithul treacle before retiring to the ambalamba (place to rest) in the garden, right next to the ocean (sit and spot bobbing turtles). If you don’t want to eat every meal in the villa, there are plenty of other options nearby (check out Wijaya Beach for crisp wood-fired pizzas and sunset daiquiris, Bedspace Kitchen for buttered cuttlefish and hand-pulled Sri Lankan coffee, and Poonies Kitchen in Galle Fort for the signature salad thali), although missing Kumala’s fish curries and famous coconut flan with passion fruit caramel would be a crime.
Words by Tatty Good
Photographs by @bythewilde and Jon Norstrøm