I FEEL it is only right that I warn you, that this is an EPIC post. EPIC!!
Quite possibly, my most epic yet. So before you begin, you might wanna pop the kettle on, make yourself a decent cuppa and get comfy. Because let me tell you, this post is a biggie.
Such a biggie in fact, that it’s taken me almost a full working day just to whittle down the photos and edit them.
But honestly, when it comes to Italy, can you blame me?
Italy is my favourite country in the world. No question. Plonk me anywhere on the Italian map and I’m as happy as Larry. (Whoever he is). I’ve visited many places in the past but hand on heart, I can tell you that no area in Italy has ‘spoken’ to me as much as Umbria.
She thought that the city would be full of ‘pools’ and that she’d be spending the day in her swimsuit (well it kind of makes sense I guess!), and although I had to point out to her that this wasn’t quite the case, thankfully it didn’t dampen her enthusiasm!
We did find water though, at the incredible Albert Dock, and ice cream (!) so she was more than a happy chappy.
I don’t really know Liverpool very well.
But as a Great Mancunian originally (I think that’s a term) I am a HUGE fan of Northern cities. There’s just something about the grit, humour, style and ‘make the most out of life’ attitude that I adore and feel at home with, when I’m oop North.
And just like Manchester, Liverpool has all of this in spades.
Every time I visit – often for work, sometimes for pleasure – I discover something new or come across a part of the city which makes my heart flutter.
Which is why I’m thrilled to bring you a lovely competition today, which will enable you to go and have fun in our capital for FREE!
That my blog posts have been a bit sporadic of late.
I’m a poorly lady you see at the moment, having had flu for the last week or so, so bar on odd post, I’ve spent most of my time lying in bed or watching endless rounds of children’s TV with little Elsie, who’s been pretty poorly too.
Anyhow, I’m trying my best to do what I can, but there’s no doubt that my work has suffered of late. So thank you for being patient and sticking with me. I promise normal, regular service will resume shortly.
Annnnd…so, with that in mind, let’s crack on with today’s post!
Because I do have a super post to share with you today. (Hell yeah!) One that’s certainly putting a big smile on my very grotty face, as I type.
This is the first instalment of our recent family holiday to Italy with the brilliant Italian accommodation experts, Bookings For You.
And is all about our stunning accommodation – a beautiful, modern and contemporary Italian 3 bedroom villa situated on the east bank of Lake Maggiore.
As holiday accommodation goes, let me tell you, this villa is by far, the most stunning place I have ever stayed in. For the views alone, I would have happily stayed!
I mean, just imagine, lying in bed and looking at this…
Because this is how I woke up in the mornings and this is what we all saw, every single day, from one of three lake facing terraces, that this stunning villa offers.
Here’s some more shots of the lake view, and I make absolutely no apologies for them. Because a view this spectacular has to be shared…
(The sunsets were particularly breathtaking…)
My photos don’t even do the beautiful view justice but you get the picture!
Just. Seriously. Beautiful.
The best view I’ve ever seen. In my life. And one I’ll never forget.
Tucked up high in the mountains, staying in this fabulous villa, was a little bit like being in an Italian version of Heidi.
By day, the only sounds I could hear were birds chirping, donkey bells ringing and water running down a tiny stream. And by night, nothing!
It was absolute bliss. A real slice of Italian heaven indeed.
Villa Caruso as it is lovingly called, is a stunning property.
And inside, had absolutely everything we needed as a family – for myself, Jamie, Elsie and my Dad and Step Mum who came with us – as well as being simply but tastefully decorated.
But it’s totally true. Tomorrow I’m jetting off to Italy with my family to stay in the stunning Italian Lakes, courtesy of Bookings For You.
We’ll be staying at Lake Maggiore, far North of the country and just five miles from the Swiss border, and I’ll be reviewing this beautiful family villa which boosts lake views, private terraces and stunning contemporary decor.
*does a dance of utter joy*
Am I the jammiest woman in the world right now?
However, after being rushed off to A&E this morning with a serious allergy reaction, I have to say I think I deserve this break.
(Thankfully all is well now, apart from being covered head to toe in a horrific rash, the likes of which I’ve never seen before nor want to again!).
So it’s going to be lovely. Really lovely in fact.
Jo, the lovely owner of Bookings For You, has been seriously helpful and the villa looks wonderful, so I’ve no doubt the gorgeous scenery, fresh air and heaps of Italian pasta plus copious amounts of red wine, will do us all the world of good.
Italy is my favourite country in the WORLD, so I’m more than a little excited and really looking forward to seeing what Lake Maggiore has in store.
As well as getting to grips with our stunning local surroundings, we’re also hoping to spend a day in Milan and pay a visit to Switzerland too.
At the beginning of any relationship, you just can’t get enough of each other. You’re mad for each other.
Crazy and full of non stop passion.
But eventually life takes over. (It has to)
And careers and deadlines and children and houses, and everything else, takes all of your attention.
Our love lives can often be put unintentionally on the ol’ back burner as we deal with everything else.
And that non stop passion?
Well, if we’re not careful it can fizzle out.
It sounds pretty depressing doesn’t it?
But it’s not. (I promise)
Because the good news is passion can be rekindled. Those fires can be lit again!
There are many ways of doing this of course but today, in association with Durex, I want to talk about using travel to bring the spark back.
Because in my humble opinion, there’s nothing really like a change of scene to get your love life back on track.
If only for one night. One night away for you and your loved one to have some quality time together. (Preferably between the sheets.)
Children are one of life’s greatest blessings but they’re also brilliant at dampening rising passions. Night wakings, early mornings and interruptions do little for anyone’s libido.
So take a break. Enjoy some peace and quiet and treat yourselves to a lovely night away.
There’s something about travelling to an exotic location that does wonder for a flagging love life.
Being away from home in a location that is so unusual to us, can heighten our senses, make us feel alive and feed our souls.
So next time you’re thinking about booking a holiday, consider visiting a far flung place, instead of your usual travel haunts and prepare to be spellbound. By each other.
You know what I’m talking about.
A log cabin with a roaring fire hidden away in a mountain. A bohemian gypsy caravan with no electricity but plenty of candles. A room in a stunning boutique hotel with room service and a huge four poster bed. A cottage near a deserted beach where you can take long walks together.
These kind of places may be obvious romantic locations but they’re obvious for a reason, because they work!
Stay in a place that is sexy and romantic and feel that passion rise. Huge beds, fires and beaches? You really can’t go wrong.
Any opportunity I get to pay it a visit, well let’s just say, if I can be there, I am there!
So imagine my absolute, dance-around-a-room delight, when the good people at Spa Breaks and The Midland Hotel, invited me and a plus one (my big sister) to stay with them for an overnight stay and experience everything they have to offer, including the hotel’s gorgeous (and pretty swanky) new spa.
Just thinking of it now, is making me feel all lovely and relaxed. But enough of that, let’s get down to business and tell you how we got on.
(And why you really, really need to visit.)
The Midland Hotel for those of you who don’t know is one of the oldest and most famous hotels in Manchester.
Think grand Edwardian architecture, 4* luxury mixed with 1920s style and charm and a big ol’ dollop of Northern friendliness thrown in for good measure.
It is spectacular. Stunning. A truly special place to stay.
And has quite possibly the best beds in the world. I so did not want to get out of this comfy bad boy when I stayed. And who could blame me?
The room we stayed in was seriously lovely with super high ceilings, plenty of space and even a comfy sofa to crash out on as my sister and I, put the world to rights.
Hello! I'm Kate - an award winning family & lifestyle blogger, freelance writer & mum.
1st book & 2nd baby both due in 2017. (Yep, I'm a little excited.)
Here I share my tales of how I try to strut my way - but often find myself hobbling (don't we all?!) - through life & parenting.
I do hope you'll enjoy what you read. Thanks so much for popping by. x
The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.