In case it’s escaped your notice, today is Valentine’s Day and more than ever the world needs love. This week I’m sharing some romantic locations to visit, from the simply discreet to a remote beach in Norway.
As we continue to dream of summer holidays, short breaks and escapes, here’s five things I like this week.
62 degrees north
An intriguing collection of boutique accommodation offered by 62°NORD includes the ‘Owner’s Cabin’ in Staurneset. Located on the remote island of Giske off the north west coast of Norway it is a remarkable opportunity to escape. There’s even a local name for it. Experience “Hytte kultur” or cabin lifestyle at this deceptively luxurious little cottage set in a stunningly beautiful location, surrounded by untouched land and with direct access to the sea. The Tardis-like accommodation includes three double bedrooms, one bathroom, a kitchen, dining room and living room with an open fire. You’re not left to cope entirely on your own and guests can opt for a pre-stocked fridge, or choose the services of a private chef who will whip up some Norwegian dishes. The island, a former home to noble Viking families, is small and ideal for outings. Cycle around the landscape to explore farms and the swathes of wild forest. Or kayak for a unique experience of the North Sea where you might be fortunate to see the colonies of seals or a passing orca. Rates in the Owner’s Cabin start from NOK 6,000 (currently approx. £517) per night, excluding food and drink. www.62.no/en
Post featured image: The Owner’s Cabin, Staurneset.
New hotel opening
A new hotel Can Ferrereta is scheduled to open this spring at the lesser known Santanyi on the island of Mallorca. The Soldevila-Ferrer family have restored a historic 17th century building to offer a grand summer house atmosphere, complete with rustic wooden beams and original stone work alongside sleek furnishings and contemporary art. The focus will be on local and Spanish artists, such as a two-metre, 280 kilo visage sculpture by the Barcelona-born Jaume Plensa. The hotel will feature 32 rooms, including suites with private patios and terraces overlooking the lush gardens, as well as a Mediterranean restaurant, spa, indoor pool, gym and, interestingly, a curated library. Generally, the interior of Mallorca is missed by many visitors who flock to the well-known coastal resorts. Venture inland to experience authentic village life. Santanyí is a small town, formerly walled to offer protection from marauding pirates, situated slightly inland from the spectacular south east Mallorcan coastline. The Balearics are particularly attractive in that the three islands are small enough to explore easily, either individually or travelling from one to the other. The Can Ferrereta will be sister hotel to the sister hotel Sant Francesc in the historic area of Palma, a 40 minute drive away. www.hotelcanferrereta.com / @hotelcanferrereta
A Greek wedding
On the Greek island of Ios, the five star coastal resort of Calilo has created a new wedding chapel worthy of Mama Mia! the musical starring Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan (2008). Decorated in the traditional blue and white colours of the national flag the tiny chapel has space around for 200 guests, in a post-pandemic world. Of course, you don’t need to be getting married to enjoy Calilo, set in 1,000 acres of protected land and fringed by the spectacular 300 metre-long sandy Papas beach, in the beautiful Cyclades region of the Aegean Sea. www.calilo.com.
Mama Mia! Get married or reaffirm vows in a traditional Greek style chapel.
Prince Edward Island, Canada
I’ve been trying an organic NV Benjamin Bridge Brut produced in Nova Scotia. The vineyards are situated in land that has a long connection with indigenous Mi’kmaq people in the Gaspereau Valley, before the Gaspereau River joins the sea at the Bay of Fundy. In the glass, the wine has an attractive pale gold colour, with citrus notes on the nose and as you might expect from this location, sea minerals. This is the eastern Atlantic Canada location that also includes Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Labrador and Prince Edward Island, the latter the setting for Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables in 1908. This region has always held a fascination due to its location on the wild Atlantic coast, where icebergs can be seen floating past, and it holds a particularly romantic attraction. The regional speciality is, naturally, fresh seafood, especially lobster. In the not too distant future, I hope to visit not only the vineyards but the pretty fishing villages and sandy beaches, and to experience the marine wildlife. I also look forward to learning more first-hand about the history of the land and its peoples. Thank you to the province of Atlantic Canada for the gift hamper which I was fortunate to win in a prize draw at a recent virtual event. For a taste of Nova Scotia, Benjamin Bridge wines are available in the UK through boutique fine wine merchants Friarwood wine www.friarwood.com
Finally for this week, a new exhibition will offer an alternative way to escape the ordinary, with the rare chance to see an eclectic and wide-ranging collection of works by the Yorkshire-born English artist and sculptor, Barbara Hepworth (1903-1975). Hepworth Wakefield gallery is marking its 10th anniversary with a new exhibition Barbara Hepworth: Art and Life the most expansive in the UK since the artist’s death. Born in Wakefield Hepworth’s interests were wide ranging from music and dance, to science, space exploration, politics and religion. Covering the artist’s interests, work and legacy, with a large section given to Hepworth’s Three Forms (1935) created shortly after she gave birth to triplets, amongst other abstraction pieces. Expect to see celebrated sculptures, key loans from national public collections, pieces from private collections unseen since the 1970s, and rarely seen drawings, paintings and fabric designs.
A new biography Barbara Hepworth: Art & Life by Hepworth Wakefield’s curator, Eleanor Clayton, Thames & Hudson, 20 May 2021, 178 illustrations, £25.00 hardback. Due to run 21 May to 27 February 2022. Please note exhibition dates are subject to the COVIC-19 restrictions so check the gallery web site for updates. hepworthwakefield.org
That’s all for this week. Stay safe and well wherever you are in the world.
As always please check the Foreign travel advice web site for the latest on domestic and international travel guidelines.
Unless otherwise stated, I have no affiliation with the brands mentioned but simply aim to share places and products that have caught my eye. I will always state if a post is sponsored or gifted. In addition, during the current pandemic I haven’t had the chance to review any of the hotels, resorts and so on.