Valentine’s Day is approaching as fast as a cheesy chat-up line from a drunken romeo who stumbled into a speed dating night.
The night every man’s romantic side is put under the microscope is less than a month away.
For those who want to make a big impression the land where loving in second nature, France, could be the ideal answer to impress that special woman.
The Southern Rhone Valley is even home to the man whose legend spawned a cottage industry, Saint Valentine, is buried.
In addition to top notch food, wine and places to stay, the region celebrates the romantic holiday in style and there are some lovely festivals to get the romantic juices flowing. Between 10 and12 February the residents of the town of Roquemaure celebrate the arrival of Saint Valentine’s remains back in 1868.
Valentine was a Christian priest in the 3rd century Rome who would advise young couples their future.
Not having enough soldiers to draft, Claudius II outlawed marriage and when Valentine continued to marry couples in secret, threw him in jail. When he cured the Gaoler’s daughter of her blindness, Claudius II sentenced him to death, and he left one last note on the day of his execution (February 14) for the daughter signed: “Your Valentine,”where the tradition began.
Roquemaure reassumes it’s 19th century look for the festival with 800 traditionally costumed people, horses and carriages, store fronts decorated in 19th century fashion, an old post office selling souvenir valentine postcards, a lovers’ fountain, a market with over 60 ancient trades, a bandstand and wooden merry-go-rounds. This is the perfect place for a romantic break authentically themed in the history and sentiment of Valentine’s Day and for more information visit www.saintvalentin.org.
If one needs a little wine to oil the wheels of love then there are also plenty of opportunities to get enjoy wine tastings in the region.
A spokesman for the Southern Rhone Valley region said: “For couples looking to move the wine and movie on the sofa to somewhere far more worthy over Valentines, the Southern Rhone Valley region certainly delivers by the glass. “La Cuvée Du Coeur at the famous 19th century Galuval Vineyards promises exquisite wine tasting with views over Mont Ventoux , and its jagged tooth like foothills les Dentelles de Montmirail is the perfect place to pop the question.”
For more information visit www.rhone-wines-tourism.com.
And in couple in search of some time alone and a valentine’s weekend with a wellbeing focus will love the Domaine de Fayet.
Right in the heart of the labyrinth of hills that constitutes les Cévennes Ardéchoises in Sanilhac, Domaine de Fayet is a stunning place to stay far from everything and everyone. The stone properties have been entirely renovated and feature spacious living and sleeping space. Lovingly decorated by owners Karine and Pascal, the calm environment is matched by contemporary stylish furnishings and colours that exploit natural light and work with not against the stone. There is even a pool, sauna and treatment menu deliver the final touches and for more information and bookings, visit www.fayetardeche.com.
For couples who want to get back to nature there is a romantic hideaway in Avignon in a tree house.
A spokesman for the Southern Rhone Valley region said: “Situated 5 metres off the ground and perched literally in a tree, La Cabane Perchee, brings kissing under a tree to a it’s literal conclusion in a grown up French weekend break. “The 25 square metres of love nest space that includes a bedroom, terrace, a spacious bathroom flooded with natural light.”
For more information and bookings visit www.lepavillonvert.com.