Well it’s been an absolute age since I’ve written a blog post, sadly when you work for yourself you can end up working ALL the time! But enough of that, I’m showing my blog some love with a love-themed post all about ways to spend this Valentine’s weekend in Winchester. Read on if you’ve not made any plans as yet, these are all ideas you can hopefully still do this weekend, some are even free too.
So you haven’t been organised and booked a table at one of Britain’s top three most romantic restaurants, The Chesil Rectory, don’t panic! Winchester is full of romance, tradition and wonderful places – there are plenty of ways to impress your other half with what the city has to offer.
St. Giles Hill
Okay so these photos were taken in summer time, however it’s still as beautiful and peaceful as ever up there. It’s definitely worth the climb. The viewpoint is a magical spot, where you can look over the whole of Winchester and reminisce about memories and places in the city. I’ve even heard of someone who actually got married up there! It’s so lovely you can see why. If you’re looking for free romance in the city, St. Giles Hill is top of the list.
The Screen Cinema
A trip to the cinema might not sound like the most original idea for Valentine’s Day, however The Screen really is a little bit special. It couldn’t really be more different to some of the big chain cinemas in my opinion! I highly recommend walking there and getting a nice bottle of wine to share with your film. Alternatively, if you have to drive they have some lovely coffees too. Choose of a few of the gourmet nibbles on offer as well and it’s a perfect occasion. There’s a few films to choose from this weekend… ’50 Shades of Grey’ is on of course but my choice would be ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’ – a cracking film that will definitely be enjoyed by both men and women.
The Black Bottle
Whether you’ve booked an evening meal and are looking for something fun afterwards or you just a fancy a cosy evening with some great wines, The Black Bottle can’t be beaten for something a little bit different. Discovering the different rooms and the special wines within each one is fun and finding a comfy spot to pass a few hours sampling the different varieties is just lovely. Order one of their platters to nibble on or bring a board game and while away the evening, it’s a must-do when in Winchester.
Nothing quite says Valentine’s like chocolate does it?! Chococo is the perfect spot for a daytime date. The locally-roasted coffee is great and of course the hot chocolate menu is amazing. I particularly love the DIY Hot Chocolate, where you melt solid chocolate into hot milk, heavenly. There are plenty of yummy savoury treats on offer for anyone who doesn’t have a sweet tooth too. You can also pick up lovely locally-made Valentines gifts in Chococo – a bespoke box of chocolates featuring only your loved one’s favourites makes a very special gift.
They say no-one does romance like the French and while a trip to Paris might not be on the cards, you’re certainly not short of French cuisine in Winchester! The Bridge Patisserie is lovely for foodie gifts and a day time date, Froggies/La Place is enjoyable any time of day and don’t forget Maison Blanc and Brasserie Blanc! On Saturday’s you’ll also usually find a lovely crepes and galette food stall in the High Street too. So whether it’s croissants, brie, macarons or French wines you fancy, you’ll find it in Winchester. There is of course Hotel du Vin, but I dare say you’d struggle to get in this weekend.
St. Catherine’s Hill
Another free way to enjoy Winchester this weekend and ideal if you’ve got a dog to walk too. The views and vast areas of green are well worth the hike up the hill. Whether you choose to take the steps or climb up the other side, you can’t beat it for a romantic stroll. Wrap up warm as it can get windy up there! The tree swing is fun too, I’m not sure adults are really supposed to go on it, but I have in the past and it’s still standing! Why not extend your walk along the water meadows too? Then you’ll really work up an appetite and will have to stop for a hearty pub lunch somewhere.
This lovely little tucked away part of Winchester is just a delight to wander around and take in some of its historical charm. It’s all a little bit Hogwarts around there and features some great independent shops. I particularly like Kingsgate Books & Prints, which has some wonderful artwork depicting Winchester scenery. These make perfect gifts, especially if you met your partner in Winchester or spent your courting years there! I always like to pass the spot of the house where Jane Austen died too, she is after all, a wise woman who wrote a great deal about love and relationships. And while you’re in the area the Wykeham Arms is a nice spot for a drink too…and, fun fact: Canon Street next to the pub, was once the red light district of Winchester!
So there you have it, just a few ways to enjoy Winchester this Valentine’s Weekend. There are so many more I could recommend but I think I’ll end it here – hopefully I’ve inspired you all to get romantic and take your loved ones out this weekend! How would you spend Valentine’s Day in Winchester?
Whatever your plans, have a Happy Valentine’s Day xXx