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Thornbury Castle After Dinner Brandy


February 14 Saint Valentine’s day is nearly upon us to kick start the most important date in the romantic calendar “the celebration of love and affection”. When being a pair, to be loved or to be in love seems to matter more than any other time of the year.

Over the years the word “Saint” has been eroded which is appropriate as Valentines Day for me, is not usually associated with “saintly” acts. During the middle ages, it was believed that birds paired up in mid-February. While legends may differ of one thing we are certain - Valentines Day is widely recognised as a day for romance and devotion all around the globe.

Single Red Rose

For some of us Valentines is not cause for celebration but recrimination and the thought of spending yet another fated Valentines alone, preoccupied with the burning curiosity in your belly as to what your ex is doing. Question marks over whether things were really that bad with the one you sent packing or broke up with and/or a fleeting desire for a "do over" of the day or moment in time when your “happily ever after” came to an end. You may opt to avoid social media like the plague rather than run the risk of scrolling through pictures and comments of him and his new "boo" looking happier than you and he ever were together! Others welcome the solitude of pulling out a shoebox of Kodak memories and curling up on the sofa with a bottle of red. Agonising over photographs that you told those closest to you, had been shredded or burnt a long time ago. Whichever Valentine you are I have cherry picked a lifetime memory I want to share with you.


Thornbury Castle

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to feel like a true princess? Let me attest to the fact that staying at Thornbury Castle steeped in history is truly every little girl’s dream and I fully understand why King Henry VIII unceremoniously confiscated it in August 1535 for a 10 day stay with his Queen Anne Boleyn, on their honeymoon. The impenetrable walls of this 16th century fairy tale fortress is the perfect refuge, sanctuary or weekend/spa getaway whether you are a couple, a group or flying solo. The four poster bed chambers provide a unique Tudor England atmosphere in which to luxuriate. Croquet, archery or learning the basics of falconry are among a variety of traditional outdoor activities on offer.

Upon arrival, I immediately knew my stay was going to be special when like a scene straight out of the Scarlet Pimpernel a fleet of porters, adorned in tales, silk cravats and gloves methodically removed our bags from the car and took them to reception.

Dukes Bedchamber

Cast Iron Lock & Key

DUKE'S BEDCHAMBER: Turning the one-off wrought iron key in the original lock, remains for me the unmatched truly one of a kind experience to this day. The four poster bed embellished with heavy regal fabrics transported me back in time to the perfect setting where a knight could indulge in one of the few privileges commensurate with his rank. To have unconsummated sex with naive ripe maidens contrary to the teachings of the Church and morality of society. A boudoir where maidens were conquered by the worthy, strong and powerful. Sleeping quarters where dreams of love were ignited and burnt.

En-Suite Thornbury Castle

EN-SUITE: The stand alone bath that easily accommodates two people provide an ideal opportunity to delve into your treasure trove of Spa body gift sets and bask and luxuriate in the pampering bathing ritual that would turn that en-suite into a fragrant oriental spiced, Lilly, orange infused with sandalwood and red berry blissful spa. Alternatively, I could risk the highly fragrant Lush Rose Queen bath bombs that intimately soothed me when I was young, but what would now, that I am over 50, give me cause to break out a tube of Canesten to relieve the fiery itch that was certain to follow the minute I stepped out of the bath! Bath crème it is then.

Window of the Bedchamber

Through the windows of this fairy tale medieval castle, my eyes survey the majestic 15 acre view

Airborn View Thornbury Castle

and vineyard bordering the Tudor garden encircling this bastion of manicured lawns, landscaped grounds, clipped River Severn and beyond.

CONCLUSION: Investing in love, affection, friendship, tenderness, devotion and passion carries a high level of risk but equally high dividends for every investor. For me there is no ambiguity about the romance of Valentines Day there will be the intoxicating cocktail of excitement, exhilaration and knowledge that something exceptional is going to happen. The only intriguing uncertainty is what? For these basic reasons alone, I for one will continue to passionately observe and defend the legacy of Valentines Day. Happy Valentines to all my readers all over the world. Be good to each other. x


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