Is your lover mad on First Dates? Obsessed with The Crown? Adores Poldark?
These hotels will make your Valentine feel like a TV star for a weekend…
1. The First Dates fanatic
Hotel: Aquapetra Resort & Spa
Where: Campania, Italy, an hour’s drive from Naples
First Dates Hotel is filmed in Aquapetra Resort & Spa, an abandoned 19th-century hamlet that’s been turned into a luxury boutique hotel. Perched high in a secluded valley in Campania, it’s surrounded by vineyards and olive groves – think Tuscany without the crowds.
The outdoor pool is just as luscious as it looks on screen. There’s also a spa, an indoor pool with jacuzzi jets and a sauna and steam room if you want to get steamy. The Michelin-starred restaurant serves up dishes almost too pretty to eat. If your date likes sun, tranquility and fine food, this is the perfect place for a romantic weekend away.
Inspector Morse’s favourite hotel was the 5-star Randolph (as it’s commonly known). In fact, the fictional detective drank here so often there is an official Morse bar. An Oxford landmark, the Randolph is a grand Victorian institution with a massive central neo-gothic central staircase that reeks of murder and intrigue.
Morse came here to complete The Times crossword puzzle, take a glass of whisky and, occasionally, make Lewis buy him a pint after a day’s sleuthing, and it’s where the pair have their first drink of the episode in The Wolvercote Tongue. After Morse’s demise, the fictional Lewis continued to use the bar named after his fictional boss.
In series two of The Crown, Horsley Towers doubled as a German castle. The episode focused on Edward VIII (played by Alex Jennings) and the publication of the Marburg Files – top-secret diplomatic papers originally discovered by American soldiers in May 1945 at Marburg Castle.
Make sure you book one of the deluxe rooms in historic Horsley Towers, not Horsley Place, which is a modern conference centre. There’s a restaurant, bar, indoor pool and gym, and don’t forget to explore the gorgeous grounds.
Where: Campsie Glen, half an hour’s drive from Glasgow
Netflix’s hit comedy Lovesick is about a group of 20-somethings who share a flat in Glasgow’s West End. Fans wishing to follow in their footsteps should head to beautiful Kelvingrove Park, rock institution Barrowlands, chic bar St Luke’s and The Buff Club.
But if you want to stay somewhere really romantic, Daniel Ings (who plays feckless Luke) recommends a B&B called Finglen House. “In the third series, we filmed in a beautiful B&B at the foot of the Campsie Hills half an hour to the north of Glasgow. It’s supposed to be the home of Dylan’s parents. When our crew packed up on Friday night, my wife and I stayed on for the weekend with our kids. Sabrina the host was wonderful.”
In the new Cold Feet, Jenny (aka Faye Ripley) works at the Midland, a Manchester institution built in the early 1900s to serve the old Central railway station. The grand Edwardian building houses is slap-bang in the centre, so it’s easy to explore the sights. If you’d rather a romantic night in, there’s a spa and a great, good-value restaurant called Mr Cooper’s that does fabulous cocktails. Breakfast is also superb.
Cornwall looks scrumptious in Sky drama Delicious, and the star of the show is the posh hotel owned by Dawn French and Emilia Fox’s characters. It’s really a luxury B&B called Pentillie Castle.
Dating from the 17th century, the castle is perched on the banks of the River Tamar within a 2,000-acre estate in the lush, tranquil Tamar Valley, which forms the boundary between Cornwall and Devon. Nowadays it boasts nine elegant guest rooms and an outdoor swimming pool.
The Poldark cast including Aidan Turner and Eleanor Tomlinson stayed at Gwel an Mor while filming series two, and enjoyed it so much that some of them ended up returning for a New Year’s Eve party.
Located in Portreath on the north coast of Cornwall, the resort consists of small cabins and larger lodges spread over a hillside, with the self-catering residences left in peace by the resort staff (sort of like a posh Center Parcs). The resort encompasses a spa, gym, swimming pool, tennis courts and putting green, as well as a collection of animal enclosures boasting goats, foxes, donkeys, birds of prey and reindeer among others.
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