Hello Sunday! Hoping this post finds you tucked up in bed, sipping on a cup of tea and catching up on your very favourite blogs – this one being first in the queue 🙂 Last weekend we put a call out to readers through Facebook and Instagram, inviting you to share any burning honeymoon questions you might have. We know from our own personal experiences that planning a honeymoon from scratch can feel like quite an intimidating task – it can be difficult to know even where to start. We were really delighted with your response – thank you so much! It’s so very rewarding for our team to see readers interacting and engaging with Love My Dress in this way – we really do love hearing from you.
Earlier this week, I handed over the questions you’d submitted to Gemma Miles, honeymoon consultant at the boutique-hotel experts Mr & Mrs Smith. Wondering where to whisk your sweetheart for your dream honeymoon? Torn between an idyllic beach-retreat or a thrilling city break? Gemma picked her five favourite reader questions to respond to on Love My Dress today and you will find her answers and advice below. If your question hasn’t been answered, please let us know or please leave your query in the comments box below. The Mr & Mrs Smith will be keeping a close eye on any replies to this feature and will answer them for you next week. I really do hope you find this feature helpful. Let’s head on over to our first question.
From @beretbee: We got engaged at a Smith hotel in Italy 2014 and are getting married at another Smith hotel in the Cotswolds this summer. We have just one week available for a honeymoon in late August. Suggestions please! So far we have nothing sorted! We would also welcome any thoughts on a pre-wedding trip.
Congratulations! August is a fantastic time to go away in Europe. I’d recommend heading to Sardinia, where you can explore the coastal trails, flop on the powder-soft sands at glamorous La Celvia beach or browse the markets of San Pantaleo and stock up on local Sardinian delicacies. There’s plenty on offer for foodies, from fresh seafood served up in harbourside restaurants to rustic pizzas expertly baked in Arzachena. As for where to stay, I personally love Petra Segreta Resort & Spa, a romantic traditional farmhouse on the beautiful Costa Smeralda. Please do get in touch if you’d like more suggestions.
From @lucy_boniface: We’re looking for somewhere long-haul for September. We were set on the Maldives but worry about the weather. Any suggestions, please?
The Maldives in September can be hit-and-miss, weather-wise: it’s right at the tail end of the rainy season, so you could see amazing sun-filled days or very soggy scenes. If your hearts are set on it, though, I’d recommend taking a short ‘minimoon’ in Europe right after the wedding, and then jetting off to the Maldives later, when the weather’s more reliable. September is a wonderful time to visit Venice: the summer crowds have dispersed and the temperature’s still lovely.
And then on to the Maldives: the best time to visit is December through April, when you can expect very little rain, clear blue skies and plenty of sunshine. One&Only Reethi Rah is on its own island with a spa, 12 beaches and eight restaurants to choose from.
Or if you’re after rustic charm, Gili Lankanfushi has plenty to offer: the villa suites are open-air with over-water sundecks. And if you’d like more tips, give me a call! My contact details are provided at the end of this feature.
From @twintreehealing: I love history and want to go somewhere where I can learn more about ancient culture. My fiancé is on board, but also wants our honeymoon to be relaxing. We are open to any suggestions, and have a 10–12 day window. Thank you so much.
Tuscany is known for its serene landscapes decorated with Cypress trees, but also its traditions, history and artistic legacy. Beautifully restored ancient farmhouses are dotted across the region, lined with olive groves and vineyards, and you’ve plenty of Medieval hill-top villages to explore (Montalcino, Pienza and the like). But you can also just relax poolside: Poggio Piglia’s infinity pool in a herb-scented garden is one of my ultimates.
For stylish interiors and peace and quiet, head to Monteverdi: the kitchen is run by Giancarla, who serves up locally sourced seasonal dishes, bursting with flavour and colour (I gorged on braised wild-boar short ribs, platters of cured meats and sweetly poached pears). Have a look at our Tuscan collection on our site, and get in touch if something catches your eye…
From Claudette Hogan: We want to take a road trip around France but are not sure where the best places are to stop?
Road trips are a great way of exploring new places, and there are lots of scenic routes across France. Start your journey with a Eurostar from London into the heart of Paris, where I love staying at the oh-so-charming La Belle Juliette, a stone’s throw away from the very best boutiques in the city.
You can easily pick up a hire car in town: pick a company that has branches across the country so you can drop your car off at your last stop. It’s best to break up your driving-time into manageable slots so you’re not spending hours on end on the road: it takes roughly four hours to drive to Burgundy from Paris with plenty of chic eateries and pit-stops along the way, and then you can bed down at Châteaude Bagnols, close to the city of Lyon.
From there, travel down to historic Avignon for a night: rest your head at opulent La Mirande, where the kitchen serves Provençal cuisine at its best.
For the final leg of your journey, try uber-glamorous St Tropez on the Riviera. Spend your last few days supping sundowners from your daybed on Nikki Beach or exploring the charming backstreets lined with artisan cafés. The serene sanctuary of Muse St Tropez (below top) and minimalist modern Kube Hotel (below bottom) are my go-to stays there.
From @xxemma1xx: We’re hoping to go on honeymoon in early June next year. We want somewhere exotic that offers both gorgeous beaches and luxury resorts but also some local things to see and do. Where would you recommend? We prefer outside Europe.
Firstly, congratulations! It’s great to plan ahead and get your honeymoon mapped out in advance. June is a great month to visit Malaysia: you could spend your first couple of days in bustling Kuala Lumpur, where there’s so much to experience (from ornate temples to flavourful street food). Catch a direct flight on to Langkawi, where you’ll enjoy jaw-dropping views of the tropical landscape and palm-fringed sands: it’s the ultimate place to relax on a romantic retreat.
The island has great places to stay (one of my favourites is as Bon Ton Restaurant & Resort, a one-of-a-kind rustic hotel with traditional stilted houses, on the grounds of a former coconut plantation.
I also love The Datai, a secluded luxury hotel with stunning views, where the only traffic you’re likely to come across is a family of Macaque monkeys). I hope that’s given you some good ideas, do give me a bell if you’d like to talk about other good summer locales.
And there you go! I really do hope you’ve found this feature helpful. To get Gemma’s advice on your own honeymoon adventures, email [email protected] or call 020 8626 1112. Mr & Mrs Smith offers the best prices, guaranteed, and a little something extra on arrival to help make you feel special. Book online on at Mr & Mrs Smith or give the expert Travel Team a call on 0330 100 3180.
HUGE thanks to the amazing Mr & Mrs Smith for responding to our reader questions! If you love this feature, please let us know and we’ll run another post answering more of your questions.
Much love and happy honeymoon planning everyone,
Love Annabel x
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