So this weekend, we ventured 2 hours south to the lovely picturesque town of Cheltenham in Gloucester (That’s pronounced GLOSS-TER, not GLOUW-ses-ter for my American brethren.  I swear the English name their towns and then pronounce them completely differently just to trip us up).

Yay for taking goofy pics of yourself in the car!

It was all a grand master plan to whisk my lovely W away for a romantic retreat for his birthday.

Our hotel, Strozzi Palace

I spoiled him but because I was there too, I got spoiled by default.  Result!

The birthday boy

We stayed at Strozzi Palace, located pretty much in the heart of everything, in a gorgeously appointed, incredibly affordable serviced apartment where a chilled bottle of champagne, a box of chocolates and a bed strewn with rosepetals were there to greet us.  Tres romantic!!

As you can see, we didn’t waste any time on the Thornton’s.
His n’ Hers fluffy bathrobes.  Oh, okay, then!

The apartment was all kinds of lovely.  I’m going to show you the website pics of it rather than my own crappy mobile pics because these show off our suite much better than I can.  Except with bathrobes and rosepetals and champers in ice but I’m sure you can use your imagination.

Fancy, no?

So as difficult as it was to tear ourselves away from the apartment, we decided to take advantage of our location and have a wander around.  I’d only really known of Cheltenham because of its horse racing but a workmate who hails from these parts assured me that as it’s on the northernmost part of the Cotswolds, it’s in a rather lovely part of the country.  I couldn’t agree more.  It was the perfect weekend break.

The architecture was just gorgeous with loads of beautiful apartments and regal homes everywhere you looked.

Montpellier was our favourite part.  The shops in Montpellier Walk are separated by caryatids, based on the classical models on the Erechtheion in Athens, and no two are the same. I found them rather fabulous.

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We did a lot of walking, just enjoying the view and each other’s company.

We also did a lot of people watching while sat in cafes drinking lattes…

And of course, a few drinks of the alcholic variety as well…

We visited an outdoor market…

… where there was all manner of hand crafted loveliness.

Ate at a fabulous Thai Restaurant, the Thai Emerald, which was so authentic, you felt as though you’d walked into another world…  The food was amazing.

We also did a bit of window shopping…  

(Oh and actual shopping too of course… I’ll show you some of my purchases in another post)

I desperately wanted those tortoise shell tumblers but this shop was closed on a Sunday.  Booo!

And dodged raindrops between bursts of sunshine…

All in all, it was a really wonderful little escape and I would highly recommend a trip to Cheltenham for a weekend away!  But learn from my mistake and bring a better camera, rather than depend upon your mobile!

Any romantic getaways in your future?  Have you been to Cheltenham?  Anywhere else you would recommend for a weekend break?  Take any goofy self-portraits in a car lately?  Do tell… The comment box awaits!

All pics my own (taken on a rather shitty mobile phone) except where indicated.

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