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Strategies for healthy holiday eating

The key to healthy holiday eating, or for that matter ANY sensible eating plan, and its vulnerability to the stresses common during the holidays, mood swings, economic strife, or any of myriad opportunities to “be bad just this once”, is the same as for any substantial and long-term lifestyle and behavioral change – sustainability. And the key to the sustainability of any permanent personal change is ATTITUDE.

Wait! I can hear those hard-drives beeping “over and out” right now! But fear not! Believe me, I understand the trepidation toward the cookie-cutter “pick yourself up by the bootstraps” monologue, wielded by so many guru-wannabes who feign the hard-learned and hard-earned wisdom of the rogue-gone-straight. Most advice that dares to don the faux-humble crown of ‘attitude’ seems to fall just short of being a hellfire sermon from on-high, effectively guilting the receiver into placating the guru with the obligatory and contrite head nods that only yield to headaches in the absence of the hovering of said authority figure.

So, what of this holiday eating? It’s remarkably, liberatingly simple: don’t set yourself up to fail! Commit to *sensible* eating that you can live with! Who among us can honestly say that they have unfailingly complied with some oath to, oh, eat 2 servings of Brussels’ sprouts a week, every week, for the past 10 years? Okay 5 years? One year? One serving a week? Ahhha hand went up! Ohhhhyou LIKE Brussels’ sprouts!

Understand? Your plan has to be one you can LIVE with not just your body but your soul! If you are miserable as you stay ever so healthy, what’s the point, gov’nuh? One of two things is gonna break eventually your spirit, or your plan I’m talking about sustainability, here. Your plan isn’t gonna work if you can’t bring yourself to work your plan. The only way to ensure that you are able to work your plan over the long haul, is to be able to find some satisfaction and enjoyment out of not just getting past it but of DOING it.

But we’re not talking about the long haul, right? Just get me through ChristmaHanuQuanza and the two hellacious weeks of my mother-in-law’s visit! But isn’t life already stressful enough, ESPECIALLY during the holidays? Why add to your burdens some lofty sacred vow to swear off all cheesecake and especially Aunt Behemoth-Bottom’s 2-cheese mashed potatoes? The answer isn’t rocket science, I promise. It’s the tried and true but ever thus: “moderation”! Have *a* serving of the delectable spuds, and accompany

Come Over The Lively And Peachy Diners In Deurne

Antwerp is one of Belgium’s most influential provinces. It is best familiar for the charming and light-hearted nature of its folk. It is also known as the diamond capital of the world because 70% of the world diamond trade takes compass in the area. It could also be said that Antwerp is one of the economic capitals of Belgium – this comes as no surprise since Antwerp has long been an economic powerhouse in Belgium, with a successful financial past events dating back to the 1500s. This historical wealth gave rise to the ancient-searching constructions of Antwerp, which are some of the tourist bait of present.

Vacationists are drawn to scarcely any hotspots in Antwerp. Appealing Antwerp tourism destinations include the Cathedral of our Lady, notable for its architectural design, the Steen, noted for it’s archaic castle like structure and the fact that it is one of the oldest edifices within the place; the home of painter Peter Paul Reuben; Antwerp’s urban place Hall erected in the sixteenth century, and the zoo. Don’t forget to check out the Grote Market in Antwerp where vendors regularly sell their wares. Antwerp tourism is a bustling industry because the center has so many spots of leisure!

Aside from the casual stroll and site-seeing, there are other treat and insightful activities that you could do in Antwerp. Fundamental tours in Antwerp include the Port Antwerp journey. The port is the 2nd greatest in Europe and the 5th biggest in the world. This port was one of the instruments of free trade in Europe as it welcomed goods from Asia, Africa, and the Americas. The Antwerp Ghostwalk is a center journey that explores the darker side of Antwerp. The tour tells the collapse of Antwerp due to a succession of wars in days of yore it turned around and became termed it is nowadays.

Antwerp has its own brand of entertainment found in the dated city centre. The Cafe Beveren is a quaint shop frequented by university students, singles, and sailors. There is also an antique organ and jukebox that is played by local talents. The Bourlaschouwburg is a round theatre that was once constructed for the French elite in the 1830′s. Present, you can watch the Het Toneelhuis theatre company display their talent in this theatre. Cartoons is a cinema house for foreign films and independently produced features. You can sit down and take in the cosy atmosphere of the cinema house with your date.

Antwerp stands out from the rest of Belgium when it comes to food. While Brussels is well-known for its chocolate, Antwerp has a delicacy christened “smos” which is made out of bread. It is difficult to say where the ultimate “smos” is, as every character in Antwerp has a various opinion about it, but one well-known store is Jean-Pierre. The friendly humans of Antwerp will gladly direct the sightseers to a compass near the university where the accepted “smos” is served.

The better restaurants in Antwerp do not offer Belgian food, unfortunately. The common food offered is just like the other sites with regard to ethnic food.

Antwerp’s history as a trading hub allowed it to accumulate ethnology and experiences divergent from other places in Belgium. Now, Antwerp is going back to top form economically. Antwerp is one of the minute tourist ports in Europe that is classic and progressive, ready to bring its spirit in the new century.

A Guide to the Restaurants of Brussels, Belgium

Gastronomic delights await foodies on tour in Brussels, Belgium. The local cuisine has a unique flavour and style, but the city also pays homage to cuisines from around the world. Butcher’s Street, for example, is home to a large number of international restaurants that cater to a range of budgets and tastes.

For something local, simple and relatively cheap, head to Les Brassins with its brasserie set up. Patronised mostly by students and locals, the restaurant offers good quality as well as good quantity from a small menu of items.

On the other side of the spectrum, there’s Aux Armes de Bruxelles, which caters to an upmarket clientele with haute cuisine. Everything from the food to the wine is highly praised by those who have visited the restaurant. As a result, reservations should be made in advance as the high price tag doesn’t appear to dissuade customers from filling up all the tables each night.

If mussels in Brussels sounds good, visit Chez Leon. Popular in France, the restaurant serves up mussels, French fries and beer in a variety of ways along with other traditional Belgian cuisine.

Arcadi is one of Brussel’s most popular vegetarian restaurants. The bistro style restaurant offers a lengthy menu with conservative prices. Dig into everything from quiches and pastas to salads and sandwiches. And don’t forget to ask for brussels sprouts to round off your Brussels experience. Arcadi isn’t strictly vegetarian, though; it does offer bacon with some of the dishes and not everyone considers dishes that include eggs to be vegetarian.

Those who would prefer to sample something beyond Belgium’s local flavours (at least for a break from the norm) may enjoy La Kasbah. Serving up the tastes of Morocco, everything from the food to the conversation of the waiters (in Arabic) to the décor is distinctly Moroccan. Try out the popular favourites of tagine, couscous and mezze. Top it all off with a tasty baklava.

A number of restaurants in Brussels are converted from interesting origins. In’t Spinnekopke was once a stagecoach inn and now serves up hale and hearty country cuisine washed down with over a hundred varieties of artisanal beers. Similarly, La Manufacture, which now serves Mediterranean and Asian cuisines, was once a leather goods factory. Not to be outdone, La Quincaillerie, a former hardware store, is now a popular favourite with local businessmen.

In keeping with the varied nature of the city, the restaurants of Brussels, Belgium are just as varied and provide for hours of entertainment…for a foodie anyway.

How To Eat A Healthy Diet By Having The Right Amount Of Fruit And Vegetables!

Dietary experts recommend that every person should eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. The importance of fruits and vegetables to a healthy diet has been known for quite some time, but studies have shown that very few people eat the amount of fruits and vegetables recommended for a healthy diet.

That’s a shame, since eating a sufficient number of fruits and vegetables just may be the single most effective thing you can do to improve your overall health. The five a day approach to healthy eating may be the single most important strategy you can adopt for a healthier lifestyle.

The many health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables have been established for quite some time now. Study after study has shown that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables lowers the risk of certain cancers, heart disease and other chronic diseases and conditions. Some studies have suggested that as many as 35% of cancer deaths can be attributed to diet, and that diets high in fats and low in fruits and vegetables contributes to unnecessary cancer deaths.

Fruits and vegetables have a lot of advantages besides just their nutritional importance. For one thing, they taste great and add a great deal of variety to everyday meals. Fruits and vegetables come in such a wide variety of colours, textures and flavours that they can be used in virtually every meal. Those seeking to maximize their consumption of fruits and vegetables should get into the habit of using fruits in salads, as toppings and as garnishes.

In addition to their great taste, fruits and vegetables are packed full of many essential vitamins and minerals, including many micronutrients that are not included in packaged vitamin supplements. For instance, foods like butternut squash, pumpkins, carrots, mangoes, peaches, pawpaws and green leafy vegetables are rich in beta carotene. Beta carotene is vital for healthy skin and eyes.

In addition, most varieties of fruits and vegetables contain vitamin C, another important vitamin and a strong antioxidant. Good sources of vitamin C include Brussels sprouts, citrus fruits, strawberries, broccoli, nectarines and kiwi fruit. Many fruits and vegetables, including spinach, broccoli and avocadoes, are also good sources of vitamin E, another excellent antioxidant.

Men and women alike should always strive to eat a healthy diet, but women have an extra incentive to get all the nutrition they need. Proper nutrition is essential to a healthy pregnancy, and some of the baby’s biggest nutritional needs happen before the pregnancy is discovered. Folic acid is perhaps the best known essential nutrient for pregnant women. Folic acid has been proven effective at preventing a variety of birth defects, including Spina Bifida. Good dietary sources of folic acid include Brussels sprouts, broccoli, spinach and oranges. In addition, due to its importance to women of child bearing years, many common foods such as cereals and breads, are supplemented with folic acid.

In addition to their importance as source of vitamins and minerals, fruits and vegetables also provide essential dietary fibre. Adequate fibre in the diet is important in preventing heart disease and some kinds of cancer.

Another great feature of fruits and vegetables, especially to those watching their weight, is the high nutrition, low fat, low calorie nature of these foods. Fruits and vegetables contain very low levels of fats, and a diet low in fat can be quite effective for long term weight loss. In addition, fruits and vegetables contain no cholesterol, and they are lower in calories than many other types of foods.

With all these things going for them, it is no wonder so many dietary experts recommend eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Not only are fruits and vegetables delicious and nutritious, but they can be quite inexpensive as well. Buying fruits and vegetables that are locally grown, and that are in season, is usually the most cost effective way to get the freshest fruits and veggies at the lowest possible cost.

This buying strategy also helps to ensure a steady stream of new fruits and vegetables every month, as some go out of season while others are just coming in. Trying a variety of different fruits and vegetables, including some you may not be familiar with, is also a great way to create exciting new dishes and prevent you from becoming bored with the same old diet. Whether your goal is to lose weight or just increase your level of fitness, it is hard to go wrong with a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.

Travel destinations: Belgium

Although Belgium is one of the smallest countries in Europe, it is one of the most diverse and interesting countries in the European Community. There is a variety of attractive places to visit within this hospitable country. During my visits to this country, I have personal experiences of the following places.

Brussels – The capital and commercial centre of Belgium. Brussels is a fascinating city. It is a unique mixture of old and new and, in many ways as cosmopolitan, both commercially and culturally as London. In addition, it is the centre of the EU, housing its parliament. For those interested in learning more about the politics, this is the city to visit.

Ostend – You have to visit this town around Christmas. At this time of year, they create an ice rink in the town’s main square. In addition, there are the wonderful Christmas Markets, where you are bound to find an unusual gift for those you love.

Antwerp – A busy port, based in the north of the country. However, if you want to impress the one you love, this is the place to take them because Antwerp is also considered the diamond centre for the world. Add that to the fashion centres and it is time to lock up your wallets before you visit, because even the hardest heart will be melted by the sheer beauty of the array of the stones and clothes on show in this town.

Leuven – Leuven is a university town. One of the most striking first impressions this town will make is the unique architectural beauty of its town hall, dating back to around the 1400′s. It is a fabulous structure. With a substantial student population, this town comes to life at night. Spend an evening in the “Bikers Bar” and I guarantee that you will not be disappointed. The nightlife here has to be witnessed to be believed.

Gent – The one area of the world where flower power survives. Although it is a commercial town, Gent is also known for its old meets new architecture and, perhaps most of all, for its flower sales.

Bruges – Nick-named the Venice of the north, Bruges certainly lives up to this. With a maze of canals dissecting the city, this provides an adventure in itself. For those who prefer a more sedate form of transport. It is a very sedate city where one can relax and enjoy an assortment of shops. Dining in experience in Bruges, especially in the winter months when many restaurants provide comfort in the form of open fires.

Belgium, surely a jewel in the European crown.

Recipes: Caramelized brussels sprouts

My first memory of being served Brussel sprouts was at my grandmother’s in Pennsylvania. We had driven from Michigan for Thanksgiving dinner with family. The road trip took longer than usual as the roads were covered with heavy wet snow.

We did not stop to use the bathrooms or eat along the way since we were already behind schedule. The thought of wonderful Thanksgiving smells kept us going. Turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie , we talked about them all.

Finally we arrived. Famished and in need of the facilities, but the instead of the house smelling luscious, it had a strong, distinct, strong odor. All three floors. That was my introduction to Brussel sprouts.

My grandmother, who relished cooking rarely struck out, but she did this time. She had not taken into account the winter driving conditions and extra time it would take us to drive. Mother instructed us to at least eat a spoonful of the mushy pale green mess, without complaining, or no pie. We did. That was the first and last time I ate Brussels sprouts for nearly a decade.

Years later, I married a gentleman. He was from Belgium and weeks after we wed, we decided to move to Belgium. He had secured a pastry chef postion and while I learned Flemish, I could help his mother at her craft store and his fathers farm.

Besides chickens, geese and rabbits, they grew vegetables. The fields were filled row upon row of potatoes, asparagus, carrots, tomatoes, cabbage, witlof, onions and of course Brussel sprouts. Sprouten, as they referred to it as, out numbered other vegetables.

“It’s my father’s favorite vegetable”, my husband mentioned as I looked around in awe. “He prepares it just so”, he added. This is where I learned this recipe. From Bompa (grandfather in dialect). Good thing I liked it, since we ate it six nights out of seven.

CARMELIZED BRUSSELS SPROUTS

Ingredients

1# Fresh Brussel sprouts, stem trimmed and washed. Outer leaves removed if brown. If large, cut a x into the stem to aid in cooking.

1 cup chicken stock

3 Tablespoons butter

1/2 cup thinly sliced Spanish onions

1 Tablespoon granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg

salt and white pepper to taste

Method

Place clean Brussel Sprouts into a 1 1/2 to 2 quart vegetable pot with a lid. Place chicken stock in pan. Cover with enough additional water. Cook until simmering lightly. Remove the lid and continue to cook for 12-15 minutes or until tender. Timing depends on the size of the heads.

While the sprouts cook, place the butter into a large saute pan and melt the butter over medium heat, careful not to burn. When melted add the thinly sliced onion. Cook on medium and saute (to jump) them until just past the translucent stage. Remove onion pan from the heat until the sprouts are cooked.

When sprouts are cooked, drain all of the liquid except for 1/3 cup. Return the saute pan with the onions to a medium heat. Add the sugar, stirring continually for a minute of two. Carefully, add the 1/3 cup of liquid from the sprouts.

Cook another minute or two and then add the sprouts. Season with the nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste. We ate this almost every day but I think they make a wonderful side for garlic roasted chicken.

Eat Your Fruits and Vegetables Everyday

Dietary experts mention that every character should eat at slightest five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. The importance of fruits and vegetables to a vigorous diet has been known for wholly sometime, but studies have exposed that very few people eat the total of fruits and vegetables recommended for a wholesome diet.

That’s a defame, since intake enough fruits and vegetables just may be the distinct most real thing you can do to upgrade your total form. The five a day slant to well drinking may be the definite most important approach you can adopt for an improved lifestyle.

The the strength profit of eating fruits and vegetables have been established for wholly sometime now. Study after reading has revealed that a diet occupied in fruits and vegetables lowers the jeopardy of certain cancers, sympathy disease and other frequent diseases and conditions. Some studies have optional that as many as 35% of pest deaths can be attributed to diet, and that diets high in fats and low in fruits and vegetables contributes to unnecessary melanoma deaths.

Fruits and vegetables have a lot of advantages also just their nutritional importance. For one thing, they drink great and add a great compact of diversity to everyday meals. Fruits and vegetables come in such a thick kind of colours, textures and flavours that they can be used in nearly every meal. Those seeking to raise their consumption of fruits and vegetables should get into the custom of with fruits in salads, as toppings and as trimmings.

Besides their great drink, fruits and vegetables are packed full of many critical vitamins and reserves, counting many micronutrients that are not included in packaged vitamin supplements. For instance, foods like butternut squash, pumpkins, carrots, mangoes, peaches, pawpaws and green abundant vegetables are abundant in beta carotene. Beta carotene is central for vigorous skin and eyes.

In addition, most varieties of fruits and vegetables inhibit vitamin C, another important vitamin and a piquant antioxidant. Good sources of vitamin C include Brussels sprouts, citrus fruits, strawberries, broccoli, nectarines and kiwi fruit. Many fruits and vegetables, plus spinach, broccoli and avocadoes, are also good sources of vitamin E, another brilliant antioxidant.

Men and women alike should forever strive to eat a healthful diet, but women have a beyond incentive to get all the food they ought. Proper nutrition is chief to a healthy pregnancy, and some of the baby’s biggest nutritional needs occur before the pregnancy is discovered. Folic acid is perhaps the best known elemental nutrient for pregnant women. Folic acid has been proven useful at preventing a strain of birth defects, plus Spina Bifida. Good dietetic sources of folic acid include Brussels sprouts, broccoli, spinach and oranges. In addition, due to its importance to women of teen bearing living, many known foods such as cereals and breads, are supplemented with folic acid.

Besides their importance as cause of vitamins and minerals, fruits and vegetables also grant critical dietary fibre. Adequate fibre in the diet is important in preventing heart disease and some kinds of cancer.

Another great facet of fruits and vegetables, especially to those scrutiny their credence, is the high nutrition, low fat, low calorie scenery of these foods. Fruits and vegetables include very low levels of fats, and a diet low in fat can be utterly valuable for long tenure power deficit. In addition, fruits and vegetables contain no cholesterol, and they decrease in calories than many other types of foods.

With all these equipment vacant for them, it is no sensation so many dietary experts counsel eating a diet fruitful in fruits and vegetables. Not only are fruits and vegetables delicious and nutritious, but they can be pretty inexpensive as well. Buying fruits and vegetables that are locally mature, and that are in time, is usually the most sacrifice real way to get the freshest fruits and veggies at the lowly possible outlay.

This exchange tactic also helps to guarantee a steady cascade of new fruits and vegetables every month, as some go out of spell while others are just approach in. Trying a nearly different fruits and vegetables, including some you may not be familiar with, is also a great way to design exciting new dishes and avert you from right bored with the same old diet. Whether your goal is to spend credence or just intensify your demolish of fitness, it is hard to go amiss with a diet annoying in fruits and vegetables.

Cooking guidelines to please your family

There is an old saying which I first heard in childhood but have never forgotten, essentially stating that, “You can please some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time; but you can never please all of the people all of the time.” How true a saying this is in so many areas of life but I would say especially so when it comes to the issue of cooking to please your family. “I don’t like broccoli!” “I don’t like Brussels sprouts!” How often do such cries ring out in dining-rooms and kitchens around the world? I am sure that we are all familiar with them from some stage in our lives.

So how do we go about at least trying to please all of the people all of the time? I would suggest that there are a number of tactics we can employ.

The easiest and perhaps most obvious one is the one which I would least recommend. That is to simply not make the broccoli or the Brussels sprouts or whatever it may be that leads to such a furore at meal times. It certainly makes for a peaceful time – but what are the drawbacks? Firstly, we are denying other family members the enjoyment of a specific dish or ingredient which they may be particularly fond of. Secondly, it is almost a form of surrender to the whims of probably (but not necessarily!) a child. This is not in the long term, therefore, a road which we should wish to do down.

The second (and second least recommended option) is to allow the person who “doesn’t like” a certain item simply to omit it from their plate. This is fine if we are talking only about a vegetable for instance, but what if it is the entire dish that is being referred to? Are we facing making a completely different meal for one person from what the rest of the family will sit down to? Hardly desirable, especially if we have already had a long, hard day.

There is another saying which I like and that is, “Variety is the spice of life!” So many of us are fond of using spices in our cooking these days – do we remember that most important spice of all?

Consider a food item that a member of your family is not keen on facing at the table and why this may be the case. Let us use broccoli – that old favourite “dislike” – as our example. I genuinely believe that the main reason people do not like broccoli is that they are used to having it served to them totally over-cooked. Broccoli should be still firm when cooked, not so flimsy that it falls apart when we attempt to put it on the plate! If this is not the case, however, try serving it in a different way. Blend it in to essentially a sauce and drizzle it around some cauliflower. Broccoli and cauliflower go very well together and a little bit of imagination and creativity can make all the difference in the world.

Introducing variety in to your cookings will please your family in other ways as well. They are unlikely to come to the table knowing that, “Tuesday is beef night,” for example, in expectation of what is to be served rather than in anticipation. It can create a whole knew joy in the eating experience and in the cooking one as well. Do you enjoy making the same old dishes every time. Variety in this way can therefore please and revitalise the cook as well as the diners!

I very much hope that anyone who knows these issues in their home will choose the third of the above methods for pleasing their family at mealtimes and put that spark of pleasure and joy back in to each such occasion.

Hit The Provocative And Extraordinary Diners In Wilrijk

Antwerp may not be much of a political power compared to its neighbour Brussels, but it is one of the true gems of Flanders. With a batch of baroque bars and antique edifices, Antwerp is also called the diamond capital of the world. Almost every one of the diamonds imported from Africa are cut and prepared here. This historic charm and modest lifestyle in Antwerp make it one of Belgium’s largest underrated tourist destinations. Antwerp has the right mingle of the ancient and the new, cradled in its city allies and mileposts. Here, you can find Art Nouveau mansions, Renaissance villas, and dark ages castles. These principal structures provide the backdrop for a romantic locale in this diamond country.

You can inaugurate your “Antwerpen trip” by seeing the Antwerp Zoo. This zoo is one of the ancient zoos in the world. Since it was founded in 1843, it continued to collect exotic animal species from Belgium’s African colonies. You can still see the lion panels from the 1800′s. The Grote Market in the bygone town centre is an icon of gothic lifestyle in Flanders. The triangular area that covers the market is lined with guild halls straight from the Renaissance, and you can also find the Brabo fountain in the centre of the market.

As globetrotters are attend guests in Antwerp, the businessmen have picked up and are now offering peregrination packages that give first-rate news and services to them. Better claim that the most peregrination trap is the Port of Antwerp, which is the 5th biggest port in the world. The excursion normally lasts for two and a half hours because of the sheer size of the area.

Antwerp villagers also claim to present seen ghosts, and facts about these ghosts is available through the Ghostly Nighttime circuit. The ultimate constituent about this tour is that whether the tourists are scared or merely interested, the excursion never loses its novelty.

As with every one of things Europe, the bars are always of note. Every country has its own bar civilization, and Belgium is not any diverse. The Pelgrom is a leadng underground pub that day-trippers should not forget to stay with. Unlike other countries that demonstrate “locals” frequenting the bars, Antwerp bars are satisfying due to the friendliness of the Antwerp populace.

There is also the high-class shopping area in Meir for globetrotters who thirst for to spend sound money on some novel Belgian attire and shoes. The items are clearly worth it as they act in place of the style of life in Antwerp.

The residents of Antwerp delight in fantastic food. You may get satisfying French temptations like french fries and other fried dishes in the standing eateries found on the ways. Antwerp has a unique form of creating superb bread, one of which is christened “smos”. Smos is bread topped with lots of layers of garnish. The only form to eat it is to plunge in and chew them the messy mode. For dinner, Antwerp has a amassment of fine eating restaurants. They say that the food in Antwerp is superior than in Brussels. You will need to be the judge.

Antwerp has been under the radar for so long, so expect this urban place to emerge as a cream tourist spot in the coming years. The finest guise to get around Antwerp is with bikes. Hit museums, royal houses, and the famed Cathedral of our Lady.

Planning A Weekend Of Romance

For many men organising a romantic getaway is something they hope to do for their girlfriend or wife at least once. Unfortunately males become easily daunted when the good intentions become plans and the details of planning a trip arise. How to travel? What luxury hotel to choose? Where to go? When to go?

These are questions that must be thoughtfully answered if the getaway is to go off without a hitch. This makes detailed planning the primary concern, spontaneity may be romantic but turning up to a luxury hotel and finding no free rooms is not.

Location should be considered most carefully of all, a place that has shared memories or somewhere you have always planned to go together is a good starting point. Paris may always be the preferred place to go for a romantic getaway but remember for those on a budget three nights in a luxury hotel in Paris will consume the best part of your budget and leave little for dining out and enjoying yourselves outside the hotel.

That is not to say that a luxury hotel is a necessity, just as much romance can be had staying somewhere cheaper and leaves more money to be spent on indulgencies such as champagne and fine dining. But checking into a magnificent hotel foyer always starts a trip off nicely as the ‘wow factor’ is something worth pursuing at all costs.

A luxury hotel room will also help in producing the ‘wow factor’, getting the right room is essential. Ideally something large with a king size bed will create that feeling of luxury, decor and of course a large bathroom will add to this. For a romantic getaway who would not want to live in the lap of luxury? Even if it is just for one weekend.

Travel and the amount of time spent away are also important aspects. You do not want to fly half way around the world to stay in a luxury hotel for two nights, this could not be less romantic as both of you will spend most of the time sleeping off the effects of the flight. If travelling far abroad a general rule would be to lengthen the romantic getaway to accommodate the time spent recovering from flights.

Staying closer to home for nabbing a quick romantic getaway is a better plan of action, with short haul flights being as cheap as they are at the moment, who could resist jumping on the plane to Prague or Budapest for a romantic break?

Since the opening of the new St Pancras International the continent could not be closer, both Brussels and Paris are now reachable in less than two and a half hours making either city the perfect place for nipping away for a weekend of romance. For those trying to save a little Brussels is recommended as the city has many luxury hotels at reasonable prices.

That is not to say that you must go abroad to find a decent luxury hotel from which to plan your romantic getaway. Whether choosing to have a break in the beautiful British countryside or in one of the many vibrant cities the selection in terms of luxury hotels is vast.

A trip within Britain a real possibility for those wishing to get away from it all, remember when planning the trip to be thorough, phone ahead of time and inform the luxury hotel that you are planning a romantic getaway, many will make special arrangements and requests for flower petals on the bed and chilled champagne on arrival will usually be heeded.

Remember it is the small touches that will make the biggest impact and choosing the right luxury hotel that will provide that extra service is vital.