Monday, October 31, 2011

Ku De Ta - still as cool as ever

We wanted a special night out, one of those candle lit meals with a moody, beachside romantic ambience, and fine dining to make for memories, you know what I mean? Cue an old favourite - Ku De Ta in Seminyak. We've been going there for years and it remains an ever chic and ultra special kind of place to relax and mingle and lounge and soak up the very best of that modern exotic style that Bali does so well. 

Hanging lanterns line the entrance and you're greeted by friendly staff who lead you to your table, set perfectly to be framed by that always impressive view! By early evening the star of the show is the food - Ku De Ta runs the gamut of international cuisine, prepared by world class chefs ... always impressive and delicious. 

Come of a day and you're in for a chill out zone, with ambient beats played until the sun begins it's crawl back down - you get perfect sunset views to enjoy a cocktail and let the whole scene wash over you. As the night wears on the music starts to rise and the - later after dinner is done - the party set creeps in. There's always a line up of international DJs making appearances here and it's a great spot to come along for a sunday session.

The Ku De Ta claim as "where art meets fine dining in a collision of culture and epicurean fantasy" always rings true - we left our dinner here feeling indulged and well satiated, and with a little hint of the cool factor still lingering as we made our way back to our private villa. It's just that kind of place. The music, the food, the wine, the people ... it's a definite 'scene', and one we keep returning to again and again!

Images courtesy Ku De Ta

Chic sophistication at Anantara Seminyak Resort & Spa

Situated right on the sunset coast, Anantara Seminyak Resort & Spa takes luxury to a whole new level with an upscale and elegant retreat on this much sought after stretch of shore. The resort gets some of the most breathtaking sunset views, making it a favourite choice for couples who know the art of the afternoon cocktail! Needless to say, we simply had to check it out.

Anantara never forsakes any of life's greatest pleasures, and having stayed with them many times before in other parts of the world, we were expecting big things. And boy, did we find it! Their Seminyak resort features a distinctive contemporary design approach that is blended with the best of Balinese and Indonesian culture, and the ambience is one of indulgence and relaxation. Expansive balconies are du jour in all of the suites, which is just as well as you're going to be rewarded with panoramic views of the Indian Ocean! The resort & spa features the finest of facilities and services, and each room is stylishly outfitted and features Anantara's signature Jacuzzi terrazzo bath tubs that are big enough for two. 

It's also home to one of Bali's most exclusive penthouse - the exquisite 420 square metre private retreat is nothing short of spectacular! Oversized 2.5 metre beds in the two bedroom suites, 520 thread count linens, en-suite bathrooms fitted with rain showers, the signature tubs, a private library, 120 square metre outdoor lounge with barbecue facilities and hydro tub ... and not to mention that incredible view! Guests of the penthouse can enjoy a daily "Sunset Experience" including cocktails and canapes. It's all pretty special. Need we go on? 

Anantara Seminyak, naturally, has a beautiful spa experience, offering guests the chance to escape in to a wellness journey by trying the Balinese massage or soothing body treatments that aim to foster a sense of balance and serenity. Bliss out together with Anantara Retreat - 150 minutes of pure body and mind pampering including head to toe body scrub and the relaxing Anantara Signature massage using luxurious Vanilla Magic oil. Finished off with an aromatic floral bath together or some foot reflexology, and an optional glass of champagne. Divine!

The resort's SOS Supper Club has become well known as a premier spot to enjoy the sunset views accompanied by a great grill, seafood, tapas and cocktails (of course!). With huge day beds to recline on, and chilled out beats coming from the rotation of high class DJs, it's fine dining and trendy clubbing at it's finest. We highly recommend getting here before sunset to grab yourself a prize position on a lounge, and defy you not to linger long in to the evening!

Images courtesy Anantara Seminyak Resort & Spa

Central in Seminyak at Amadea Resort & Villas

Never one to shy away from the good life, we checked in to our pool villa at Amadea Resort & Villas right in the heart of bustling Seminyak - a favourite hub for all things fashionable and chic. Amadea is centrally located on what's known as the "Eat Street", so we had great restaurants and cool bars literally on our doorstep. Needless to say, we were never short of fabulous wining and dining options! 

Amadea Resort & Villas has 86 rooms, 7 Suites and 7 villas - a choice of six 2 x bedroom Villas or one 4 x bedroom villa. We tried out the two bedroom villa - which was absolutely beautiful! - before meeting up with friends and moving in to the larger four bedroom villa for a few nights of our stay. A great place to be, with lovely staff and a warm, welcoming atmosphere that made it a total pleasure to spend our time here. 

Amadea had it all going on - after a busy day of sightseeing, shopping and spa visits (seriously hard work!) we could close the door on the outside world and retreat to our fabulously well appointed villa, soak away a lazy afternoon in our pool, lounging with a cool drink in our private garden before rolling ourselves out for another night on the town. Perfect!

Images courtesy Amadea Resort & Villas

Blissed out in Bali

So it's been a little quiet on the blog the last few weeks while I packed up and headed to beautiful Bali (I know, it's a tough gig!). And what an amazing trip it was! Five times back and I am still totally in love with this amazing island. There's so many good reasons why Bali rates as one of my favourite destinations on earth ... you're not only treated to some really stunning scenery and surrounded by some of the friendliest people, it's also one of the most sophisticated holiday destinations for anyone seeking romance and relaxation in a tropical paradise.

And in true Holidays for Couples style, we were blessed to visit some truly amazing private villas, luxury hotels and resorts and see first hand just how much Bali has grown up. We were blown away by the stylish, pure luxury and high end lifestyle that is on offer - I'm talking about some pretty serious cool factor here!

Over the next week or so I'm going to be giving you the low down on some of the very best places to stay and things to do ... and keep your eyes out for future issues of Holidays for Couples, where we will be delving deeper in to this magical land. But right now, it's time to kick start the working week, while I trawl through a load of images and get the ball rolling to share the love with all of you. More to come very soon - and I hope it leaves you feeling some of the Bali bliss too.


Images (copyright) by Natalie Bannister 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Dream Destination: The Chedi Muscat, Oman

As I prepare to leave for a much anticipated trip to Bali tomorrow (yay!) I'm taking a moment to turn my mind to a whole different kind of exotic - this week's Dream Destination: The Chedi Muscat in Oman. 

Decadent, divine, and a complete Arabian fantasy for romantics, The Chedi Muscat is pure luxury in the heart of one of the world's most up and coming holiday destinations. Yep, the Sultanate of Oman is hot - and we're not just referring to that desert heat! Here is a thoroughly modern exotic gem just waiting to be discovered, with a truly breathtaking landscape, a friendly people and a super stylish approach to luxury hospitality.

The Chedi Muscat is situated on the stunning Boushar Beachfront, surrounded by glorious mountain ranges, and right on those crystal Gulf waters, making for the ambience of a mystic oasis. 

The interiors are, of course, lavishly decorated, with every whim catered for in the suites - like the Chedi Club Suites, each with their own spacious bedroom and luxe bathrooms with a large sunken terrazzo bathtub to sink in to. Water gardens and ponds scatter throughout the property to shine the lights on the date palms as the sun sets ... seductive for the senses, and incredibly enchanting. Did we mention romantic?!

And with a spa that is known to serve up the perfect level of extravagant and pampering treatments, The Chedi Muscat is a haven for complete indulgence. Naturally, The Chedi Muscat is a member of The Leading Hotels of The World. If you fancy the sounds of this, you may like to check out their website. Tempting ... very, very tempting!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Season opens for Bay of Fires Lodge Walk and Cradle Mountain Huts Walk

Walking season has begun in north-eastern Tasmania with both the Bay of Fires Lodge and Cradle Mountain Huts Walks operating from now to 1 May 2012. 

Guaranteed the delight of seeing up close the amazing scenery and wildlife viewing that these walks have become world famous for, trekking through some of the most pristine wilderness in Australia ... adventurists won't need much encouragement to get down to Tasmania and hit the tracks. But for those who may need a little extra inspiration, we've gathered this list of ten great reasons to see Australia step by step, direct from the intrepid team from Cradle Mountain Huts & the Bay of Fires Walk. Check it out (and book it in!):

1.    How's the serenity?!
Both the Bay of Fires Lodge Walk and the Cradle Mountain Huts Walk take in some of Australia's most amazing landscapes.  On the four day Bay of Fires Lodge Walk, travellers will experience pristine white sandy beaches that stretch into the future and grassy windblown heath-lands that make for great marsupial spotting.  Native birds and marine life such as seals and dolphins are often spotted along the way.  On the Cradle Mountain Huts Walks, walkers can take in a huge diversity of terrain including rainforest, glacial mountain lakes, steep craggy peaks and alpine meadows. Awesome!

2.    Small groups, Big experience
Each of the walks only takes ten people allowing for each group to find their pace, stop and enjoy the environment, and take the time to get to know each other.  Small group such as this also reduce the impact on the natural surroundings.  As a part of the Green Guardians initiative, guests who are interested can become actively involved in protecting the area they are walking in.  For more details visit the Cradle Mountain Huts & the Bay of Fires Walk website.

3.    Great Storytellers
The guides on these walks get consistently high marks from guests as they provide excellent interpretation and commentary all the way along the walks but mostly they win the respect of our guests for their passion for this amazing part of the world which shines through everything they do.  One of the guides describes it as a lifestyle not a job!  Many of them have an environmental studies background and are only too happy to share their knowledge with our guests and most of them call Tasmania home. 

4.    Pass the Baked Beans!
There's not a campfire meal in sight on these Walks as at the end of each day a beautiful antipasto platter magically appears along with a glass of Tassie Pinot to satisfy big appetites built during a day of walking.  This is followed by wonderful Tassie produce made into simple, healthy but gourmet meals - the menus are all designed by Tasmanian chefs. They are made to be enjoyed at communal tables by candlelight as stories are shared by the walkers of the kilometres behind them and the days to come.

5.    Home comforts
While it is all about the great outdoors, the accommodation on both walks is of the highest quality.  Steaming hot showers, soft beds and a place to put your feet up greet our guests at each of the alpine style huts on the Cradle Mountain Huts Walks.  During the Bay of Fires Walk guests are treated to a secluded beach camp on night one and two nights at the architecturally renowned Bay of Fires Lodge with uninterrupted views out over the southern ocean.

6.    I would like to thank ...
And if there was ever a doubt all this was too good to be true then listen to the experts who have judged our Walks to be the best of the best for their service, professionalism, high quality and excellent interpretation of the natural landscapes:
Cradle Mountain Huts Walk - winner of the Best Adventure Tourism award at the 2011 Australian Gourmet Traveller Award;
Bay of Fires Beach - named the world's "hottest" travel destination for 2009 by international guide book Lonely Planet;
National Geographic named the Bay of Fires Walk as one of the top 15 walks in the world;
Conde Nast Traveller UK named Bay of Fires Lodge as one of the best hotels in the world for its amazing coastal location

7.    But What's Next?
Looking for something different in your walk - Bay of Fires Lodge Walk was the first walk in Tasmania to introduce a portered option whereby they carry your backpack for you.  All guests will need to carry is a day pack with lunch, water, a camera and any other personal items.
And they also offer a four day option for those who don't have enough time to take the full six day walk. So, what's your excuse?

8.    Making it easy!
From the moment our walkers make an enquiry, the team make it easy for you to take this trip - packing tips provide essential gear lists and a fact sheet gives an overview to inspire them on what lies ahead.  Flights arrive from major cities into Launceston daily.  On the morning of the walk you'll be met at the walking base at historic Quamby estate where guides help to check backpacks for ease of carrying.  And on the return, walkers are rewarded back at home base with sparkling Tasmanian wine and canapes.

9.    And the price is right!
For walkers booking with a group of 10 friends you get a 10% discount for everyone in the group.  And better still for walkers who are one of the first 50  to book for the season on either walk then they will go into a draw to win a free trip. So, get in early! Like, now!

10. What's not to like?
Fresh air, exercise without it feeling like a chore, good company, amazing natural Australian landscapes, professional guides,  great memories.

I was already convinced. How about you? See on you on the walk ...!

For more information or bookings for Cradle Mountain Huts guests can call 03/6392 2211 or visit either of the websites for Bay of Fires.

Summer free styling on the Gold Coast

Planning a short break to the Gold Coast? Check out some of these fab things to see and do in the coming summer months ... all that glitters can be found on the GC!

Skypoint Climb
Ardent Leisure recently announced SkyPoint Climb, Australia's highest external building walk, taking climbers on a guided journey reaching 270 metres into the sky on top of the Q1 resort building will be opening this summer. Climbers will dress in a full body climb suit and harness before they step into the open air via SkyPoint Observation Deck on level 77. Along the way an informed guide will highlight major landmarks and share some of the region's best kept secrets as the group take in spectacular uninhibited views of the Gold Coast's stunning golden beaches, city skyline and lush green hinterland. 

Luxury Wine Tours at Tamborine
In addition to nature tours, Eco Safaris Queensland's (ESQ) now conducts luxury, personalised winery tours to Tamborine Mountain. Surrounded by lush, sub-tropical rainforest where the air is clear and the views spectacular, Tamborine's wines are sourced from rich volcanic soils from both the local region and the Granite Belt. Enjoy olive oils & antipasto platters with your wines on your tour of up to 5 gorgeous, boutique wineries. Pick up and drop off anywhere in GC or Brisbane. Many options are available for you personalised tour e.g. microbrewery, distillery, cheese co., Gallery Walk, and rainforest walks including Skywalk. Tours are all-inclusive with a great lunch; afternoon tea; AND our 'Gold Esky' full of fruit, cheese, snacks, drinks (non alc) & chocolate for your trip! Enjoy the comfort of ESQ's luxury Land Rover Discovery (2 - 6 guests) or new minivan (7 - 11 guests).
Jupiters Celebrity Pool Parties
Following the epic success of the Snoop Dogg as DJ Snoopadelic Poolside event, Jupiters Hotel & Casino's Pool Parties return in time for summer 2011/12. The newly branded "Glisten Pool Party at Jupiters" series will feature an incredible line-up of internationally renowned artists including Flo Rida (October 16), Vanilla Ice (November 13), Salt 'n' Pepa (December 4), Wynter Gordon (January 7, 2012) and The Veronicas (January 26).

Hilton Surfers Paradise Food, Beverage and Recreation
The Hilton Surfers Paradise has tailored its food, beverage and recreational facilities to specifically cater for the sophisticated traveller with the acquisition of; the Salt grill restaurant which is overseen by acclaimed chef Luke Mangan who also facilitates all room service and in-house catering requirements; the Food Store which is a gourmet marketplace and European style delicatessen offering an exclusive range of cheeses, charcuterie and small goods that are not readily available anywhere else on the Gold Coast, plus artesian breads baked on site, organic yoghurts, natural ice creams and a delicious retail offering including, a range of wines, olive oils and hand-made pastas; the Hilton's first purpose built eforea Spa in Australia, that combines three distinct ranges of treatments for men and women drawing from the best elements and practices from Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa and the Americas to create a unique spa experience; The Deck is a vast 1500 square metre space with four stylish pools, a spa, sauna, private day beds, shaded picnic areas, an outdoor terrace, and BBQ pavilions, all serviced by a team of 'Poolside Valets'. 

Free Outdoor Cinema At Sanctuary Cove
Sanctuary Cove's Village Green will be transformed into a picturesque outdoor cinema during the second and fourth Friday of each month as an addition to its night time entertainment options. Come and relax on the lawns to eat, drink, chat and enjoy a truly unique night out. Pack your deck chairs, cushions and blankets and leave the hustle and bustle behind to settle in for the ultimate outdoor cinema experience. Dine on the lush green with a pre-packed picnic hamper or personally selected goodies or visit one of the many Marine Village restaurants, bars or cafés before or after the screenings. The moonlight cinema is free to the public however spaces are limited, so arrive early to secure your place and soak up the peaceful Village Green atmosphere while you socialise with family and friends. 

Noosa Food & Wine Festival has a new name - and big plans for 2012! !

The Noosa Food & Wine Festival has a new name - The Noosa International Food & Wine Festival.  The name change heralds a new focus on both Australian and International chefs and cooking identities as well as a global interest in the festival itself.

Our own Editor-in-Chief Rhonda Bannister calls this one her favourite food and wine festivals - you can usually find her sitting with friends at one of the long tables each year! It's always a fantastic weekend out in beautiful Noosa, one that's full of gastronomic experiences and fabulous wines to indulge in, as well as some really great live music acts that keep you going well in to the evening, and coming back for more the next day. 

Expect four action-packed days from May 17 to May 20 in 2012 when two hundred of the world's most prominent chefs, winemakers, media and food personalities descend upon Noosa and the Sunshine Coast.

The final details of the full program are being locked in but it has been confirmed that molecular gastronomist and 'Demon Chef', Alvin Leung of Bo Innovation in Hong Kong and Davide Scabin of Combal Zero in Turin, Italy will both participate in the Qantas 'Best Dinner in the World' event.  Each course of the degustation meal will be created by a different chef from the prestigious S.Pellegrino World's Best Restaurant List. The list is created from The World's Best Restaurants Academy, an influential group of over 800 international leaders in the restaurant industry, each selected for their expert opinion of the international restaurant scene.

Watch this space as more International and Australian names for the festival are announced! You can also find it all on facebook and keep yourself in the loop, or check out the festival's website for more.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The legend of The Old Cataract Hotel - Aswan, Egypt

Located in the Nubian Desert on the banks of the Nile River across from Elephantine Island, the Old Cataract Hotel has a history that is intoxicating and rich, a long story that began back in 1899 in the heart of sparkling Aswan. This venerable hotel has been the destination of choice for some of history's most notable figures, famous faces, movie stars, heads of state and crowned heads. Sir Winston Churchill and Agha Khan have stayed here, and author Agatha Christie actually penned her famous novel 'Death on the Nile' while in residence! What was it about this place that had the cream of society so enchanted? 

Once a legend always a legend, and the hotel has been both preserved and updated as a result of the renovation, with a new look that respects the rich history, and new name to become the Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan, joining Sofitel’s illustrious ‘Legend’ collection of historically significant hotels around the world which includes the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi Vietnam, and the Sofitel Legend The Grand in Amsterdam.   

The extravagant transformation that managed to preserve the site’s heritage in such touches as the Byzantine-style striped arches of the Old Cataract hotel, retaining its palace charm with 76 accommodations, including 45 suites.

The two most spacious suites, named the Agatha Christie Suite and the Winston Churchill Suite offer their own private terraces and amazing views. The contemporary and elegant new The Nile wing features 62 rooms, 37 of which are suites. All offer a balcony and a view of the famous Nile river. Each room also boasts intricate artwork (friezes) and chandeliers, reproducing and reflecting the historic aspects of the original historical wing to inextricably link the two buildings. Particular attention was paid to the bathrooms; some rooms even offer guests the luxury of taking a bath while gazing out over the Nile. The biggest suite in this wing is the Agha Khan Suite.

The Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan unveils a brand new 1200m² So SPA that is a temple of well-being with 8 treatment booths, 3-room hammam and indoor pool. Impressive views, and elegant, original décor along with French cosmetic expertise from Cinq Mondes makes this So Spa space one of the finest new additions to the hotel.

Sofitel Legend Old Cataract now boasts a choice of four restaurants, including the legendary 1902, made famous by its Qualaun crypt, with a majestic 20-metre high dome. A true experience is to have dinner in this breathtaking outlet, as in ancient times, and indeed there is still a dress code to get in. Wooden floors, beautiful lights and chandeliers, delicate and elegant table settings make it an unforgettable dining experience.

In addition, guests can enjoy Sofitel’s new Mediterranean restaurant Oriental Kebabgy and its superb terrace overlooking the Nile. Le Palms, located poolside, beckons with light snacks throughout the day. Lastly, a gem of the renewed hotel is new restaurant Al Saraya offering exceptional breakfasts and dinners with a breathtaking view of the eternal Nile.

As if it were still the Belle Epoque, four bars provide four different experiences and many more unforgettable moments, beginning in La Terrasse, with its famous “King Fouad’s Corner” and including La Promenade on the rose granite walkway (with a first-class view of Elephantine Island, making it THE place in Aswan to meet for a cocktail or a traditional tea) and the lobby bar with all the magic of a piano bar amidst the elegance of Middle Eastern décor. There is even a Yasmin Vitamin Bar & Lounge overlooking the pool and gardens!

Sounds absolutely divine to us ... a truly exotic experience in a place where the imagination and romance can really run wild. You can see more of Sofitel Legend Old Cataract and the rest of the Sofitel Legend hotel collection at their website. And start planning your own style of the Thousand and One Nights fairytale!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Vintage glam at the Hotel Windsor, Melbourne

Melbourne's famous Hotel Windsor is kicking up its heels and celebrating all things 20's - 1920's, giving you the perfect opportunity to indulge those vintage fantasies and glam it up. Could be a great romantic surprise weekend away?!

From November to April 2012, the landmark hotel is offering a 1920's-themed "Glam Package". Guests will receive a DVD of the famous 1974 Great Gatsby movie starring Mia Farrow and Robert Redford, a free cocktail from the era and an exclusive diamante Hotel Windsor spider brooch valued at $125.

The 180-room Hotel Windsor was built in 1883, pre-dating some of the world's leading grand hotels including the Savoy in London, which was built in 1889, the Waldorf Astoria in New York which dates back to 1893, and the Ritz Paris which opened in 1898.

And you'll enjoy it all in the finest Victorian style, lavished with the hotel's magnificent architecture, its award-winning exemplary level of service and the superb dining experiences offered at 111 Spring Street Restaurant, including the renowned traditional afternoon tea for a really special experience together.

The "Glam Package" starts from just $315 for a superior room, and $415 for a Hotel Windsor suite.  Room bookings are subject to availability. For reservations or further information contact the hotel on 03 9633 600 or visit their website.  

Wine indulgence on the Great Barrier Reef

Throughout November Hayman will provide discerning diners with the unique opportunity to engage with food and wine professionals in an exclusive, private setting featuring four of Australia's leading wineries; Cape Mentelle, Majella, Bimbadgen and Kilikanoon.

Each weekend will play host to one of Australia's renowned wine regions, with Hayman showcasing the best regional food and wine from around the country making it the ultimate couples' escape. The weekend begins on a Friday with guests attending the Hayman General Manager's Cocktail Reception hosted by representatives from some of Australia's best wineries, followed by a three course dinner at signature Australian resort restaurant, Fontaine.

Throughout the day guests can enjoy a romantic Hayman's Signature Food and Wine Pairing Picnic for two, which is hosted by Hayman's very own Sommelier. Following the picnic guests are invited to experience an exclusive educational winetasting with each of the four winery's chief Winemaker, which allows them to take home a little expertise from someone in the know.

The weekend would not be complete without a dining experience at Hayman's legendary Chef's Table. Held in the heart of Hayman's renowned kitchens and hosted by the winery's representative, along with Hayman Chefs, guests will enjoy exquisite cuisine and will be treated to a tour of Hayman's world famous Chocolate Room and Wine Cellar.

Contact Hayman Reservations on 1800 075 175 or email for more details on how to get your place in a weekend wine indulgence ... in a tropical paradise no less!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Datai - Langkawi, Malaysia

If you're looking for some tropical splendour in South East Asia, look to the mystical island of Langkawi off the coast of West Malaysia where you'll find The Datai, an award-winning nature-inspired retreat where luxury and romance reign in an atmosphere that is breathtakingly beautiful. Surrounded by jungle-covered mountains and centuries-old rainforest, with its own white sand beach (bliss!), the resort offers the weary urbanite a true escape from the everyday. Built to blend in with its tropical rainforest setting and with Malaysian architecture in mind, The Datai boasts  40 villas, 16 suites and 54 rooms, all with their own private veranda and stunning views of the lush landscape and the Andaman Sea beyond. You can choose from guest rooms, deluxe rooms and the lavish two-bedroom villas, or splurge on the popular Superior Villas and Pool Villas, located in the heart of the tropical rainforest and connected to public facilities by a series of pathways. Pool Suites are also on offer, consisting of two free-standing bedroom villas connected to a spacious living and dining area with large sunning terrace and shared swimming pool. Or for the ultimate in indulgence, check in to the two bedroom Datai Suite and melt in to your own private, expansive living and dining area, plus a fully equipped kitchen and a sandstone balcony with a panoramic view of the environs from every conceivable angle. 
Naturally, wedding at The Datai are very popular for couples wanting a destination event that is truly memorable. Intimate weddings by the sea are a popular choice, yet the hotel also offers bespoke wedding reception planning and theming at any of their dinning venues.
And knowing that they are a member of The Leading Hotels of the World, planning your next island holiday or destination wedding at The Datai can be done with some serious romance in mind!