I was not one hundred per cent certain what to expect, but I was looking forward to the weekend nonetheless, especially as it would cheer up a relatively cold and damp November weekend. A few weeks prior to our trip, my boyfriend (now husband) informed me that we were going to the lovely town of Arundel in East Sussex for the weekend, by invitation of his manager, along with the rest of his office team.
This did not seem strange as his company does such things now and again. Before we knew it, my boyfriend had received the invitation in the post, along with a brochure of the hotel where we would be staying, which I must say looked stunning, and an itinerary for the weekend. This included a day at the races, an evening ball in Arundel Castle and also a trip in a hot air balloon (my boyfriend’s manager was well-known for being a hot air balloon fanatic). I was extremely excited and “shopped ‘til I dropped” for clothes to wear during this luxurious weekend away.
On the day we were leaving, my boyfriend collected me from my house and with my luggage all packed in we headed off in the car towards Arundel. This was where the plot thickened! As we drove along the M23 motorway, my boyfriend turned off at the exit for Gatwick airport. I was bewildered, but he would not explain anything and before I knew it we were checked in to a flight to Venice, and I was handed a book on the city as a gift.
Venice — what can I say. It was a magical weekend. We stayed in the Danieli Hotel on the waterfront by a canal. A gorgeous hotel with wonderful Venetian charm and staffed by people who couldn’t do enough for you — a definite must for those seeking utter luxury during their stay. On our first night we arrived rather late, so after arriving at the hotel on a boat we just went to our room and slept. The next day began our sightseeing. After a scrumptious breakfast enjoyed at leisure, we headed along the canal to St. Mark’s Square where, to my delight, my boyfriend got down on one knee and proposed! It couldn’t have been more perfect. If you haven’t been there before, I recommend that you visit this attractive and lively square, dotted with cafes, a beautiful church and a tower which you can ascend.
The remainder of the weekend was spent seeing the many beautiful sights around Venice. We visited the delightful St. Mark’s Basilica in St. Mark’s Square, took a boat trip to the island of Murano.
We visited a glass-blowing factory which was really interesting (the gentleman who demonstrated how he crafts the vases and other objects told us that his son plays football in England for a Premiership side), walked over the Rialto Bridge and wandered aimlessly around the canals, which is just about the most perfect way to see the city. We stopped at many places and took many photos — the city is so beautiful, you could snap away all day long. In the evening we went to Harry’s Bar for a drink, and then dined in the Gritti Palace Hotel — definitely worth eating in. The food was exquisite and the staff extremely helpful and friendly.
The weekend was perfect and I would recommend Venice to anyone who enjoys culture, romance and, of course, Italian food.