Tag: honeymoon inspiration

Patchwork Couple: Josh & Victoria’s South Africa Honeymoon Fund

Victoria and Josh have had a modern-day romance – they met on Tinder, no less! Victoria had just about given up when she finally swiped right for Josh one day in 2014. They’re a low-key couple and planned a wedding to match, then, with a bit of help from Patchwork and their wedding guests, jetted off to South Africa on an incredible adventure. We asked Victoria all about it.

How did you get engaged?

Josh actually proposed to be on my Birthday the year after we met. I kind of ruined it – he had a lovely day planned, and was planning on proposing on a bridge in our favourite park near our house, but I’d been to an interview in York and got back late! He ended up proposing to me on the sofa. It was still the most amazing proposal ever – I don’t think it needs to be fancy, or over the top. It’s a special moment no matter where/when/how.

Agreed! What kind of wedding did you want?

We knew we wanted something low key. We don’t have huge families, and we didn’t want to spend a lot. We also didn’t want the “traditional” wedding. We didn’t spend money on favours or flowers – me and mum actually went to M&S on the morning of the wedding to pick up some white roses, and then my friend Katherine arranged them with Lavender from her garden, and feathers that had been donated to us. They looked stunning! For the decor, we bought Terrariums from Etsy, and filled them with white stones, candles from The White Company and some green vine leaves. It was all very simple, but beautiful. It was a really cosy autumnal vibe.

Sounds amazing. What kind of music did you have?

We added a real personal touch with my sister Lex, brother-in-law Moss and friend Craig (who are all musicians) play on the day. We chose a few really special songs for the day including ‘When The Stars Go Blue’ by Ryan Adams to walk down the aisle to, and then ‘All I Want Is You’ by Barry Louis Polisar (including an epic harmonica performance from my sister) and then ‘Breathless’ by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds as we left. We also didn’t want a typical wedding photographer with staged photos taking up most of the day, so my friend Liam Henry came along for part of the day to take some shots, and they turned out beautiful! Because we didn’t have a wedding photographer, we hired a Photobooth which was a great laugh and relatively inexpensive.

What was your venue like?

After going to see a few venues and deciding they were all too ‘weddingy’ we decided on Hotel Du Vin in Harrogate. We decided to get married at Harrogate Registry Office late afternoon and then have dinner and a party at Hotel Du Vin. We also planned it for Bonfire Night (the night before my birthday) so that we could have free firework displays across the town!

Did you have a first dance?

We didn’t! We didn’t want to be the centre of attention. We wanted to have dinner and a party with our closest friends and family, and not make the whole day be centred around us.  Me and my sister sang after dinner as a  bit of a surprise. I suppose that could be classed as our alternative ‘first dance’.

What was your favourite part of the day?

Honestly, I don’t know! Seeing Josh as I walked down the aisle was probably my favourite.  But the whole day was just amazing – it was so intimate and special, and was just loads of fun. I think the music throughout the day really made it though – so many people commented on how amazing and special it was. Having musicians as friends and family is definitely a bonus! It has to be said that my sister Lex arranged an amazing playlist for the party after dinner – everyone was up dancing until the early hours and it was just such a laugh.

So why did you choose Patchwork for your wedding registry?

Because it enabled us to create something easily for people to gift as little or as much as they wanted. We don’t need things for the house, or anything like that, and giving money felt a bit too ‘transactional’ and impersonal. We knew that using Patchwork would enable our guests to donate towards something that we would hold as special memories, rather than material things.  

What did you ask for contributions towards?

We wanted to fund our honeymoon to South Africa. It was an amazing way of doing it as we got to do some amazing things, like Safari! And stay in a stunning hotel on the beach in Camps Bay.

It was just really special and we are so grateful to everyone who made it happen for us – we were really humbled. It really was a once in a lifetime trip for us. We aren’t fancy people, but we wanted a fancy honeymoon and it was amazing to know our family and friends were part of that experience for us. And they thought it was great! It was so easy and meant that people didn’t have to worry about bringing cash or presents with them on the day.

Using Patchwork was just so easy. And you can make it your own and put your personality into it.

Would you recommend your South Africa trip to other honeymooners?

Absolutely! South Africa is an amazing country. It’s so beautiful – waking up every morning to the sea on one side, and Table Mountain on the other was honestly breathtaking! The people are so friendly, and the fact you can drive 2 hours inland and be on safari with the Big 5 is just awesome. And then the Vineyards! Babylonstoren was the most amazing place I’ve ever stayed. I wish we could go every year!


 

Thank you Victoria & Josh for sharing your patchwork story with us. And a huge congratulations from Team Patchwork!

If this has inspired you to make your own patchwork, just customise one of our readymade patchworks or create one from scratch.

Sofia’s Photo Diary: New Experiences in Japan

Sofia is travelling the world (lucky thing!) and has been sharing her journey with us here on the Patchwork blog. So far she’s showed us bustling Rajasthan, South IndiaNepalMyanmar and the Philippines. Now it’s over to Sofia to share her photos and tips from her latest destination – Japan.

Japan, the land of the future, technology, efficiency. From the hustle and bustle of Tokyo to the quaint picturesque landscapes of Kyoto, Japan has many a hidden treasure.

Starting in Tokyo, one of the first things you notice is the sense of order. People queuing patiently to board the metro. Everything is on time. Everything is slick and clean. The people are well dressed, reserved. Though despite their private nature, you will come across many an oddity – maid cafes, ready to serve you, sir. Manga shops. A clone factory. Love hotels. Onsens where being naked is the norm. One area of Tokyo – Akihabara – in fact feels like it’s been designed by a teenage boy – a gaming shop, next to a sex shop, next to a yoyo store, next to a gadget store followed by comic books and back to a maid cafe! Amongst this though was a realisation that the Japanese had considered how to fulfill your every need in the city. It has everything from amazing shopping districts, to captivating exhibitions, to cat cafes, to capsule hotels for a quick power nap. You name it, you can find it!

One of things I was most excited about for Japan was the food, and boy did it deliver. With an array of options there was always something new to try; the vending machine snacks are on another level – we’re not just talking chocolate bars and crisps – everything you can think of is inside these machines. There are amazing sushi joints for a quick lunchtime bite, Korean BBQs for socialising, all you can eat and drink Japanese tapas for the pre-nightclub fuel up! There are street food vendors often with various iterations of octopus and pancake. And cakes! All of the cakes, light, fluffy, delicious, a culinary treat I hadn’t associated with the country before. Hell, they even have a restaurant where you can fish for your own dinner within the restaurant! Overall the standard of quality of food in Japan is exceptional. Incredible fresh fish and tender meats. Hard to be disappointed even if you’re just grabbing a bite at a train station.

Talking of train stations. Whilst the Japanese rail pass may be expensive, it is well worth the money. The bullet trains are as the name suggests – fast and efficient. Whilst based in Osaka, you can easily get to Naoshima, the stunning art island, pop to Kobe for dinner or be moved by the heartbreaking stories of those who lived through devastating atomic bomb of 1945 in Hiroshima.

Japan, whilst modern and super advanced is a country with a long history of traditions and cultures, which it has not only held onto but is very much proud of. There seems to be a great deal of respect for these values, reflected in their courteous manner and in how the presence of geisha girls, sumos, Onsen houses, tea ceremonies and ryokans remain both relevant and iconic. And with a landscape punctuated by traditional architecture, shrines, temples and castles, Japan manages to feel both old and new all at the same time, always with something to experience and discover.

Sofia’s Top 5 Japan Tips:

Get intimate at a local Onsen. Natural hot springs, where everyone is naked. The interesting part is the cleaning ritual as opposed to the nudity! Very relaxing and quite an experience.

Try Shabu Shabu restaurants serving hot broth, which you can quickly dip raw meat and vegetables in to cook. Delicious and lots of fun.

Spend some time at Naoshima. A tranquil, beautiful island dedicated to art.

Sing your heart out at karaoke, try warming up with some pre-drinks in the Golden Gai in Tokyo first.

Spend a night at 9 Hours hotel, Kyoto. The sleeping capsules will make you feel like you’ve been transported into the future.

 


 

Thank you Sofia. Next up, Sofia’s heading to Cuba!

Sofia’s Photo Diary: Pure Beauty in the Philippines

Sofia is taking a career break, exploring parts of the world she’s never seen before, and has been sharing her journey with us here on the Patchwork blog. So far she’s showed us bustling Rajasthan, the beautiful landscapes of South India, the tranquility of Nepal, and the mystery of Myanmar. Now it’s over to Sofia to share her photos and tips from her latest destination – the Philippines.

  

Luscious green vegetation and sparkling blue seas contrast with the pristine white sands of the Philippines – a place of natural beauty, paradise on earth. Once you’ve entered the home of the blue lagoon and discovered its many hidden treasures, you may never want to leave.

The mainland of Manila has a familiar vibe to many south Asian cities. An abundance of street food, busy roads, lots of noise. But don’t be fooled – it’s filled with plenty of its own unique quirks. From the Wacky Races-style tricycles, to obscure coffee shops (like the Harry Potter bar that I stumbled upon), or over-the-top karaoke, there’s plenty to keep you entertained. But the main event are the islands – island hopping is an absolute must. Just be aware when planning your trip that flights and boats are often delayed, so do account for a full day of travel when getting from one island to the next.

With so much to see and do in the Philippines, you can really feel your surroundings and ‘holiday mode’ change as you jump from one island to the next. One minute you’re chilling out in the luxury resort of Bohol, with infinity pools and cocktails aplenty. Then you’re in full adventure mode – canyoneering in Cebu or diving in Coron, or partying the night away in Boracay on its famous white beaches, lined with bars and clubs.

Whichever island you go to, you’re sure to find many boat trips offering you the chance to snorkel, visit private islands and hidden lagoons and take in everything nature has to offer.

Personally, I could have stayed in El Nido forever – there are several beaches to choose from, each with a different vibe – beach bums chilling to music with a beer, quiet empty spaces or the perfect surf. It has the most serene surroundings and smaller islands and lagoons to visit. At night you can either relax watching the sunset or you can be sure to see some familiar faces at its one and only late night beach club.

Sofia’s Philippines Top 5:

  • Go diving in Coron! Swim through sunken shipwrecks, find Nemo in one of the many beautiful coral reefs
  • Fly yourself to the Birds Nest in El Nido and unravel the love story of Camilla and Mark, who set up this incredible glamping spot at the end of their honeymoon. Wake up to views of the mountains and seas and read a book in their swinging chair, sniffing the sweet aromas of home-baked treats that await you
  • Go to the floating bar at Snake Island in El Nido, sip on a fresh piña colada and dip your toes in the crystal clear water
  • If partying is your thing, shake your hips to the beats of Boracay’s Rasta drum circle on Station 1 beach.
  • Go to the stunning twin lagoon in El Nido. If you’re able to, find a boat tour that sets off a bit later avoid the crowds, so you can make the most of this incredible setting. Crack open a beer, kayak through the narrow passageways of the rocks and enjoy the cool waters

 


 

Thank you Sofia! Next time, Sofia’s in Japan.

Patchwork Loves: SOON THE SUN + Giveaway!

Soon the Sun is a stylish new label designed for women who like to travel far and pack light. Their essential holiday collection is made up of versatile pieces that can be pulled straight out of your hand-luggage, ready-to-wear on the beach during the day, or out for dinner at sunset. We interviewed STS Founder Pusia Chatfield to find out more.

First up, for all the super stylish women using Patchwork as a honeymoon fund, why is Soon the Sun the perfect honeymoon collection?

So much organisation and thought goes into the big day that by the time the honeymoon comes around there isn’t much space left to plan for that “What am I going to wear?!” moment. So I think “Soon the Sun” is the perfect match for the busy bride because she cares how she looks and feels but hasn’t got much time or headspace left to worry about what she’s going to take on her honeymoon, or even start to think about packing it. It’s a capsule collection made up of eight garments that answer all your holiday needs.

Ok let’s back up, why did you start Soon the Sun?

The idea came to me when I was away on holiday. I’d packed for twin boys, aged eight months, myself and half-packed for my husband too. I realised after the holiday how little I had worn, I literally had only worn a few things – my staple favourite pieces that I had always taken on holiday, that were now threadbare but still very much loved. The rest had stayed in the suitcase. This was the starting point for Soon the Sun.

What’s your design process – how do you decide what makes it in the collection?

I guess I just looked at the things in my wardrobe that I had worn over and over. They were the same pieces that came on holiday with me every year and I think this is probably what everybody else does. We tend to buy new things to take on holiday but we don’t really need or want them. These pieces that I love so much were my perfect garments, they answered all of my needs whilst on a sandy beach or in a busy market. They are lightweight, not precious fabrics, just cheesecloth – so no need to iron, easy to dry, timeless, throw on pieces, to wear from beach to bar.

What’s the difference between style and fashion?

Style stands the test of time, it’s fashion but timeless. It’s about knowing what suits you and what makes you feel comfortable – if you’re comfortable in what you’re wearing, you’ll look stylish, confident and sexy. Stylish garments are usually a combination of the right fabric, shape, fit and colour. These elements can transcend fashion trends and decades.

Your garments are all organic, using 100% natural fabrics and dyes. Why is this important to you?

I just feel there is a small but growing amount of women who are starting to think about where the things they wear (like make-up and face creams) are being produced. We worry about what we eat – we are concerned about where it’s from and how it’s produced. There’s a growing conscience. I think every new business should be concerned with the environment and aim to reduce their impact in whichever way we can.

I thought it was time we started thinking about garments, the clothes we wear on our skin. If you’re in a beautiful place then you want to feel close to nature – you’ll feel good that your garments have done as little damage to the planet as possible. Our garments are made in India with a fantastic small factory, which is a start, but we still have to ship them back here – so I’m not totally there yet.

Why should we all consider buying less and buying better?

We are taught that fashion is fast moving, and that you need to keep up with the trends. When in fact a good garment can stand the test of time and transcend eras. My favourite era was the 70s and lots of my garments have been inspired by that time. You know when you own a good piece and it comes out every year and you still love it and wish you could buy it again, that’s what Soon the Sun is about – relaxing in the knowledge that you can come back time and time again and your favourite style will be there so once you’ve loved it ’til it’s threadbare, you can come back to buy the same piece again. Not much will change except maybe a new colour. Buy what suits you and buy what you love. We encourage women to #wearlessmore. It’s much cooler.

Along with the entire STS collection what are your holiday essentials?

+ A good skin cream with 50+ factor – LA ROCHE-POSAY is excellent!
+ Sunglasses – two pairs, big ones and less over the top ones
+ No underwear, waste of packing space. Always in my swimwear anyway
+ A good read or two. Anything set in a warm climate. I love ‘My Family and Other Animals’ by Gerald Durrell
+ Maybe a “sexy book” (as my nan would say)
+ Lots of Coco de Mer
+ Good shawl for cold nights.

What songs are on your holiday playlist?

Oh man this is hard… Any Prince obvs…
Relax Your Mind – New Look (whole album) – For dreaming in the car on the way to the airport or on the beach
Everywhere – Fleetwood Mac – Driving in the car with the roof open, sunnies on, morning sun on your face, first day on the beach
Pennies from Heaven – Inner City – For dancing on the beach, reminiscent of raving days, hands in the air moment
And any jazz for when you’re home cooling off and having a chill with a glass of wine in your hand and salty snacks, looking out at the view (if you have one) or just looking at next door’s towels.


 

Thanks, Pusia! Is anyone else now desperate for a holiday? Well if you’re lucky enough to be off on your travels soon, you’re going to want to enter our Soon the Sun giveaway. Head to our Instagram page to be in with the chance of winning your favourite piece from the new collection. All you have to do is follow @patchwork_it and @soonthesun and comment on the post telling us which item from Soon the Sun you can’t live without before midnight on the 23rd June – good luck.

For full terms and conditions click here.

Is This the Most Useful Honeymoon Planning Tool Out There?

If you were to write a list of requirements for your perfect honeymoon, chances are it would vary wildly from your friends’ – you might want to spend your days lazing on golden beaches while they’d rather white water raft or head to a hectic city. But there will always be one thing on that list that will crop up again and again – good weather. We all want to find that ideal honeymoon weather – hot, but not too hot. No rainy days. A light breeze wouldn’t go amiss.

Until now people have had to rely on that ever-popular Google search ‘What is the best time to visit [insert-destination]?’, which, with general temperature ranges and a few anecdotes, can give you a vague idea of the weather in the area. But it leaves a lot to be desired in terms of specifics. When you’re trying to plan the trip of a lifetime, you’re going to want to know exactly what you can expect.

Decision Data

Now, thanks to this handy tool created by digital data expert Ryan Whitaker, you can find out the temperature in any place in the world on any given week. So whether you’ve got time booked off and need to find out where in the world will give you those blue skies, or if you have a dream destination in mind and want to figure out the best time to go, this tool will help. Hooray.

Just enter your ideal mean temperature, low temperature, and high temperature, as well as a preferred amount of rain (none, surely?). Then little pink dots will pop up showing you where in the world those conditions exist.

To build the map, Ryan downloaded 10 years worth of weather data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, from more than 10,000 weather stations around the world.

So go on – have a go – find your perfect honeymoon weather. And if you’re still looking for honeymoon inspiration, check out the Lonely Planet Honeymoon Handbook, co-written by Patchwork founder Olivia.

Discovered via Lonely Planet.

Patchwork Couple: Nareni & Paul’s Sri Lanka and India Honeymoon Fund

India honeymoon

Paul and Nareni have been together for 5 years and they share the same passion: travelling. They’re happiest when they’re exploring, seeing the world through each other’s eyes and learning from different people and cultures. Nareni says ‘the world is just too big to stop looking at.’ And although the couple were living in different parts of the world when they met and neither were particularly looking for love, fate brought them together. Nareni tells us all about their wedding and honeymoon – made possible with gifts from friends.

How did you get engaged?

Paul got extra excited once he had gotten my dad’s blessing and planned the proposal right away in the lakes of Mexico city. We went there to see the sunset for one of our famous walks and whilst he was talking to me about all that we have achieved together and everything we meant to each other, he proposed. It was the best day of our lives – until our wedding day!

Then he proposed again in Eastbourne, when he took me by surprise on a weekend trip and whilst we were going for a hike in the cliffs next to the sea, he popped the question again. Yes, I have two rings and I wear them both!

The fact that Paul proposed first in Mexico gave me the opportunity to celebrate with my family, including my grandparents, who are very important to me. I will always be thankful to him for thinking about this when he was planning it.

What kind of wedding did you plan?

We wanted a wedding with great music and plenty of surprises. We wanted everyone there – all of our friends and family, and we were truly blessed to see that on the day – everybody came, people flew from all over to be with us on our special day. It was the best day of our lives.

The theme took inspiration from rustic temples in the middle of the rainforest, we wanted lots of green (which the venue had already) with flowers and candles everywhere. We wanted ice-cream and Batucada dancing, and a band and yes, of course Mariachi. Plus Irish music as Paul is Irish. We wanted to merge our two cultures together, and we got a great result, just like in our partnership!

What was your first dance?

Ma Cherie Amour by Stevie Wonder and You Are The First, The Last, My Everything by Barry White. And Paul really wanted us to dance to Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell – Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing, so he asked the band to play the song later for us.

Why did you choose Patchwork for your honeymoon fund?

We loved the idea of people being able to gift us with an experience. And then to later show them pictures of that experience and say, look! This is thanks to you!

Also, we wanted to give people the freedom of giving us whatever they could, as we appreciated the fact that they were all making the effort of either flying or driving for hours to come to meet us on the day.

The best gift for us was our honeymoon experiences. So facilitating that through Patchwork was brilliant. We chose to fund a trip to India and Sri Lanka because we had always wanted to go there – we also thought India was a country that would cherish marriage, so what best time to do this trip but on our honeymoon. And being so close to Sri Lanka we didn’t want to miss it, it was the best!

We were so excited when we set off for our honeymoon and pumped up to do it all – to experience everything to the fullest, as people had trusted and wished we would.

What was your favourite thing about using Patchwork?

We loved that you can build up your page with everything you want – it’s flexible so you can add all of the experiences you want or trips you want to do but you can also cater to all budgets. Also, because our friends and family were able to leave us messages and wishes for the day, trip and life, it made the full cycle really cute and enjoyable. Our friends and family thought it looked beautiful and they loved the phrases and creativity we put into it.

Would you recommend your trip to other honeymooners?

OMG, yes, it was such an amazing experience, Sri Lanka is such a magical country and India is crazy! We got the best combination, from the mountains and sea in Sri Lanka, with their great animals – the leopards, the whales, elephants, and adventures of the safaris, their people are incredible and so caring, they definitely tried their best to make every day on our honeymoon the best day ever. And in India, going to the Taj Mahal, experiencing the festival of colour and the parties by the beach, going for cooking lessons and then enjoying the feast.

The sunsets and sunrises were beautiful, and the way you can do as much or as little in both countries as you want each day, giving you the perfect atmosphere for spontaneity. It was absolutely amazing!


 

Thank you Nareni & Paul for sharing your story with us. And a huge congratulations from Team Patchwork.

If this has inspired you to make your own patchwork, just customise one of our readymade patchworks or create one from scratch.

Patchwork Couple: Sam & Charlotte’s Whitstable Wedding and Sri Lankan Honeymoon

Sam and Charlotte had known each other for years – Sam went to school with Charlotte’s brother and sister. According to Charlotte he was a prolific flirt (actually, she called him a tart!) and she even used to warn her friends not to get involved with him. Years later, they bumped into each other while they were both visiting family in the Easter holidays. Sam asked Charlotte to go for a drink, Charlotte said no. He asked again, and she thought about it. Eventually, they went out. And the rest, as they say, is history!

How did you get engaged?

Sam took me to Paris for my 30th birthday. Having never been before, Sam took me round all the typical touristy spots so I could tick them off my list. That evening, the last stop was the Eiffel tower before dinner. As we were crossing the road by the Trocadero, he made me walk right into the middle of the road to take a photo of the tower lit up ‘so I would get a clear shot’. After taking the photo – I turned round and Sam was stood with a ring in his hands. I was so taken by surprise, I can’t remember a word of what he said. Thinking he was taking the piss, I very unromantically asked, ‘is this a f**king joke?!’… Before obviously saying Yes!

What kind of wedding did you plan?

We both knew we wanted a wedding that felt more like a giant party than a formal occasion, and so traditional wedding venues were never going to fit the bill for us. We found the amazing East Quay venue in Whitstable, Kent which was right on the beach and happened to be a place we would visit when we first started dating. It was a former sea food restaurant that had been converted into a venue – it was quirky and fun and the perfect setting to celebrate with our loved ones. It was the first place we visited and we booked it immediately!

The inspiration for the rest of our wedding would be the venue itself – it has a real industrial feel to it and we wanted everything to feel relaxed. To reflect the industrial look, we decided to trawl junk shops and antique fairs in order to find props to decorate. We then asked our florist to offset all the junky bits and pieces with some vibrant rich flowers spilling out of everything! We spent ages personalising all the little details of the day to reflect each other and our guests.

What was your first dance?

All of me – John Legend.

We struggled to find a song for our first dance as we both have quite different music tastes. We settled on this because of the lyrics; ‘you’re crazy, and I’m out of my mind’.

What was your favourite part of the day?

We loved every minute of the day – but I think we’d both agree that the ceremony surprised us by being our favourite. For such a short part of the day, the excitement and anticipation of that moment when we first saw each other was hard to beat. From that point onwards the day continued to be so much fun – such a strange word to describe your wedding, but we both laughed and enjoyed every minute.

Why did you chose Patchwork for your honeymoon fund?

Having lived together for a while, we didn’t feel like we wanted traditional wedding gifts – but we really wanted to treat ourselves to an amazing honeymoon. I found Patchwork as I was googling honeymoon fund websites and loved the whole concept!

What did you decide to fund?

We really wanted to go to Sri Lanka for our honeymoon and didn’t want to hold back on things we could do when we were there because we were saving money. Using the patchwork to fund different trips and activities on our travels meant that we could do everything we planned to without worrying about over spending – everything we did felt like a special treat because it was a gift from someone. 

I remember sitting in the airport before we flew, writing a list of all the things people had bought us to do while we were away. We couldn’t believe how generous people had been and we could finally start plotting the various things we wanted to do. We bought a camera at the airport so we could take some amazing photos of everything we did to send to the people that had treated us to them! We’d have never done half the things we did had people not contributed to our honeymoon, which enabled us to have the holiday of a lifetime.

Our friends and family loved the convenience of the website – and give me someone that doesn’t enjoy a bit of online shopping? They loved getting a bit of a say in shaping our honeymoon and the things we did.

And finally would you recommend your trip to other honeymooners?

Sri Lanka is quite possibly the most beautiful place to visit – the people, the wildlife, not least the food and the weather!! It was a holiday of a lifetime and we couldn’t recommend it highly enough! Who knows – maybe we’ll return for a special anniversary in the future?

 


 

Thank you Charlotte & Sam for sharing your lovely wedding and honeymoon with us. And a huge congratulations from Team Patchwork.

If this has inspired you to make your own patchwork, just customise one of our readymade patchworks or create one from scratch.

Wedding photography by Ross Hurley: www.rosshurley.com

Top 10 UK Honeymoon Destination Ideas for 2017

Top UK Honeymoon Destinations

Whether you’re honeymooning on a budget, limited for time, need to take the kids or pets, or just want to celebrate your marriage by exploring the beauty of Britain, we’ve got 10 brilliant UK honeymoon destination ideas for summer 2017.

Find laid-back luxury in London

Our first UK honeymoon destination is our cosmopolitan capital. London has much to offer honeymooners, from must-see sites in the Centre to hip bars in the East. But if you want to relax and enjoy a truly luxurious London honeymoon, head West to stay at the Artist Residence between stylish Belgravia and Chelsea. A chic London bolt-hole with an intimate 10 rooms, its own cocktail bar and an all-day restaurant it has a super lux yet laid-back vibe and is perfectly positioned with the whole of the city on your doorstep.

Things to do:

Visit the beautiful V&A Museum of Art & Design to enjoy their summer exhibitions including ‘Shaping Fashion’ showcasing Spanish couturier Balenciaga, where you can drool over decadent silk gowns. Then dine like royalty with their recreation of Queen Victoria’s Afternoon Tea in the exquisite Morris Room. For a budget-conscious alternative (but still in sight of a real palace) take a picnic in to St. James Park. Set in the heart of ceremonial London, the oldest of London’s Royal Parks is an oasis of peace for newlyweds; with a lake, the Tiffany fountain and its own lovebirds – the famous pelicans.

Hopefully summer in the city will mean sunshine, but a rainy day is the perfect excuse to cosy down together in the beautifully restored Electric Cinema in Notting Hill. Spend an afternoon watching arthouse, classic or mainstream flicks from red velvet-covered double beds while a waiter delivers you cocktails. Then step out onto the Portobello Road and head up to The Dock Kitchen for dinner and a pick-me-up. Located in a stylish Victorian Wharf building this experimental restaurant with rooftop bar overlooks the Grand Union Canal. Perfect for people watching on a balmy summer’s evening with a chilled bottle of wine.

Top UK Honeymoon Destinations

source: artistresidencelondon.co.uk

Enjoy family fun in Norfolk

Cooler than the Cotswolds, quieter than Suffolk – cheaper than both. Norfolk, with its thriving independent scene, quirky festivals, big skies and rolling hills, is also one of the driest areas of the UK. So you might not need your umbrellas on the beach.

Where to stay:

The Victoria Inn and Ancient House at the Holkham Estate are nestled in an especially romantic setting in the windswept Norfolk countryside and boast beautifully appointed en suite rooms. After a brisk walk to flush your cheeks on nearby Holkham Beach, guests can enjoy relaxing in the peaceful and private walled rose garden of the Ancient House, or enjoy a modern British menu at the hotel restaurant which uses seasonal and locally produced ingredients. Children are welcome and dogs can stay in the rooms at the Victoria Inn.

Best place to eat:

For lunch head to The White Horse at Brancaster to enjoy the freshest of locally caught seafood including oysters during the season. Take in the spectacular views across the Norfolk Coastal Path and the tidal marshes and if you’re lucky, you might even catch Cyril or Ben, the next door neighbour ‘mussel men’ cleaning and netting their mussels for delivery to the kitchen door.

Getting around:

Exercise kids and dogs as you wander along beautiful sandy beaches to between five star pub stops along the coast. And if you want an even more more leisurely way to enjoy the scenery, you can take a steam train ride along the Wells Walsingham Railway full of old England charm and eccentricity – with five bridges en route for extra excitement.  

Top UK Honeymoon Destinations

source: holkham.co.uk

Discover True Romance in Margate 

Grab your bucket and spade – Margate has recently put itself back on the map as a desirably hip destination, so much so that it has been renamed by some as ‘Shoreditch-on-Sea’. Perfect for couples that long for salty beach-kisses and some good old fashioned fun, with an ironic twist.

Only two hours from London, Margate has burst back to life with a spruced up version of its famous kitsch past thanks to the sleek new Turner Contemporary Gallery and a wave of independent retailers. You’ll still find striped deckchairs and sticks of rock but you’ll now find ultra-cool Margate born brands like Haeckels, alongside vintage furniture shops and new pizza places like the Great British Pizza Co.

What to do:

Get your adrenalin pumping on some heart-stopping rides at the newly reopened Dreamland; spend the day on roller-coasters and eating candy floss against a backdrop of vintage cool and modern design. You can’t visit Margate without sharing a traditional vinegar soaked fish ‘n’ chips (grab a large one from Mario’s) then head down to the beach for frolics at sunset and see why Turner described the skies here as ‘the loveliest in Europe’.

Where to stay:

If you’re looking for somewhere super stylish to stay, The Reading Rooms offer the perfect antidote to Margate’s colourful kitsch. Muted colours complement this beautifully restored Georgian townhouse and make this luxury boutique hotel an oasis of calm for couples seeking pared-back grandeur. Top tip: Make sure you book a room with a roll-top bath to enjoy champagne and bubbles.

Top UK Honeymoon Destinations

source: rhymeandribbons.com

Enjoy an outdoor adventure in Cornwall 

Boasting the best surf in the UK, amazing Michelin star restaurants and as much art and culture as you can shake a stick at you’d be pushed to find a soggy pasty in Cornwall these days. But you will find beautiful villages with vibrant communities that welcome all-comers, tons for kids to do and 50 beaches are dog-friendly too!

Cornwall offers great self-catering options such as Treworgey Cottages in the Looe River Valley, where children and dogs are welcome. With picture perfect cottages covered in honeysuckle, a horse riding centre, heated swimming pool, a small petting farm and an indoor beach for rainy days, this is the perfect place for couples honeymooning with kids in tow. 

Things to do:

Take a day trip by boat to the stunning Looe Island Nature Reserve. A one time haunt for smugglers and a sanctuary for sea and woodland birds, this tiny island has a fascinating history and the waters around it teem with marine wildlife.

Book a family surf lesson with the passionate people at award winning Sennen Surf Centre. Crystal clear waters, golden sands and consistent surf make this place a winner. After working up an appetite on the rollers, check out beach side restaurant Benn Tunnicliffe restaurant that promises ‘Good food and family time in beautiful surroundings’. 

Don’t miss a trip to St. Ives; with its cobbled charm, quaint cottages and literary heritage it’s the perfect place to take in some culture including the Tate Modern GalleryBarbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden. And if you’re near Penzance head to the Jubilee Pool, a recently refurbished Art Deco Lido perfect for an invigorating sea water swim.

10 UK Honeymoon Destinations

source: jubileepool.co.uk

Find a family paradise on the Scilly Isles

Stay close to home on a sub-tropical family honeymoon with a large dollop of Enid Blyton time-warp. Uncrowded, unspoilt, and surrounded by golden-sanded beaches, the Scilly Isles archipelago really are a paradise on your doorstep. Located at the most Southwesterly point of the UK and an area of outstanding natural beauty, these islands are rugged, remote and virtually car-free, making this a great holiday for couples who want to escape it all or families who want the freedom of a get-out-there-and-explore holiday without the long haul flight.

Getting around:

Arrive at your island destination by propellor plane or ferry and experience a simpler way of life. Visit www.islesofscilly-travel.co.uk for travel options. Island hopping by boat is a fantastic way to see marine wildlife and explore some of the uninhabited islands. Check out www.islandseasafaris.co.uk for day trips from St. Mary’s; go on their ‘Shipwrecks, Seals and Seabirds’ excursion for the best of the island sights.

Things to do:

The islands, some with as few as 80 inhabitants, are dotted with small farms and farm shops, walking and cycling routes and boast a wealth of ancient remains, castles and towers as well as amazing local produce and seafood. A sub-tropical microclimate make the Scilly Isles a unique place to see flora and fauna not found on the mainland and the gardens at Tresco Abbey are considered to be the UK’s most outstanding horticultural paradise. You might even spot a red squirrel, now almost extinct on the mainland.

Stay at Tresco Sea Garden Cottages with sailing, a beach cafe, swimming pool, tennis courts and a gym to keep everyone happy. All cottages also have wi-fi and satellite TV for when the kids have had enough of playing Enid Blyton style.

Eat at Juliet’s Garden on St. Mary’s  to enjoy seafood, steak or vegetarian dishes and Artisan Cornish cheeses on the beautiful terrace providing breathtaking views across the harbour and the other islands.

Don’t miss: Troytown Farm on St. Agnes for their spectacular ice-cream made from their small herd of 9 dairy cows.

Top UK honeymoon destinations

source: smithandfamily.co.uk

Celebrate your love-story on the Yorkshire Moors

Live out your own Gothic love story in our next UK honeymoon destination – the rugged and romantic Yorkshire dales. Take a blustery walk in the Bronte sisters’ footsteps and discover the atmospheric ruins, dramatic skies, and windswept moorland that inspired them. Then look forward to cosy evenings snuggled up with a glass of red in front of a roaring fire.

Things to do:

Embrace your rebellious spirit and stay in a bright red Gypsy van, ‘Carmen’, set in a peaceful glade at historic Markington Hall in North Yorkshire with bountiful welcome hampers, your own campfire, a nearby river to fish and frolic in and the moors at your doorstep.

For long walks, breathtaking scenery and dramatic views, Bronte Falls at Haworth, Sutton Bank on the North York Moors, Aysgarth Falls in the Yorkshire Dales, and Hardcastle Crags at Hebden Bridge are all must-dos. Then for a real treat, book a table at the michelin-starred Black Swan at Oldstead. With a mix of traditional Yorkshire warmth and a dynamic and creative menu, this not-to-be-missed restaurant is perfectly located on the edge of the North York Moors National Park.

Top UK Honeymoon Destinations

source: markingtonhall.co.uk

Go free wheeling in Wales

Be the envy of everyone else on the road behind the wheel of your very own classic original VW Campervan like ‘Lily’ from Pembrokeshire Classic Campers. Lovingly restored and ready to take you on your honeymoon adventure. Then it’s just you two and the open road, with the wind in your hair and Wales at your feet.

With activities in the area ranging from canoeing and surfing, to hang-gliding and golf you’ll find adventure awaits at every stop-off.

Things to do:

Highlights include Caerphilly Castle, the stunning coastlines of the Mumbles and the Gower peninsula. If your honeymooning in May – June you can catch the Literary festival at Hay-on-Wye and if you’re headed to Wales in August don’t miss the annual Jazz festival in the Brecon Beacons National Park. Long drives require constant supplies of Welsh rarebit (the world’s finest cheese on toast) so make sure you’re well stocked up.

10 UK Honeymoon Destinations

source: pembrokeshireclassiccampers.co.uk

Explore Connemara on horseback

Always wished you lived in a castle? Pretend you do for a week at luxurious Ballynahinch Castle in Ireland. Situated in the heart of Connemara, this stunning castle hotel is set in 450 acres so it’s easy to wander through the woodland together imagining it’s all yours.

Things to do:

Located along the wild Atlantic Way, set against the stunning backdrop of the 12 Bens mountain range, Ballynahinch is the perfect base for exploring the area either by car, on foot, or even on horseback.

Riding school Erislannan Manor close to the castle can organise riding and trekking on Connemara ponies for which the region is known. For guided walks, island trips and general advice on exploring this stunning part of Ireland, contact Walk Connemara.

If you’re feeling adventurous, explore the fairytale-like Kylemore Abbey and take a walk hand-in-hand around the woodland and lakes in this1,000 acre estate. And if you’re feeling lazy, enjoy a pint (or two) in a typical Irish village, such as Cong, famous as the location shoot for the 1951 John Wayne film ‘The Quiet Man’.

10 UK Honeymoon Destinations

source: kylemoreabbey.com

Live like kings in a Scottish Castle

Rich in history, with stunning cities, mysterious lochs and delicious whiskey to discover, Scotland is the perfect place for a honeymoon fling. And if you really want a honeymoon fit for Kings why not stay in a real Scottish castle? Just 8 miles from Edinburgh Dalhousie Castle  is a 13th century fortress on the picturesque banks of the river Esk. This castle hotel and spa has traditional decor and uses a lot of tartan so won’t necessarily win any design awards. But it’s interior style is certainly warm and welcoming. And you get to sleep in a four-poster bed, in a castle! 

Things to do:

Once you’ve been properly pampered in the spa, have explored the castle grounds and the water-y wilderness beyond head to Edinburgh. Wander around the Grassmarket and Victoria Street to browse bustling independent shops, artisan stores and take your pick from the excellent range of lunch options in this vibrant al fresco setting. Then visit the magnificent Edinburgh castle for afternoon tea. Spend an elegant evening starting with cocktails at Panda & Sons on Queen Street, then take a stroll back up towards the castle to dine at the lavish and decadent Gothic institution The Witchery by the Castle

Top 10 UK Honeymoon Destinations

source: dalhousiecastle.co.uk

Fall madly in love in Manchester

Our final UK honeymoon destination is Manchester. Whether you were there back in the day – or just wish you had been – go all-out with a love fuelled Manchester weekender. The best bit? Now you’re grown ups you can dance together till dawn, then sink into a luxury king size bed rather than crash on your mate’s saggy sofa.

Check out The Red Door in Deansgate for cocktails and classic tunes – open till 4.00am on Fridays and Saturdays. For a more chilled out night, get yourselves to the Soup Kitchen, award winning canteen and bar with communal tables, vegan food and a great selection of cask ales. Located in Manchester’s Northern Quarter District, this is your go-to destination for live music, film nights, comedy events and art exhibitions. Or head to Matt & Phred’s Jazz Club in the Northern Quarter. Showcasing the hottest jazz talent, as well as a host of other genres, this place also doubles as a restaurant with great pizzas and sharing plates and has a fantastic selection of wines and a great cocktail list.

Where to stay:

If you want to avoid disapproving glances from hotel receptionists when you rock up at 6am, book yourself an apartment so you can come and go as you please. To experience stunning loft living in an historic 200 year old building a stone’s throw away from the city’s bars and clubs check out the Old Mill on Airbnb.

10 UK Honeymoon Destinations

source: visitmanchester.com

Tanya & Stephen’s Dream Honeymoon

honeymoon fund mauritius

Tanya and Stephen met online three and a half years ago and had a beautiful countryside wedding last year with all of their friends and family. They were planning the honeymoon of a lifetime when they found out they were expecting another little member of the family (who’s on her way next month!) so their plans had to change. We asked Tanya all about what they decided to do for their honeymoon and how their big day went.

How did you get engaged?

We got engaged on the rooftop terrace of our hotel in Venice. It was freezing as it was November, but the sunset was electric pink and it couldn’t have been more perfect. Steve did very well!

Tanya & Stephen by Catherine Mead – photographybycatherine.co.uk

What kind of wedding did you plan?

We wanted an informal, personal countryside wedding. We wrote our ceremony ourselves, had a big sharing-style meal, and lots of cocktails to keep the party going.

What was your first dance?

We did the Jewish Hora with all our guests – neither of us could face doing a dance just the two of us!

What made you choose Patchwork for your wedding registry?

A friend had used it for their wedding and I’d thought it was a great idea when I gave them a gift. Plus we knew there was nothing we really needed for our home, and that we couldn’t really afford a honeymoon ourselves.

honeymoon fund mauritius

So you decided to create a honeymoon fund?

Yes, for our dream honeymoon – a trip to the Maldives and Sri Lanka. We had the whole thing planned out and were so excited, but then I fell pregnant and couldn’t go to the Maldives due to the Zika virus or to Sri Lanka due to vaccines. So we had to scrap it last minute and rebook to go to Mauritius – which we figured was next best from the Maldives. We really liked knowing that all of our friends had helped to give us an amazing experience, rather than a set of towels or saucepans. And they were happy to contribute towards something fun.

honeymoon fund mauritius

Would you recommend your trip to other honeymooners?  

Yes. Mauritius was a fantastic holiday – direct flight, hardly any jet-lag, stunning lush greenery with amazing beaches, delicious food, peace and quiet, and our accommodation was all we could have hoped for – total luxury.


Thank you Tanya and Stephen for sharing your lovely story with us. And a huge congratulations from Team Patchwork.

If this has inspired you to make your own patchwork, just customise one of our readymade patchworks or create one from scratch.

Wedding photography by Catherine Mead – photographybycatherine.co.uk

Neil & Zoe’s Honeymoon in Japan

Engagement photo with dog paw

Neil and Zoe are both actors and live in South East London with their dog Pickle. They married last summer in a beautiful weekend-long extravaganza. Then, with a little help from their friends, jetted off to one of their favourite places on earth – Japan. We asked Neil all about it.

So how did you two get engaged?

The 11th March is a strange anniversary for us both as it coincidentally marks the date both of us lost our mums. Each year we try and do something special to celebrate their lives and two years ago I thought ‘what could be better than to make this difficult anniversary mean something completely different’. Zoe loves a good treasure hunt, so I planned an epic journey to lead her across London to a lovely vegetarian café. Whilst we ate, my friends laid out hundreds of candles in the beautiful nearby Bonnington Square gardens and as night fell I took Zoe into the square and popped/blubbed the question. Thankfully, she said “Of course!” as I had boldly arranged for all our friends and family to be in a nearby pub waiting for us. 

Neil & Zoe on their wedding day – by Howell Jones Photography

What kind of wedding did you plan?

When we thought about our favourite weddings, the one thing that they all had in common is that we never wanted them to end. So, we decided to have a weekend long wedding where we could have everyone stay on site with us from Friday ’til Monday. We hoped it would be a chance for friends & loved ones to have a mini holiday with us, for them to get to know each other and for us all to share our post wedding hangovers over a game of rounders by a lake and a moonlit cinema. We found a beautiful 22 bedroom house called Colehayes in Bovey Tracey, situated in beautiful acres of stunning Devon countryside.

It was everything we dreamed of and we were so moved by how all our guests threw themselves into the whole thing. It had a glorious feeling of community and connectedness that we wish we could have bottled. 

Neil & Zoe on their wedding day – by Howell Jones Photography

What was your first dance?

We both love the film When Harry Met Sally and Harry Connick Jr, so we went for “It Had to Be You”. We had grand hopes of doing a short dance routine to it but with Zoe’s dress being very long and so much else to plan, we simply didn’t get round to it, so ended up doing the traditional but loving ‘foot-to-foot shuffle”. 

Why did you decide to use Patchwork?

We wanted a website that could bring together all our honeymoon ideas and give people a chance to see what was on our honeymoon wish list. Patchwork was so easy to use and helped us put together a beautiful visual itinerary that our friends and family could feel part of. It also made it easier for us plan our trip and start to get really excited about it.

We guess, like many couples who get married, we felt tentative about asking people to contribute to our honeymoon as everyone was already travelling so far to join us for our wedding and we honestly didn’t expect anything in addition to this! However, we were aware that some people kindly wanted to get us something in the way of a gift. We were absolutely over the moon with how generous people were and the simple truth is that without their help, we couldn’t have had such an epic honeymoon in Japan.

Wedding couple by lake

Zoe & Neil by Howell Jones Photography

Patchwork was so easy to use and gave us something we could easily send to people so they could feel like they were directly contributing to a part of our journey. We also loved that we could create a variety of different value gift options so people didn’t feel pressure to give lots of money and yet were still going to be adding joy to our honeymoon with options like Karaoke and Sink a Sake.

Neil & Zoe on honeymoon in Japan

Why did you decide to have your honeymoon in Japan?

Ever since we first went to Japan back in 2014, we had a dream of returning and exploring more. We adore Tokyo and whilst we wanted to go back, we also wanted to travel further afield and see what other parts of Japan were like. Kyoto and Osaka were cities that we wanted to explore and we also wanted to visit snowy Nagano and see the snow monkeys and stay with Buddhist monks up in Mount Koya. We feel so lucky that we got to do all of this and more on our holiday.

Would you recommend your trip to other honeymooners?

Yes. Japan is simply one of the most remarkable places on earth. Their culture is so different to our own but yet strangely familiar at the same time as if visiting a parallel universe. It has everything- epic landscapes, ancient historic temples, futuristic cities and a blend of nature and technology like nowhere else. It’s also inhabited by such polite and gentle people that make travelling around it feel easy and safe. We have fallen in love with Japan, in fact, we have fallen so in love that we’ve even started making a series of vlogs about our trip and all things Japanese called Woman, Man, Japan with the hope of helping likeminded people plan their own trips there and so that we can get back there as much a possible.


Thank you Neil and Zoe for sharing your brilliant story with us. And a huge congratulations from Team Patchwork.

If this has inspired you to make your own patchwork, just customise one of our readymade patchworks or create one from scratch.

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