*AD – gifted: this post contains products that were gifted to me in exchange for a link mention
I don’t know about you but I’m such a stay-at-home girl nowadays. I love nothing more than putting some fluffy pyjamas on and getting into bed to watch Netflix. Gone are the days when I used to stay out until gone 5am and then be able to get up to do a shift at work a couple of hours later. Luckily, my partner Jesse loves to be lazy with me and gives me good recommendations for TV shows (hint hint, we’ll be suggesting some in this post). Can you ask for any better than that? I don’t think so. So, when I was given the opportunity to share what I would typically do on a night in with Jesse, I jumped at the chance as we love a good night at home.
I was very kindly sent a hamper from eShores* that was described as the perfect accompaniment to a romantic night without having to leave the house. I was very curious as to what the hamper would include and I was over the moon when I opened it to find an assortment of Italian foods. Italian food is definitely one of my favourite types of cuisine; anyone who knows me well enough will know that I eat bowls of pasta way too often, especially smothered in cheese.
I would love nothing more than to just spontaneously jet off to Italy with Jesse for a little romantic getaway, in fact it’s currently number one on my places that I want to visit most. Although I don’t currently have the funds to do this at the moment, it doesn’t stop me longingly scrolling through different vacation itineraries and dreaming about being there. If you are looking for a break to get away at the moment, eShores* have put together a 10 day ‘Ultimate Romantic Holiday’ itinerary that I would book in a hot minute if I could. This is the perfect Italian package holiday that takes you to two of its most-loved cities as well as stopping off at Paris, France with plenty of incredible experiences in each place.
Although we were sat in my bedroom on a rainy day in Birmingham rather than exploring the beautiful canals of Venice (in our defence, Birmingham has more canals), we still made the most of our evening together by enjoying the Italian hamper. The first thing I pulled out of the hamper was a Jute bag decorated with a map of Italy which was absolutely filled with different Italian foods. I cooked the bag of Dalla Costa Gigli Tricolour Pasta and mixed in the jar of Mutti Passata to create a really simple but tasty pasta dish. The pasta was coloured with semolina, tomato and spinach to create the colours of the Italian flag, can you get any more true to the country than that? Much to my absolute delight, there was also a big block of Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese that naturally, I had to grate excessively over my bowl of pasta because cheese is life. There was also a little bottle of Drogheria & Alimentari Porcini & Truffle Flavour Infused Oil which I didn’t put into this dish as I was worried about not liking it; I do however have an Italian housemate who sampled some for me and she gave it the stamp of approval, so I definitely need to give it a try in the near future. I also decided to throw some Valledoro Garlic Croutons on top of my pasta to change up the texture a little bit. These croutons have become my addiction, I won’t lie – I really need to stop snacking on them so much.
I already know that I love cheese and pasta but what I was most excited about was trying all of the different Italian sweet treats that I pulled out of the hamper. First I tried a small sliced of the Tedesco Panettone with Chocolate Chips; panettone is basically sweet bread and is often filled with chocolate or different fruits, something that quickly became love at first bite. This would be perfect paired with a cup of coffee and went down an absolute treat. The next thing I tried was some small crunchy biscuits called Gadeschi Amarettini Classic. I wasn’t personally a massive fan of these as I don’t like the smell of Amaretto, never mind the taste which was very prominent in these biscuits. If you’re more into alcohol in your desserts though, these will be right up your street. However, there was another box of biscuits called Gadeschi Biscotti with Candied Lemon Peel and I’m honestly going to need a lifetime supply of these. They taste quite creamy and sweet, pretty similar to shortbread with the slight bitterness of lemon coming through and I’m sad to say that I’ve already demolished the whole pack.
I was very excited to also pull out a box of handmade macarons from the hamper. These came fresh from Macarons and More; although the flavours weren’t listed on the box, I’m pretty sure that they were praline, strawberries and cream and lavender from a look on their website. I’ve never been one for floral tastes in my food so I didn’t try the lavender one (Parma Violets are the only objection to that rule) but the other two flavours were absolutely heavenly. The cookies and cream one reminded me of chocolate brownie, it was a lot more chocolatey than I was expecting but tasted incredible nonetheless. The strawberries and cream one was my favourite of the three, it tasted so fresh and sweet and I could’ve shamelessly eaten about five of them.
Now, what better thing to pair with a night of eating tasty food than with a good old Netflix binge? The traditional thing to do on Valentine’s Day would probably be to watch something like The Vow or the Notebook so I thought I’d suggest something a little bit different. Here are some of my favourite Netflix picks that I think are perfect for binge-watching sessions as a pair. They’re not necessarily the most generically romantic of suggestions but entertaining all the same. Grab some snacks and settle down with your loved one, a friend or a fluffy blanket – singles will love these suggestions too. Enjoy my picks, you won’t regret it (as long as you favour a little bit of trash TV every now and again).
Back with the Ex
This is a series set in Australia where four ex couples reunite to spend several weeks together – sounds like a terrible idea, right? After all, there’s a reason why you broke up in the first place. The series sees each former couple meet after years apart to find out if their love can be rekindled or if it’s a dead case. There’s so much drama in this show and each person has a very strong character about them. It’s very easy to form opinions about each couple and whether you want them to work or not. Without revealing any obvious spoilers, some people on the show definitely don’t deserve the unconditional love they’re receiving which sparks some heated debates. It’s fun to discuss the tribulations of each couple and have discussions about it. This is definitely one of those trash-TV type shows, a complete guilty pleasure that we can’t help but watch.
Detective Nick Burkhardt is the latest Grimm in a long line of guardians who are sworn to keep the balance between mythological creatures and humans. A lot of the episodes and characters are inspired by Grimm’s Fairy Tales; it’s a great cop show with mysterious, creepy and often violent twists. Jesse has seen this series multiple times and it’s one of his all-time favourites. He’s been trying to get me to watch it for absolutely ages and I finally caved a few weeks ago. I’m glad I did because I’m completely hooked; I’m only just coming to the end of series one so I don’t know anything that’s happened past that but Jesse has assured me I’m in for some shockers and emotional times. We love discussing who our favourite mythical creatures are as there’s so many different ones that get introduced each episode. If you’ve seen Grimm before, isn’t Monroe just the best?
Zumbo’s Just Desserts
Zumbo’s Just Desserts is an Australian baking competition where twelve amateur bakers are given different dessert-based challenges. There are different themes within each episode such as under the sea, Australian favourites and fairy tales. It’s really interesting to see what different creations each person comes up with. Zumbo also gives them technical tests to see how they cope with challenging tasks which turns out to be pretty hilarious to watch some of the failures. Jesse and I both ended up having a different favourite contestant and rooting for them to win so it was fun to have a bit of competition going on between us. I’m still mad that they kicked out my favourite so early on.
Dexter Morgan works for the Miami Metro Police as a blood spatter analysist but he also leads a double life as a serial killer. You might think those are two very contrasting paths but Dexter doesn’t kill just anyone; he targets other serial killers that have slipped unnoticed through the justice system and takes matters into his own blood-covered hands. This is such a gripping series with eight seasons altogether, I never wanted it to come to an end. It’s something that I’ll definitely be re-watching when I get the chance, I love the elements of dark comedy mixed in with gore and mystery. Plus, it’s obviously common knowledge that Michael C. Hall plays the perfect lovable creep. What could be more apt for Valentine’s Day than that? Haha.
Have you ever been on a romantic getaway?