TRAVEL GUIDE: Ten Square Hotel, Belfast
Belfast boutique hotel Ten Square can boast that it was voted one of the sexiest hotels in the world by Cosmopolitan magazine. So with Valentine’s Day fast approaching, my hubby Andy and I popped along to the city centre hotspot to investigate this for ourselves.
There’s a well-known phrase that many of us will have used time and time again — variety is the spice of life.
Relationships like anything in life can take a lot of work, patience and of course a little imagination to keep the passion alive.
So I was absolutely delighted to take part and ignite some sizzling passion in a very special ‘Love In’ experiment just in time for Valentine’s Day at the luxurious Ten Square Hotel.
At this time of year soulmates, lovers and partners are very likely to be pulling their hair out thinking of how they can avoid the last minute petrol station flower run and really impress that someone special on Valentine’s Day.
Even newlyweds like myself need to take heed of some good old-fashioned romance advice. The ultimate ‘Love In’ was certainly not something that Andy and I would have even considered before.
But being two brave souls and never a pair to turn down a challenge, it was time to see if Ten Square and all it has to offer could put things onwards and upwards in the bedroom department.
We arrived at our fabulous hotel knowing it has been lauded as one of the world’s sexiest. So where else would you go for an intimate encounter?
Completely unaware of the task that lay ahead of us, we were expecting someone to appear in a white lab coat with a clipboard full of questions but any nerves soon vanished as the staff explained the unique concept to us — putting aphrodisiac foods to the ultimate test to see if they were a sizzling sexy success or a real passion killer.
If you think of some of the key ingredients that make a perfect first date they will include food, ambience and a tipple or two of your favourite drink — three big ticks already off my list.
We checked into the Linenhall suite, which was beautifully prepared for our arrival — gorgeous rose petals on the bed, ice cold champagne and yummy custom cupcakes.
The room of course brought back lots of fond memories as Ten Square was the city centre venue for our wedding day and, as luck would have it, the ‘Love In' took place almost a year to the date of our engagement — so it seemed that the night was off to a flying start. Any girl knows that preparation is key for any date, so with champagne glass in hand I took a long soak in the tub whilst my other half relaxed and geared himself up for a feast of sexy food.
The ‘Love In’ menu was specially designed by the experienced hotel team and included a platter of sea bass, oyster and asparagus complete with tomato crostini, pears and oyster salsa. We were a little concerned about the menu as the majority of it was seafood, but according to my research oysters can increase libido, especially for men, so Andy was well warned not to get too overexcited during dinner.
The starter was superb but the best was yet to come with the lobster that we were treated to for the main course. And, like a true city gal, I simply had to have a Sex and the City moment and order a Cosmopolitan in the style of my favourite character Carrie to wash the food down in style.
I am a huge fan of lobster and after eating it in a really romantic atmosphere complete with candles, wine and soft music, I began to think that this ‘aphrodisiac business' and its links to plenty of passion could be true.
With lobster, rumour has it that its aphrodisiac history can be traced back to the ancient Greeks and the Goddess of Love, Aphrodite. It also contains all the necessary ingredients for peak sexual health, so you can almost guarantee a long night of seduction after sampling its delights...we certainly were not disappointed if you choose to believe in its powers.
Finally dessert, which many couples often skip on a date and I too have been guilty of this in the past, was again a necessary part of our ultimate ‘Love In’. A rich chocolate brownie smothered in hot butterscotch served with chocolate dipped strawberries and vanilla ice cream was a great way to end the meal. If I’m being completely honest, I did think for a split second ‘who needs a man when you have chocolate’ — much less trouble and even tastier.
Luckily, I came to my senses and soon realised that chocolate, being the king of aphrodisiacs, was just the love chemical that we needed to inspire the rest of the night.