What Is Romance? Guest post by @ZannaMacKenzie

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The Earth Moved

by Zanna Mackenzie

Twitter: @ZannaMacKenzie

What Is Romance?

I have a question for you - what is that makes a place, season or a moment romantic?  Whether you're a true hearts and flowers kind of romantic or somebody who thinks they haven’t got a romantic bone in their body, most of us will have experienced a few of those special moments with a loved one. But what we each find romantic about them can vary enormously.

For some people their idea of the perfect romantic getaway might be a five star hotel in a glamorous city. A weekend with their partner spent shopping, sightseeing, enjoying coffee and croissants outside a chic café, elegant dinners, a trip to the theatre and then collapsing into a four poster bed with luxurious Egyptian cotton sheets. Sound good to you?

Perhaps escaping to a log cabin in the woods on the shores of a lake, nobody else about for miles around, is more your idea of a perfect romantic escape. Relaxing on the wooden deck with your significant other and a glass of wine or hot chocolate, watching fireworks or the setting sun shimmer across the water - before retreating indoors to cuddle up in front of a roaring log fire, and later snuggling into bed by candlelight.

What are the ingredients for romance for you when it comes to food? Think of a romantic meal and what comes to mind? Eating fancy food in a posh restaurant? Maybe sharing fish and chips on a park bench, or a hilltop picnic at dusk? As with setting, there are so many variations on a romantic meal.

Now, I have another question for you. I know. I Know. What’s with all of the questions? Right. Up next - which season do you find to be the most romantic? The scorching heat of summer and lazing decadently on a sun lounger on the beach, sipping iced lemonade? Daylight stretching long into the night with dusk only slowly encroaching as midnight approaches. Days when you can throw open all the doors and windows and spend your time in just shorts, T-shirts and sandals.

What about autumn? All those long country walks hand in hand, kicking up the red, yellow and orange leaves as you stroll through the woodlands together.

Maybe you prefer the cosiness of winter instead? Enveloping yourself in soft wool knitwear and fleece-lined boots. Getting all warm and comfy on the sofa with a blanket and the love of your life, as the snow falls outside.

Would you opt for Christmas as the most romantic time of year? Attending the local ceremony when the lights are switched on at the village/town/city Christmas tree, singing carols, drinking mulled wine, ice skating in the park.

Over coffee and cake, I asked some friends what their most memorable and favourite romantic scenes are from books they’ve read. Once again, the answers that came back were all markedly different. One recalled a chick lit novel with a wedding in a Scottish castle – all log fires, chandeliers and kilts. Another recalled a summer beach scene with a difference – it was in the middle of a storm and the couple in question ended up ditching their umbrellas and paddling and kissing in the waves and getting drenched in the rain. For another, it was a book about a middle-aged married couple trying to reconnect and it was as simple as the man bringing the woman a cup of tea and her favourite biscuits as she collapsed into a chair exhausted at the end of another hectic day.

There are people who pour scorn on the whole log cabin in the snowy woods, paddling in the edge of the sea on a sun kissed beach, candlelight and log fire romance scenarios– saying they’re nothing but a cliché. Well, everyone has a right to their opinions, but I can’t help thinking that maybe these things have reached cliché status for one reason – they work and they actually are romantic.

Long live romance, in all its guises.

Please let us know your favourite romantic moments, seasons and getaways – we’d love to hear from you!