• Honeymoon Ideas (Guest Blog)

Archive for November, 2017

Honeymoon Ideas (Guest Blog)

Guest blog from Carolyn Yates – Travel Counsellors

A honeymoon is one of the most special times that you and your loved one will experience.  Aside from your wedding day, it’s the most romantic time you will spend together; whether it be spending the night under the stars or going on safari – there are many different experiences that you can have.  These are becoming more and more unique every year.

As a Travel Counsellor, I understand the importance of a ‘dream’ honeymoon and I’ll make sure that this special time gives you memories to last your lifetime together.

Some of the best suggestions for top honeymoons in 2018 are:

For a beach honeymoon…the top destination for 2018 remains to be The Maldives.  Barefoot luxury, pristine sands, snorkelling and diving.  Go all out and switch your Wi-Fi connection off entirely for an unplugged honeymoon to remember or opt for an island with a variety of activities.


For an adventure honeymoon…my recommendation would be to head to the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, for island-hopping and hiking among tortoises, sea lions and pelicans. Or visit Greenough, Montana, for cattle driving, fly-fishing and getting in touch with your inner cowgirl or boy.

or a safari honeymoon…my recommendation would be along the Selinda Spillway of Botswana, which takes you trekking and kayaking, and where you can spot buffalo and elephants in the bush. Helicopters and fly camps are thrown in for good measure. Combine it with a visit to Cape Town, South Africa, afterward for some great food and well-deserved wine.

For a cultural honeymoon…my recommendation would be India, exploring Delhi’s narrow streets and colourful bazaars, see the magnificent Taj Mahal and wander around the Pink City of Jaipur.  You could even combine this with beach luxury in the Maldives.

I have a fantastic service called the Honeymoon Bridal Registry to offer.  The service itself is totally free of charge, and is a hassle-free way of avoiding all those unwanted wedding gifts!  I can arrange a honeymoon anywhere in the World; from a Manor House in Ireland to the sun-drenched Maldives.

So, please think on…for a honeymoon to remember, whether it’s near or far, contact Carolyn Yates, your very own Personal Travel Counsellor.

For more information on this get intouch with Carolyn on –  Carolyn.yates@travelcounsellors.com

Top Ten Christmas Gifts for Prosecco Lovers

Top Ten Christmas Gifts for Prosecco Lovers

We might be (a little bit) bias but Prosecco lovers are just the best type of family and friends you could possibly have – not only are they great at a party but they’re extremely easy to buy Christmas gifts for too.   A good quality bottle of Prosecco will always go down a storm, but with a little bit of imagination there are so many other options to raise a smile on Christmas morning.

In no particular order here are our top ten Christmas gifts for Prosecco lovers.

  1. Chocolate and Prosecco, what more could you want? Chocolate infused with Prosecco perhaps?  Prosecco truffles from the London Chocolate Company are a sure-fire winner.

£11.25 from Not on the High Street https://www.notonthehighstreet.com/themes/prosecco-gifts

  1. We’re always talking about how versatile Prosecco is, and with the right ingredients can be the foundation for a myriad of cocktails. Buy this for a gift and give plenty of hints to suggest that you’re a willing guinea pig.

Prosecco Cocktails Recipe Book by Laura Gladwin. £7.99 from Lakeland http://www.lakeland.co.uk/45965/Prosecco-Cocktails-Recipe-Book-by-Laura-Gladwin

  1. Got a party throwing Prosecco lover in your life? Prosecco’s answer to Beer Pong, Prosecco Pong, is a great way to get the bubbles flowing and the party started.

£9.99 from Party Ark https://www.partyark.co.uk/026496/prosecco-pong.html?dfw_tracker=28268-&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIlc37vY7E1wIVCJ4bCh2HwQMoEAQYASABEgKH6PD_BwE

  1. If you’re feeling very generous then you could spoil your Prosecco lover with the perfect advent calendar – 24 different miniature bottles of bubbles! That’s December sorted then.

£144.95 from Not on the High Street (https://www.notonthehighstreet.com/thelittleboysroom/product/prosseco-advent-calendar

  1. Another perfect gift for a sweet-toothed Prosecco fan. A bottle of Belgian chocolate Prosecco and punnet of six white chocolate strawberries.

£18 from Not on the High Street https://www.notonthehighstreet.com/chocolateonchocolate/product/chocolate-prosecco-and-strawberries

  1. What is the perfect gift for a Prosecco lover? A beautiful flute personalised with their name, of course.

£4.95 from Etsy https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=gifts+for+prosecco+lovers&source=lnms&tbm=shop&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwis7v7wncTXAhUiDsAKHQGcBksQ_AUICigB&biw=1094&bih=511&dpr=1.25#spd=6287646162158879460

  1. A personalised Prosecco scented candle? Yes, why not.  Described as, fresh, light and fruity, with a hint of bubbles.  Packaged in a personalised bag.

£9.95 from The Little Picture Company https://thelittlepicturecompany.co.uk/products/personalised-prosecco-candle-in-gift-bag?utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=googlepla&variant=45789726223&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIruDZ9J3E1wIVEDwbCh3qgA8nEAkYBSABEgLmN_D_BwE

  1. Wall candy doesn’t get much better than this personalised Prosecco bottle and glass print. A really special gift and keepsake that’s light on the wallet too.

£4.19 from Ebay https://www.ebay.co.uk/i/282277850301?chn=ps&dispctrl=1&adgroupid=48716125379&rlsatarget=pla-382120631995&abcId=1129946&adtype=pla&merchantid=114888499&poi=&googleloc=1006653&device=c&campaignid=974960635&crdt=0

  1. For writing down tasting notes, doodling or getting that novel started, any Prosecco lover would be delighted with this personalised ‘drink of choice’ notebook.

£12.50 from Not on the High Street https://www.notonthehighstreet.com/betsyjarvis/product/drinks-personalised-notebook

  1. Another edible treat; gourmet Prosecco and strawberry bon bons. Packaged in a cool, corked glass bottle that’s designed to be re-used.

£9.99 from Studio


Raise a Glass: Making Sure Your Wedding Bar is a Hit

Who doesn’t love a good wedding?  We know that we do.  And what makes a wedding even better?  Plenty of bubbles and a great bar, of course!

Weddings are perhaps our favourite private event to work at.  It’s an honour to be part of a couples’ big day, making sure the meticulously planned plans all go smoothly, and it’s great fun too.  We know how stressful wedding planning can be, but getting the bar right doesn’t need to be.  Here are some of our suggestions to help make life easier – well, the bar and choice of drinks, at least.

Booking a dry hire venue – that’s just a venue or building, no catering or bar included gives you the options and freedom to go your own way when it comes to choosing the food and drink you want to serve to your guests.  It also means you’ll avoid corkage fees. Corkage is the charge that’s made by a venue for opening and serving bottles of wine that you’ve provided for the big day.  This can range from anything from around £5 a bottle to £11, though we have heard of it being a lot more.  With this in mind that reasonable price you’ve sourced your wine for could more than double. Hiring a private bar means your costs are all included in the hire package, with no corkage fee to factor in.

Working with a good bar also gives you more scope for getting creative with your welcome drinks, toast and of course the drinks you and your guests will enjoy throughout the day and evening.  Prosecco is now the UK’s top drink for celebratory occasions and with a little bit of imagination it’s versatile too.  It’s perfectly lovely on its own but it’s easy to ‘pimp’ as well.  A few choice garnishes can add some wow-factor.  For summer weddings make the most of all the berries that are in season; strawberries and raspberries are the favourite choice but later in the season blackberries work really well.  In the winter adding a herb such as rosemary not only tastes good but looks extra special too.  We offer a popular ‘Pimp Your Prosecco’ bar, a choice of appropriate garnishes to add to the fizz that guests can help themselves too, we’ve seen some fantastic creations!

We know it’s hard to imagine but there are people who don’t drink Prosecco out there (honestly!) A selection of good, cold beers helps. To keep with our Italian wine roots we recommend Peroni. Getting some interesting non-alcoholic options is essential too, this is no problem for a good bar.  One of our favourites, and our customers’ too, is a Hugo mocktail – sparkling water flavoured with elderflower cordial and finished with fresh mint and lime.

The welcome drink may be the most important drink of the day, and here’s where a good private bar shines too.  We recommend a bespoke Prosecco cocktail to fit in with the wedding theme and the couples’ taste.  Just think of all that ‘research’ into finding the best fit!

As we said, getting the bar right at a wedding doesn’t need to be hard work. If you’d like more information about your own bespoke wedding bar we’d love to hear from you.


How To Survive The Office Christmas Party

Office Christmas Party Spotting

Here at The Vino Van we adore Christmas, that could be because Prosecco is Britain’s unrivalled drink of choice for celebrations.  Christmas brings lots of opportunities for letting your hair down and whether you love it or hate it the office Christmas party is often the major night out on the festive calendar.  It’s a tricky one though, you spend all year working with your colleagues, possibly only ever seeing them in the tea room politely passing the milk or uttering a brief good morning on the stairs.  The office party can, and very often does, change all of that, bringing out all manner of sides to personalities that you’ve never seen before.  Ahh, the power of a tipple, or seven.

From our vantage point behind the bar we’ve come up with a theory that most party goers can be categorized into one description or another, once they’ve had a glass or two.  Can you spot any of your colleagues (or maybe yourself) on our list?

The Crier

There is always at least one person crying in a toilet cubicle, or worse, at the bar.  We’re not ones to generalize but it’s usually a woman.  The reason will usually be completely ridiculous and as the hysterics get even more, well, hysterical and the weeping more pronounced that reason could be completely forgotten.

Expect: Weeping and wailing

You’ll need: A multi pack of tissues

The Creep

Often found at the edge of the dance floor The Creep will basically be anywhere that females are congregating.  Generally male, he’s quite often perfectly respectable during office hours, but the moral compass goes spinning way out of control at the merest whiff of tinsel and punch.  Personal space?  Huh? What’s that?

Expect: Over familiar with the hand on the shoulder, or waist, or much, much worse…

You’ll need: to leg it

The Joker

Very often the quietest member of staff by day, but by night this person, and they could be male or female, could give stand-up comedians at the Hammersmith Odeon a run for their money.  Or rather, they would if their banter was any good.  The confidence is there, the good jokes, however, may not be.

Expect: To hear the same joke on repeat

You’ll need: An Oscar winning fake laugh

Your New Best Friend

We’ve all got one at work, the person that you just have a little connection with.  You might casually email them in the quiet office to say something very mature, like, ‘Duh! Who does Susan think she actually is??????’ Or, ‘Is 10.15 too early for lunch?’  Add your share (and a little bit more) of the free bar and you’ll be closer to this person than you are your own mother by the time the buffet is open.

Expect: Room for a new best buddy

You’ll need:  To forget your dignity because you’ll be sharing a loo with this person by about 9pm


The Dancer

The dancer is a rare breed and one that every party MUST have.  Again, male or female, no matter, they’re the one on the empty dance floor loving life by busting some moves that the whole panel of Strictly judges would flash a 10 for.  The floor may be theirs but this mover knows no end, so the walk to the loo, the queue for the bar, the buffet table, the cloakroom – they’re all opportunities for a shimmy too.

Expect: To be FORCED to dance. Probably very awkwardly

You’ll need: Moves, or a sharp exit

The Bitch

Definitely not exclusively female, the bitch can be, and often is, male.  Very often a little quiet during the day, a bit subdued even, not joining in conversation but often observing from the side lines.  Add alcohol and boom! Watch them go.  The bitch knows no ends, from outfit choices and how awful their job is – and yours too to what a truly crap boss you have and how cheap the office tea bags are.

Expect:  Vitriol

You’ll need: To get out of there fast

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