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Valentine's Day escape

Gauteng
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Dinner is served.A peacock walks about during breakfast.
Sometimes you need to escape the hustle and bustle of life and the demands of the kids – but still be close enough to rush home in case of an emergency. 
An offer for an overnight stay for two at The Palazzo Montecasino was just what the doctor ordered. 
The easy 25-minute car journey to the 5-star hotel in the north of Joburg on a lazy Sunday afternoon felt like a drive to paradise. 
The stresses of the work week slipped off our shoulders as we drove through the boom to the Montecasino complex. At the hotel entrance was a smiling porter waiting for us, who promptly opened my door and gestured for us to proceed through to the hotel’s reception. 
Before we could utter the word “thirsty”, two glasses of ice-cold chardonnay slipped into our hands. The magic had begun.
My companion and I walked hand-in-hand along the stretched-out corridors behind our host to our VIP suite.
I was secretly hoping we looked like Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt back in the day when love was in the air. 
Luxury and elegance flirted with each other in the suite which had sand-coloured velvet couches and matching curtains. 
A complimentary bottle of Pinot noir with two glasses was on standby. 
We sipped it slowly in silence, taking in the spectacular views far north of Fourways – which was the kind of image that always comes to mind when I think of the perfect Valentine’s Day. 
We could have stayed in the room wallowing in the sheer opulence, but when I opened the curtains and saw the magic garden outside, and the beckoning pool, I just had to go and join the sunbathers lazing about around the pool. 
The weather was perfect considering that it had been raining two days earlier.
We quickly got into our swimming gear and headed downstairs. 
We swam together and played-frolicked around in the heated pool like high school lovers.

Early Valentine’s at The Palazzo​
As I said, my Valentine’s celebrations are now done and my man is off the hook.
After the splash we headed back to our room to dress for dinner. 
A table for two had been reserved for us on the deck under the shimmering stars. 
The sound of the water fountains in the background and the chirping birds completed the romantic picture.
Some of the hedging was lined with fairy lights, which added to the illusion of fantasy.
Corny as it may sound, we both ordered the same starter, lobster bisque. And for the mains we  had the rib-eye steak with salad. 
At least for dessert our palates  differed. 
I went for the tantalising beetroot parfait and my partner opted for a delicious home-made ice cream. 
After polishing off a bottle of cabernet sauvignon we
could not believe how time had flown by. 
Realising it was past 10pm, we reluctantly headed upstairs with full bellies raving about the beautiful night we had. 
For a moment I forgot we were in Joburg. The Tuscan-inspired architecture had played with our minds and I felt as if we were in Italy. 
Breakfast was in the garden area, where peacocks strutted around as if they owned the place. One even took the liberty of joining us for breakfast. 
•Mantombi was invited as a guest to The Palazzo
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