TGI Friday's has launched what it describes as the UK's first "mistletoe drone", to encourage diners to pucker up and get into the festive spirit.
The drones hover above couples, carrying a sprig of mistletoe and a "kiss cam" so fellow guests can watch responses.
The drones have been trialled in Manchester and will be introduced at other sites ahead of Christmas. Words: PA
Rachel Waller, marketing manager of TGI Friday's, said: "Everyone loves a good Christmas party, but we all know things can be a bit awkward until someone breaks the ice.
"We're known for legendary celebrations at Fridays, so we wanted to see how we could make Christmas get-togethers in our restaurants even more entertaining, and offer guests the encouragement they need to make their move - particularly the one half of UK adults who have never had a kiss under the mistletoe.
"Our mistletoe drones are the perfect way to do this. Not only are they great fun for the entire restaurant, but they help people get a little closer at this romantic time of the year."
Romantic Christmas breaks
Restaurant launches 'mistletoe drones' to get couples to kiss
Escape to Warwick Castle's magnificent Tower Suites for a fairytale romance this Christmas. Each of the two magnificent suites is located on its own private floor of the 14th century Caesar’s Tower and comprises of an opulent bed chamber with a four-poster bed and contemporary en-suite facilities. Evoking the opulence of the Victorian era, The Peacock Suite and The Rose Suite offer you the chance to experience the grandeur of Warwick Castle nobility. This Christmas, couples staying in the suites will receive entry to the Castle, which will transform into a winter wonderland, with tours by torchlight, breakfast with Santa and medieval banquets. One night in a Warwick Castle Tower Suite costs £600, based on two adults sharing, including breakfast, a personal round-the-clock concierge service, a private expert-led Castle tour, two days priority access to all Castle attractions and car parking.
A favourite for A-list couples, the romantic Italian Riviera is just as spectacular in the winter as the summer months. The port city of Rapallo, famous for its 16th century fairytale castles and churches which line the harbour, is transformed into a winter wonderland from 26 November to 6 January, when the town centre welcomes Father Christmas’ seaside grotto, an 18th century antique carousel on the Rapallo Gulf and an observatory for star gazing. In the evenings, the town comes to life with theatre and music including acrobatics, concerts and food and wine tastings. Couples travelling to Rapello over the festive period can enjoy an indulgent stay at five-star Excelsior Palace Hotel, set on the beautiful Portofino Coast, including breakfast at the Eden Roc restaurant, free entrance to the spa, gym and Turkish bath, a New Year’s Eve gala dinner and a gift for €345 per person in a double classic room for three nights.
What could be more romantic than spending Christmas in a cosy ski chalet made for two? Courchevel 1650 is home to the Petite Marmotte Lodge, the Alps' only chalet à deux. Formerly a hay barn, it was recently converted into a rustic, romantic retreat with magical mountain views from its outside hot tub. Petite Marmotte was made for lovers, boasting inviting sheepskin rugs and roaring log fires. For added indulgence, enjoy a couple's spa massage at the nearby Le Portetta Hotel. Back at the snug chalet, you can have the Michelin-starred Chabichou deliver a delicious dinner right to your door. Powder White offers seven nights at Petite Marmotte, based on two people sharing, from £2,085.
Istanbul is buzzing throughout the year and even more at Christmas. It might be an unlikely destination for a festive break, but the backstreets of Beyoglu are a great place to shop for trinkets and antiques, as is the Grand Bazaar - a great alternative to Europe's Christmas markets. Istiklal Caddesi, Istanbul's version of Oxford Street, is lit up like a Christmas tree from November onwards, with lights and decorations that would put most European capitals to shame, while the famous minaret-studded skyline adds extra twinkles. For a romantic dinner, head for the city's fabulous rooftop bars. And the Bosphorus ferry is a top spot to steal a kiss - think Audrey Tautou in that Chanel advert... Direct Traveller offers a three-day mini Christmas getaway package from £319 per person, including flights, transfers, four-star accommodation on a B&B basis and a full-day sightseeing tour.
As a unique treat for your lover this Christmas, how about chartering your own private plane for a shopping trip to France? Le Touquet, known as Paris by the sea, can be reached in 15 minutes from Lydd Airport in Kent. Lyddair allows couples to charter a Beech Super King Air and spend a day or mini-break at the stylish resort, famous for its art deco surroundings. Once in Le Touquet, you can witness the thousands of twinkling Christmas lights, take a horse-drawn carriage ride, hop on the merry-go-round and get your skates on at the outdoor ice rink. Don't forget to browse the stalls at the Christmas market. Charter a flight with Lyddair for £2,000, which you can share between up to nine passengers.
Just an hour’s flight from the UK, Dublin is the ideal long weekend destination in the run up to Christmas. You can pick up presents at the department stores on infamous Grafton Street or at the chic 40 days & 40 nights Christmas market on St Stephen’s Green, before retreating to The Westbury Hotel for a mid-shop glass of champagne or full Christmas afternoon tea experience. With views overlooking Grafton Street, The Gallery at The Westbury Hotel has a sublime afternoon tea this Christmas, where you can unwind and sample delicious sandwiches, handmade scones served with clotted cream and berry preserves, along with mince pies. Double rooms at The Westbury Hotel cost from €250 bed and breakfast; the traditional Christmas afternoon tea costs €45.
If it's seclusion you're after, you won't find more of it than at the Treehotel in Sweden. The unique and beautiful branch-hung boutique den features floating walkways, a wild woodland setting and Scandi-chic rooms making it an eco-lover's haven. The romantic rooms at the Treehotel offer couples the chance to glimpse the Northern Lights through the treetops and snuggle up taking in the panoramic views from a private cabin. Complete with an impressive tree sauna (and brisk open air pool), rustic Nordic cuisine and festive husky-drawn sled rides, it's a great spot for a Christmas break. Mr & Mrs Smith offers romantic breaks at the Treehotel from £377 per night, including breakfast.
Spain's Costa del Sol is an excellent place to go for winter sun, while just a three-hour flight from the UK. Couples can enjoy romantic al-fresco dinners, walks on the beach and some spa time this Christmas. Surrounded by spectacular scenery, La Cala Resort offers a value for money break for €150 per couples per night, including a stay in a spacious room with a large balcony overlooking the Andalusian Mountains, a three-course dinner with house wine, a buffet breakfast each morning and access to the thermal spa area. Couples in need of some pampering can indulge in the spa's stimulating and soothing experiences for 90 minutes per day. While at the resort, enjoy a spot of golf, get cosy in one of the bars and head into Mijas to join the locals at the Town Hall for traditional Christmas carols.
Fancy having a whole spa to yourselves? At Grasmere's Daffodil Hotel & Spa, couples can enjoy exclusive use of the thermal pool, sauna, steam room and tepidarium this Christmas. Set in the heart of romantic Wordsworth Country, the hotel's luxury spa offers private Rasul rituals, a unique therapy originating from the Middle East which improves the skin’s tone and texture. Think exclusive room, romantic dimmed lights and heated side-by-side loungers. After a Rasul treatment, you can relax together with a couple's massage. Three-night breaks for couples this Christmas start from £510 per person, including festive cream tea on Christmas Eve, pre-dinner canapés and champagne, bucks fizz breakfasts and evening entertainment.
Head to Mauritius for a luxury Christmas getaway this winter and you and your partner will be literally laughing. Heritage Resorts is offering guests the chance to take part in Santa Claus laughing therapy sessions on the beach. The resort’s Seven Colours Spa team has taken inspiration from Santa Claus' laugh with laughter exercises, breathing and stretching and clapping in rhythm to 'ho-ho-ha-ha-ha'. As laughter releases endorphins, couples will be given the gift of an extra happy holiday, as well as whole body relaxation while on the idyllic Indian Ocean island. The laughing therapy is available to guests for free at all Heritage Resorts. Stay at Le Telfair from £517 per room per night and you can also experience dinner at the chef's table, beachside sunglasses cleaning service and dreamy days at the C Beach Club.
Restaurant launches 'mistletoe drones' to get couples to kiss
Traders from all over Europe and much further afield come to the Belfast Christmas Market at City Hall. Browse the selection of handbags, satchels, wooden toys, essential oils and hand-painted pottery. Don't miss the new food court for a bratwurst or Dutch pancakes. Dates: 18 November to 23 December 2017. Stay:The Merchant Hotel
Hosting one of the UK's largest Christmas markets, Manchester goes into full-on festive mode with several markets popping up in the city. Stock up on international food, traditional crafts, amber jewellery and ornaments. Dates: 10 November to 20 December 2017. Stay: Abode Hotel
Bringing a touch of Alpine charm to the south west, Bath Christmas Market plays host to more than 200 little wooden chalets brimming with locally made gifts and festive food. Set against the backdrop of Bath's Roman architecture, the city makes for one of the most atmospheric Christmas destinations in the UK. Dates: 23 November to 10 December 2017. Stay: Brooks Guesthouse
Leeds Christkindelmarkt is one of the most established German Christmas markets in the UK. Held in Millennium Square in the city centre, highlights include the Frankfurter Scheune at Alp Chalet - perfect for delicious Bavarian delicacies. Dates: 10 November to 24 December 2017. Stay:The Chambers Park Place
The Frankfurt-style Christmas market held in Birmingham is one of the biggest of its type outside Germany and Austria. Don't miss the live music, weissbeer and roasted almonds. Dates: 16 November to 24 December 2017. Stay:Hotel du Vin & Bistro
Set in Edinburgh's city centre against the backdrop of Edinburgh Castle, the Christmas markets include the ever-popular European Christmas Market with its delightful gifts and treats, and the Scottish Market which offers the best food, drink and craft Scotland has to offer. Stock up on unique chocolate, Gin, Scottish crafted jewellery and woodwork at the Scottish Market. When: 18 November 2017 to 6 January 2018. Stay:Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa
Set against the beautiful backdrop of Exeter Cathedral, the Christmas market offers something for all, from handmade gifts to decorations and warm food. Although it is inspired by continental markets, it represents the best of what Britain and the South West has to offer. Stock up on crafts, unique gifts and decorations. Dates: 16 November to 17 December 2017. Stay: The Magdalen Chapter
Winchester Christmas Market is recognised as one of the best in Europe, attracting more than 350,000 visitors each year. Traditional wooden stalls are set up in the Cathedral's historic Close - a perfect setting for festivities.Stock up onBritish jewellery, glass and decorations. Dates: 20 November to 22 December 2017. Stay:Lainston House Hotel
Cardiff Christmas market is set in the pedestrian areas of the city centre, with stalls offering shoppers a range of quality craft products including enamel and pewter work, Welsh slate products, carved Welsh love spoons, metalwork, pottery, jewellery and traditional wooden items and toys. There is also a range of delicious seasonal food on offer, as well as plenty of mulled wine to keep shoppers warm as they go. Dates: 9 November to 23 December 2017. Stay:Jolyons
Winter Wonderland returns to London's Hyde Park in November with the ice rink, a giant observation wheel and, of course, its famous Christmas market. Enjoy hot cider, mulled wine and farmhouse foods alongside a spot of rustic revelry in the shape of an outdoor fire pit at the park’s heart. Dates: 17 November 2017 to 1 January 2018. Stay: Park Plaza County Hall
The luxury Christmas market in Nottingham's Market Square features 65 Victorian-styled trading cabins with an array of quality Christmas gifts from local traders and mouth-watering treats, timber decked walkways, an Ice Bar, a bandstand and at the centre of it all, an outdoor ice rink which promises to be bigger and better than ever before! Dates: 17 November to 24 December 2017. Stay:Jurys Inn Nottingham
This small, traditional market is set in the picturesque Whitefriars Square and is a good spot for quirky Christmas presents. Pick up traditional festive gifts, such as tin toys and Christmas ornaments, and enjoy German foodie treats, incudling Bratwurst and gingerbread. Dates: 25 November to 24 December 2017. Stay: Canterbury Cathedral Lodge
Gloucester's impressive historic docks provide the backdrop for a very Victorian Christmas experience. Explore an authentic market selling high quality food and drink as well as hand-made gifts. Enjoy choirs, brass bands and don’t forget to keep an eye out for a host of colourful and larger than life Dickensian characters who bring the market to life, all under the watchful eye of the faithful 'peeler'. Dates: 16 to 26 November 2017. Stay:The New County Hotel
The European-style St Albans Christmas Market offers a unique location in the walled Vintry Garden in the shadow of St Albans Cathedral. The market has more than 60 stalls selling a wide range of gifts and goodies, including decorations, jewellery, clothing and homeware. Festive food ranges from German-style bratwurst to gluhwein and there is packed programme of festive fun, including music, dance, magic and circus skills. Dates: 25 November to 23 December 2017. Stay:The Clarion Collection Hotel
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Restaurant launches 'mistletoe drones' to get couples to kiss
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