We never really pegged Prince Charles as a romantic, but it seems the stiff royal has a soft spot for the world's official day of love. This Valentine's Day, the Prince of Wales is hiring out the Dumfries House in East Ayrshire, Scotland (pictured above) -- a house that the Prince gallantly "saved for the nation," just before it was due to be sold for 25 million pounds (about $50 million) in 2007. (The Prince helped to put funds together to purchase the home and its collection of Chippendale furniture for 45 million pounds.) A special Valentine's Day dinner will be prepared for 40 lucky guests in the great steward's dining room.
According to British tabloid The Telegraph, guests will be given a "light-hearted tour (with a hint of romance!) of the house," then be led into the dining room, which will be "lavishly dressed for the most romantic evening of the year." A spokesperson for the property confirmed that it's encouraging couples to "share the love" by offering a complimentary bottle of prosecco when two or more couples book a table together.
Interested in having dinner at the 18th century Palladian Dumfries House this Valentine's Day? You can find more information, and reserve your table, on the official Dumfries House website.
- <p> Looking for the the most romantic, whimsical, or downright sexy <a href="http://realestate.aol.com/homes-for-sale" target="_blank">homes</a> in the country for Valentine's Day? You're in luck, because <a href="http://www.toptenrealestatedeals.com/homes/featured/2011/the-top-ten-most-romantic-homes/" target="_blank">TopTenRealEstateDeals.com</a> has assembled a unique collection of romantic homes for every taste and fancy -- from north to south, east to west, down-country livin' to penthouse refinement. Looking for a private dance floor? Check. Cupids floating in the air? Gaze upon the vaulted fresco ceiling. Room to play ball? Sure -- or host one in the gilded banquet hall.<br /> <br /> Whatever your appetite, you'll find it in this list of America's top 10 most romantic homes.</p>
- <p> Location: Charleston, SC 29401</p> <p> List Price: $6.85 Million</p> <p> Bedrooms/Bath: 6/7</p> <p> <br /> Tour the home that inspired the character Melanie from <em>Gone With the Wind</em>. This Antebellum home is rich with history -- a tragic tale of love found and lost. Click through to see shots of the interior and learn more about this historic home.</p>
- <p> 21 Kings was built in 1852 by Patrick O'Donnell, an Irish immigrant, who wanted to build the most beautiful house in the city for his bride. What a wonderful fiance! But as legend has it, the house took so long to build, she married someone else. A heartbroken O'Donnell lived alone in the house and died a bachelor. Perhaps they should have spent a <em>little less</em> time on the Cupids in this stair hall ceiling.</p>
- <p> This estate was also the home of the woman who inspired Margaret Mitchell's Melanie character for <em>Gone With The Wind</em>. We love the double par lours, plaster medallions in the ceiling, the French doors and marble fireplaces, but some Rubeunesque art on the walls might inspire a bit more romance.</p>
- <p> Location: Grosse Ile, MI 48138</p> <p> List Price: $5.375 Million</p> <p> Bedrooms/Bath: 4/4.3</p> <p> <br /> <br /> Magic and romance, so close to Motor City, USA? Located in Grosse Ile, MI (aka "Pirates Cove"), this prairie-inspired hideaway holds treasures untold for the curious buyer. Delve deeper to see its aquatic motif.</p>
- <p> Give your Valentine her own water world -- Olympic-sized pool, steamy hot tub, sauna and romantic art deco background. Of course, this after the private helicopter drops you at the front door. And given <a href="http://realestate.aol.com/blog/2011/02/09/1-000-down-home-deals-enough-for-detroit-police/">the market in nearby Detroit</a>, this could be your best Valentines buy ever.</p>
- <p> Dinner for two, please. That ceiling valence makes one wonder if the sails are about to drop. Could be because after-dinner drinks are on the yacht, merely steps away on the historic Detroit River, the largest private mooring in Michigan. This five acre, three-residence gated estate is also known as Pirates Cove and we know why -- it will steal your heart!</p>
- <p> Location: Atlanta, Georgia 30305</p> <p> List Price: $10.9 Million</p> <p> Bedrooms/Bath: 5/9</p> <p> <br /> This storied estate is the former home of one America's most famous business tycoons. It's also the site of one of the South's most enduring romances. Read on to see its bubbly interior.</p>
- <p> The rich red walls of this Atlanta dining room will surely stir some Valentine passion before and <em>after</em> dinner. This landmark estate in Tuxedo Park on 5 beautiful acres, Windcrofte, built in the 1930's in the Regency style and once the home of Robert Woodruff, former Chairman of The Coca-Cola Co. And how romantic is this: Windcrofte was purchased by Guy Millner as a first wedding anniversary gift for his bride of more than twenty years.</p>
- <p> Those carpet cabbage roses will melt her heart, almost as much as knowing her living room was featured in The 100 Most Beautiful Rooms in America. Originally built in the 1930's, this Regency style home is on five sweeping acres loaded with Georgia pine. Cuddle up by one of the five roaring fireplaces. And when you're ready to work up a sweat, visit the pool or putting green. Secured and gated for a most private night.</p>
- <p> Location: Sarasota, Florida 34236</p> <p> List Price: $1.749 Million</p> <p> Bedrooms/Bath: 3/3</p> <p> <br /> If your honey's got a soft spot for old Hollywood, they'll love this 1920's-era Sarasota condominium. Click through to see its tony Tinseltown heritage.</p>
- <p> Are we getting a little deco-decadent for Valentine's Day? Your 2011 Valentine will love this circa-1926 condo overlooking downtown Sarasota that would have made Jean Harlow feel right at home. Private elevator, leaded glass doors, state of the art kitchen, media room, hand-carved stone flooring and gilt, gilt everywhere. And is that a mirrored ceiling over the casting couch? Naughty...</p>
- <p> When the current owners renovated this condo, they wanted to make it fit for a silent-screen star. Mission accomplished! 4,000 square feet swallow the entire third floor of the historic Orange Blossom Tower nestled in downtown Sarasota, which is often voted one of the best cities in America. These interiors capture the essence of the Roaring Twenties, but bring your bikini -- the beach is not far. And, about that unidentified fur rug: every woman needs at least one animal in her life, right?</p>
- <p> Location: Beverly Hills, CA 90210</p> <p> List Price: $68.5 Million</p> <p> Bedrooms/Bath: 9/13</p> <p> <br /> Nevermind the famous zipcode, this massive estate embodies a gilded age that not even Aaron Spelling remembers. Soaring ceilings, marble floors and enough space to entertain Cinderella and the rest of the ball. Read on before the clock strikes twelve.</p> <p> </p>
- <p> What better place to find yourself at dusk than Sunset Boulevard in Beverly Hills? This estate is surrounded by lush gardens, fountains, fruit and Cypress trees, a mosaic-lined saline pool and all the iconic architecture found at Hearst Castle further up the California coast. Yes, that's 24-karat gold gilding on the walls and Calcutta Viola marble columns and fireplace surround. Make sure the rock on her finger out-glitters the crystal chandeliers and, really --who needs furniture?</p>
- <p> You will have a ball in this 800-square-foot room. Shut the pocket doors and party for two. Games may also be played on the tournament sized tennis court, fully lit for night-time action. Your guests, should you invite any, have their choice of private suites or can join you in the sauna, steam shower or Jacuzzi. Just what sort of soiree did you have in mind?</p>
- <p> Location: Knoxville, TN 37919</p> <p> List Price: $12.5 Million</p> <p> Bedrooms/Bath: 8/11</p> <p> Who knew you could find Italian romance in the heart of Tennessee? This beautifully crafted villa, complete with European style and sophisticated architectural flourishes, will have you thinking you're in Naples, not Knoxville. </p>
- <p> Knoxville, Tennessee was recently hailed as one of the top 20 romantic cities in America. When we see this boudoir at Villa Collina, we know why. One of eight bedrooms, romance could last all day in this master suite. But you'll want to get up long enough to stroll the 12 manicured acres along the Tennessee river, test out two heated pools, try out the exercise room -- both of you! Or cut it up on the dance floor, maybe after a candlelit dinner.</p> <p> </p>
- <p> As befits the rest of this over-the-top manse, the 1,900-square-foot "wine grotto" is bigger than plenty of houses. The brick-walled tasting room and cantina features a carved wooden farm table under an Italian grape-cluster chandelier and a hand-painted mural that almost makes you forget you're underground.</p>
- <p> Location: Miami, FL 33109</p> <p> List Price: $30 Million</p> <p> Bedrooms/Bath: 5/5</p> <p> </p> <p> Fisher Island could be the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of working life. Peak inside to see just what this love nest on the Atlantic hides behind its walls.</p> <p> </p>
- <p> Arabian nights, anyone? This master suite has its own private terrace overlooking the Atlantic, lavishly decorated with frescoes and original period artwork. If you are coming up from a game of pool in the bar, or popped one too many corks in the wine cellar, do not trip on those bed drapes.</p>
- <p> Live your most lavish Valentine's Day fantasy in a home with five themed bedrooms and the only private pool on Fisher Island, Miami, near lively South Beach. Live like a Robber-Baron in this parlor. Tinker on the 1937 Chickering reproduction piano or plan your day for a trip down to the Florida Keys to swim with the dolphins.</p>
- <p> Location: Mercer Island, WA</p> <p> List Price: $28.8 Million</p> <p> Bedrooms/Bath: 7/12</p> <p> <br /> This nautically-themed manse, with its 23-foot ceilings and Greek revival architecture, is the perfect setting for a moonlit jaunt by the water. Read on to see its stunning interior.</p>
- <p> Boulevard Place Estate may well be the most romantic spot on the west coast with its abundance of offerings, from a scenic 164-foot waterfront on Lake Washington to its Greek Revival architecture. Pull up your private yacht and relax immediately in the lake-side infinity pool dancing with water features.</p>
- <p> This regal estate combines Old World craftsmanship with clean, new lines that capture every water view. The most sophisticated Valentine will love 23-foot ceilings, custom Venetian glass lighting, and watching romantic movies on an outdoor, 150 inch plasma screen television. High life, meet high-tech -- a match made in heaven.</p>
- <p> Location: Greenwich, CT 06831</p> <p> List Price: $41 Million</p> <p> Bedrooms/Bath: 8/18</p> <p> </p> <p> A home for the adventurous couple, this tree-lined estate has everything from rolling green acres of grass and private horse stables-- if you can pony up the $41 million to own it. Read on for a closer look.</p>
- <p> A horse for m'lady? This 18-acre estate borders a land-trust for the utmost privacy and miles of private riding trails. Just outside the 20,000 square foot mansion:a full equestrian center with twin stables. And if you're not an equestrian at heart, a romp in the haystacks could be just as thrilling.</p>
- <p> Of course, if horse riding isn't your sport of choice, there's also a pool, gardens, tennis court and terraces to keep you occupied. The Palladian-inspired main villa boasts interiors by Mark Hampton, every amenity imaginable, as well was discreet accommodations for guests and staff.</p>
- <p> Location: Incline Village, Nevada</p> <p> List Price: $22.85 Million</p> <p> Bedrooms/Bath: 5/5.5</p> <p> </p> <p> What else could have made the top of the list but a castle? This palatial estate, located in the Incline Village of Nevada, combines stunning landscapes with breathtaking amenities. Read on to see the goods.</p> <p> </p>
- <p> The palace on Lake Tahoe, with its tasteful color scheme and open spaces, will melt any Valentine's heart. And when your special someone finds out there's a private beach, pier and deep water buoy overlooking snow-capped Sierra peaks, she (or he) will be breathless.</p>
- <p> This estate is a short jaunt from the world-class Tahoe skiing and hiking, or all the games you can play in Reno. But you'll want to soak off the day's activities in this private hot tub overlooking Lake Tahoe. The bronze dolphins promise not to tell!</p>
- <div> It's time to plan your own V-Day getaway:</div> <div class="more_links"> <a href="http://realestate.aol.com/listings-Atlanta-georgia#/price-0-100000" target="_blank" title="Atlanta, GA Homes Under $100k">See Atlanta, GA Homes for Sale Under $100K </a><a href="http://realestate.aol.com/listings-Miami-florida#/price-0-100000" target="_blank" title="Miami, FL Homes Under $100k">See Miami, FL Homes for Sale Under $100k</a><a href="http://realestate.aol.com/homes-for-sale" target="_blank" title="Homes for Sale near you">See Homes For Sale In Your Area</a></div> <p> <a href="http://news.travel.aol.com/2010/12/24/5-cheap-romantic-getaway-ideas/" target="_blank" title="Travel to Romantic Cities">Travel to Romantic Cities, Cheap!</a></p> <p> <br /> And check out our real estate how-to guides:</p> <p> <a href="http://realestate.aol.com/information/buy" target="_blank">Home Buying guides</a></p> <p> <a href="http://realestate.aol.com/information/sell" target="_blank">How to Sell Your Home</a></p>
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