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How to feel like a princess with a very low budget

I have always been a romantic girl. I have always loved happy end fairy tales, from Cinderella to The Sleeping Beauty. England has always have a special place in my heart. And I’ve been waiting for my Prince Charming for a while now, even though I must reckon that the electric blue tights are not my favourite outfit for a man! I do prefer masculine torn jeans!

Sum all these factors. Which is the first thing that comes to your mind? Quite simple, William and Kate’s royal wedding. Royal weddings make me shed an emotional tear every time, they allow me to dream for a little while without getting hurt, as when I used to watch Cinderella as a little child from a worn out video tape .

What girl doesn’t dream of feeling like a princess, even if just for one day? Watch out! I used the verb to feel, not to be. It is not necessary to have blue blood or marry a royal scion to feel like a princess (even though, if I had to choose one, I admit I have a soft spot for Carl Philip of Sweden, but I do not think I can compete with his current girlfriend, er…).

Last Saturday I felt like a princess, even though on a very low budget! I enjoyed a high tea at the Florence Four Seasons. It is a fabulous hotel, a Renaissance palace with one of the largest gardens in the city, just a few steps away from the Dome. It is possible to book an English afternoon high tea for just 22 €. It was just the three of us, happy, excited, even slightly intimidated … Here’s how I spent the afternoon with Laura and Emiko. Read the post until the end because there is a tiny surprise for you!

The tea is served in fine Richard Ginori china cups, specifically designed with the hotel park temple. The tea list is rich and could satisfy even the most discerning palates. We have choose a simple yet fresh and fragrant Earl Grey with milk. Immediately after the tea was served, the finger sandwiches came along, impeccable: cucumber, ham and mustard, crème fraîche and salmon and scrambled eggs.

The sandwiches were delicate and refined, but the following sweet moment left us speechless. The scones are served warm, freshly made, with clotted cream and strawberry jam. They weren’t plain, but enriched with candied orange and citron, so soft and fruity that they dissolved in your mouth.


If you have a little empty room left, it’s time for sweet pastries, a riot of colors, textures and unusual combinations. Now really comes out the child in you: my eyes filled with tears and my heart with joy. Every bite was anticipated by trepidation and desire to discover a new flavor. Everything had been prepared specially for us and this, undoubtedly, made ​​me feel like a princess.

Before diving into the Florence White Night, we granted a moment of peace in the park of the hotel (or more practically, we decided to have a walk in the garden to get over all that we had eaten). Raise your hand if you fancy a wedding in that temple: white wooden chairs, delicate flowers … but back to us!


As in the last weeks I have been a bit absent from this spot, I decided to reward you all, who still come here and make me feel your affection, with a tiny giveaway. I have been able to feel like a princess with just 22 €, so I guess relatively on a low budget considered all that was included in our high tea (so to speak, we haven’t had dinner after the tea). What is your favorite way to feel like a princesses, cuddled, loved, important?

I am searching exclusively for low cost tips, because you are a princess in your mind and your heart, money helps but it is not the only way to proudly wear a diamond crown for a few hours! Leave a comment to this post by midnight of Friday, May 13. I’ll be away on a business trip for a few days, but as soon as I’ll be back I will read all your comments – as always -, then I will choose one comment. The lucky girl (or man, maybe there will be someone who wants to feel like William for a day) will receive a tiny little surprise .. we are always on low budget, aren’t we?

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This Post Has 25 Comments
  1. I love to get a drink or an aperitivo at the bar with the best view in town. Be it the hotel with the waterside terrace or the rooftop overlooking the roofs of the city, you can always afford a drink at the bar and for the time you are there you can pretend it’s your terrace.

  2. Lovely post! I will have to go and will definitely add it to my ‘where to have tea’ section in my app Eat Florence. Thanks so much for doing this difficult ‘research’!

  3. As it is a dream to feel like a princess, for me it is a dream to stay in the Four Seasons for few nights, woowwww, what a beautiful, amazing, hotel… and indulge myself with all these treats and enjoy the beautiful scenes…

  4. Hi Juls –

    I am so glad I found your blog through the mingle. I blog all the way from India but next month am on the way to Tuscany with my family…

    I am in the process of booking my hotels and would love some friendly advice on how to structure my trip… which is driving me a little crazy since I have a toddler in tow. Can I e-mail me if you have some time on hand????

    Am going to try and cook some pasta from scratch and participate in the monthly mingle!

    Ruchi
    http://ruchisimplyfood.blogspot.com

  5. Ahh, I read the giveaway part later… so, this is how I like to feel like a princess:

    I like to cook something special that I like to eat and buy some new nail paint. I like to give myself a nice pedicure and manicure and hair spa or get one at the local salon ( costs on 12 Euros in India for all the 3 services) and then just watch some good old sitcoms and eat what I have especially cooked for myself taking a day off from all the cleaning and baby duties that await me the next day!

    Ruchi
    http://ruchisimplyfood.blogspot.com

  6. Wow – great photos! Your post released my inner princess! Now on a search for great tea with scones and homemade jam!

  7. What a great memory of that lovely afternoon together! When I used to live near NYC I would go for a walk through Takashimaya department store (my Breakfast at Tiffanys moment!) – they had the most beautiful flower section and homewares section! In Tokyo, I go to the Mitsukoshi department store for a cup of tea and a piece of cake (hm, what is it about tea and cake?) where you can look over the whole of Ginza. In Florence, the other way I like to feel like a princess is visit the Costume Gallery of the Pitti Palace. After seeing all those gorgeous dresses, when I walk down the steps of the palace I always imagine what it would be like walking down those long flights of steps in a Renaissance dress and shoes! 🙂

  8. Hey – I had posted a comment but it didn’t seem to get published.

    I mentioned that I am headed to Tuscany in June and would love to get some tips about travelling from Rome to Siena and then onwards to Venice.

    My Princess moment is usually when I cook up something especially for myself and treat myself to a great manicure, pedicure and hair spa at the salon (which is Euro 12 in India) and then wedge out in front of the couch watching TV and eating – letting go of my nightly chores for a night – like making sure baby is bathed and in bed, dinner is ready etc etc

    Ruchi
    http://ruchisimplyfood.blogspot.com

    Hoping to hear from you soon.

  9. Ah my princess moments are when I can indulge in a long hot bath with my favorite music in the background, splurge on luxurious bath salts and scrubs and then loose myself for a while pretending I’m at a fancy schmancy resort ; )

  10. Must admit my princess moment has to do quite with the food. A day of good food, romantic dinner, ending it all with a chocolate dessert – those are my best days – and life feels special – just like a princess!

  11. Wow, wonderful post, wish they did something like that and low budget also in Venice!
    Anyway, I feel like a princess by going into one of the many hotels in Abano Terme or Montegrotto Term near Padova for a day spa, with around 26 euros I get entry to the spa, the sauna and their wonderful gardens. A day of relax, that’s a sheer luxury for me!

  12. Fantastico! E’ sicuramente non sono i £60 del Ritz di Londra! Ma ho guardato sul sito dell’albergo e non dice niente, bisogna chiamare?

    Francesca

  13. The way I feel like a princess is to go on a sunset picnic with my love at some lookout point in the city to watch the city lights twinkle or drive to the countryside and find a stream to hear the water rush by. Even for a picnic, a little black dress, shawl and pearls are not too fancy. I pack a picnic basket equipped with delicious home prepared and healthy food like grilled orange-glazed salmon, vegetable couscous and rustic Italian bread paired with a bottle of economical but robust red wine. For dessert? Strawberries, a piece of dark chocolate and Moscato. Laying in the arms of my love outside on a blanket on a warm summers night is worth more to me than a dinner in some stuffy expensive restaurant sitting on hard chairs. An intimate picnic is the best thing that money can’t buy.

  14. A very simple, and inexpensive treat for me is getting a manicure, or pedicure, or both if it’s sandal weather! Then I think my hands look so elegant, and I can’t stop admiring them!

  15. My mother is now convinced that she wants high tea when she comes to visit me here in Florence next week. Gorgeous photos! It does look like not a bad deal for the price if you can linger over it with girlfriends, though 22 euros/pp is not a coin toss IMO.

    I’d like to add a cheap princess tip. I should be able to – i’ve blogged about Florence for 7 years and have even written a “free and cheap itinerary”, but it’s mostly about museums… Getting a mani/pedi in this town sure won’t be my tip, since that’ll run you 50 euros or so.

    A picnic in the park while watching ducks at villa il ventaglio? i’m afraid that’s the only thing i can come up with right now 🙁
    Alexandra

  16. I have many princess-moments that I’ve had in my heart. Mainly they are spontanous surprises (small but beautiful) with my boyfriend. I may share two spcial moments which both have took place in the same place – on riverside. Firstly, in winter when it was snowing soft anf fluffy snow we went for a walk and made on the riverside snow-angels – lying on snowbed and moving our hands and legs – then two beautiful angels hands tight were lying in the snow. Making snow-angels are our every year moment. 🙂
    In springtime we have had in the same place midnight picnic with star watching. There is a little bridge over the small river and on the bridge we had once a picnic with clear dark sky with many winkling stars and we ate spontanously mcdonald’s burger – not very healthy and definitely we eat is very rarely but at that time the food was not so important and even a burger tasted good. 🙂 So we have many memories regarding this park and riverside and it has cost less but memories regarding to this place are wothless treasures 🙂

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