From Sorrento to Sainsbury’s Cheese Counter…

I recently met up with some ex-work colleagues for a pizza and a bottle of wine (alright, it may have been two bottles…) and we started discussing which places held the fondest or funniest memories for us. Most tales were holiday or honeymoon related, incorporating more than a splash of romance.

A favourite of mine was Sorrento, in Italy. The first time Dave and I visited there together, I can remember wondering when the oxygen masks were going to drop, as our coach began the long, slow, incredibly bendy steep climb up to our hotel. My apprehension soon vanished though, when I saw the spectacular view out over the bay we had. We used to sit in the lush gardens in those very chairs pictured below. It felt like the whole world had stopped turning. Picture postcard perfect.

Of course, Paris and Rome were mentioned, justifiably so, as were Las Vegas, Barbados and The Maldives. So too, several beautiful British locations including Cornwall, Loch Lomond and the charming Yorkshire Dales…

Then, suddenly, the lone male voice from the head of the table piped up: “Sainsbury’s cheese counter!”


We all sat there awaiting the punchline.

“It was where Gillian, my wife, worked when I first met her,” he said, wrong-footing us all, “I dread to think how much cheddar I bought, trying to pluck up the courage to ask her out. My fridge was packed solid with the stuff for weeks. I still can’t walk past there without grinning.”

Well, it might have lacked the grace and glitz of its conversational predecessors, but it certainly drew the biggest collective sigh of the evening.

Honours even, I’d say…

Which place, I wonder, holds special memories for you?

Jan x


18 thoughts on “From Sorrento to Sainsbury’s Cheese Counter…

  1. I love it. I don’t have a place, unless a field in the Northern Highlands of Scotland counts as the beginning of a very brief romantic interlude. Had gone to the games being held there with some friends. I was introduced to a very dashing, extremely handsome army officer who was just leaving. A few days later I received a copy of Rebecca with a note saying ‘Last night I dreamt I went to Manderlay … Love Max.’ When I was in London we met for dinner a couple of times but, sadly, it didn’t get anymore romantic than that!

    • Ah, I like that story, Rebecca. Very romantic. And that note?! Wow! I don’t ever remember receiving one like that before… Reckon I need to have a word with a certain person 😉 Thanks so much for dropping by and for sharing your story with us.

      Jan x

  2. Good blog topic! One I’ve honestly never considered before, which surprises me as I’m a really sentimental person. Place that holds special memories. Logic says I should say the Maldives because it was magical, dramatic, highly romantic but it’s not easy for me to revisit those spots except in my memories. But wow, what a place!!

    But closer to home, the spot that makes me smile on the odd occasions I have a reason to pass it, is the spot where the stairs used to be outside Brunel University library. I still vividly recall this handsome Nigerian boy sat on them outside, minding his own business, listening to music on his headphones. And my audacious, mischievous self going upto him, tapping him and demanding to know what he was listening to! I was 20, he was 21. And that was how I met my (ex-boy)friend Bola! (RIP)

    • Absolutely agree, re The Maldives, Yasmin. Truly magical. And thanks for sharing your story about Bola. Straight from the heart. Just from the picture you’ve painted of him here, I can tell how much he must have meant to you. Thanks so much for your comments.

      Jan x

  3. Ohh ooh! *Waves hand in air* . I first clapped eyes on The Exec in a stuffy boardroom during a discussion about the finer points of European VAT. It was opposite the Dorchester Hotel in London, I was the only woman present and all the suits were stuffing themselves with bacon sarnies. Later, our paths crossed again in a rodent-infested Portakabin. A year later he took me to a posh hotel in Sorrento for a week. Nine months after that there were three of us … TRUE!

    • Rachel, that is worthy of a novel itself! My eyes were literally widening, reading your story. I fully appreciate why Sorrento captured your heart 😉 Thanks so much for dropping by to say hello.

      Jan x

  4. The wonderful and alluring Sorrento, it definitely has to be one of my top 10 favourite places. But, for me, it has to be St Lucia where Mr Ouphoros and I spent our honeymoon and shared quite a few rum punches!! Happy days indeed. xxx

    • Sorrento is proving so popular. It really is a magical place. I haven’t been to St Lucia but the sound of those rum punches is making me want to hop on the first plane! Thanks for your comment, Clare. It is very much appreciated 🙂

      Jan x

  5. A great blog post Jan and I’m racking my brains to think of the most romantic place in the life of Bongo Man and me. Possibly Venice when we still students and we walked over the Rialto and I was spouting TS Eliot and feeling very pleased with myself (what a poser) until he told me to: (and I quote) “CUT THE CULTURE CRAP.” So I did !! Ha Ha. That was over 40 years ago so it MUST be a match made in heaven and a case of opposites attracting. Still makes me laugh when I think of it 🙂

    • Lizzie, I can just see you & Bongo now 😉 I’d love to go to Venice one day. What a lovely tale. Definitely a match made in heaven. Thanks so much for leaving a comment.

      Jan x

  6. Before Debbie’s post comes up, I’d just like to say, Jan , that you brought back some magical memories for me with this blog. Not of anywhere exotic but actually from Sainsbury’s cheese counter itself. ‘Meet you by the cheese counter at Sainsbury’s’ was a key phrase in a very early and fondly remembered romance. I can’t remember why, it does seem quite bizarre when I think of it but makes me nostalgic when I pass the cheese even now!
    Celia xxx

    • Oh, Celia, how fitting! 🙂 Now, whenever I walk past a cheese counter, I shall be grinning away like anything too! I’m so glad it brought back special memories. Thanks so much for your comment.

      Jan x

  7. Great post, Jan. I definitely want to book a trip to Sorrento now! We don’t have a special place, although Hobs used to come to the 4th floor of the Uni library every morning to say Hi to me, even though he always sat on the 2nd floor. Does that count?

    • Thanks so much for commenting, Elle. Yes, go visit Sorrento if you get the chance. Well worth it! Oh, and I think your library story definitely counts 😉 Love it!

      Jan x

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