The Perfect British Summer
From day trips to the seaside and British island mini breaks to what to pack in your picnic and the drinks to have on ice, welcome to your Food and Travel guide to having a home-grown summer to remember.
From day trips to the seaside and British island mini breaks to what to pack in your picnic and the drinks to have on ice, welcome to your Food and Travel guide to having a home-grown summer to remember.
Two Tribes Grilla
You could choose any of the IPAs, pale ales and lagers coming out of this innovative London brewery right now, but the 5% Grilla Hazy Pale is our favourite, with a delicate elderflower sweetness cutting through this full-flavoured pale with a hint of smokiness, ideal for those barbecued meats. 12 x 330ml, £28. twotribes.co.uk
2020 Lyme Bay Pinot Noir Rosé – Devon
Full bodied with red berries, rosehip and rhubarb, this dry rosé is true to its Devonshire roots with strawberry notes and cream aromas – the wine equivalent of a cream tea. Incredibly drinkable, so stock up. Serve lightly chilled. £20.50. wickhamwine.co.uk
Real homemade lemonade
Peel and squeeze 12 lemons, then put the peel in a pan with 500ml water and simmer for 10 min. Remove the peel, add the juice and simmer for 5 min. Add 500g caster sugar and allow to dissolve over a low heat, then increase the heat and simmer for 5 min. Leave to cool. Stir in 15g citric or tartaric acid, strain and decant into sterilised bottles to serve diluted. Keeps, chilled, for up to 2 weeks.
Strawberry and thyme sour
Dissolve 250g caster sugar in 250ml water over a medium heat. Add 275g chopped strawberries and simmer for 20 min. Remove from heat, add a few thyme sprigs, leave to cool, then strain. Dry-shake
1 egg white in a shaker for 30 seconds. Add 75ml gin, 25ml syrup, 25ml lemon juice and ice and shake. Strain into coupes, dash bitters into the foam and garnish with edible flowers and thyme. Serves 2.
At home – Hackney Gelato
Created by and loved by top chefs, Hackney Gelato are renowned for rich, nuanced flavour combos. Enter their new Chocolate & Brownies pot, slow-churned for a silky texture and laced with top-quality Belgian chocolate. For something a little lighter, their Peanut Butter & Chocolate flavour strikes the perfect sweet/ savoury balance. 500ml, £5.50. ocado.com
For those feeling fruity, Häagen-Dazs have released two gently rum-spiked mini tubs inspired by cocktails. Set your taste buds to ‘holiday mode’ with tropical Piña Colada ice cream and a tart yet cooling Lime Mojito sorbet. 4 x 95ml, £4.99. coop.co.uk
To visit – The Little Ice Cream Shop - Hawkshead, Cumbria
Pick from 22 rolling flavours at this modern gelateria housed in a heritage building. Made from Cumbrian milk, highlights include Kendal Mint Cake and Caramel Crunch, while the terrace makes an ideal pit stop on any Lake District jaunt. thelittleicecreamshop.com
Farm-based Moomaid of Zennor, for Crème Fraîche and Lemon Curd or Prosecco Sorbet on the Cornish coast – or family- run Snugburys in Cheshire, for grown-up Licorice and Raspberry or Ginger and Honey scoops. moomaidofzennor.com snugburys.co.uk
Fennel and Garlic Salami – Cobble Lane Cured
Inspired by Tuscan Finocchiona, made with British pork and cured in London, this tender charcuterie is great alongside a cheeseboard with grissini or taralli. 60g, £4.50. cobblelanecured.com
Buffalicious British Mozzarella – Fine Cheese Co
Handmade on a family-run farm near Yeovil, Somerset, this sweet, silken mozzarella – made from buffalo milk – is the ideal addition to Caprese-style salads, or use to make a seasonal vegetable tart with courgette or tomato. £4.95. finecheese.co.uk
Belle & Wilde Cornish Yarg Toasts – Lynher Dairies
Made exclusively for Lynher Dairies – the home of Cornish Kern and wild garlic-wrapped Yarg – these gluten-free toasts are crisp and moreish. A perfect foil for dips, wonderful with cheeses and an exciting base for tapas-style bites. £3.95. lynherdairies.co.uk
Mixed Olives – Borough Olives
Whatever flavour profile you prefer, Borough Olives has you covered, from Gordol olives with chilli to black Moroccan olives with rosemary and sage. If you can’t confine yourself to one kind, their fragrant mixed selection pairs classic Greek olives with fresh coriander, thyme, garlic, orange juice and coriander seeds. Nibble with a glass of wine. 150g, £3.55. borougholives.co.uk
Pork and Onion Bhaji Scotch Egg – Waitrose
A new snack-happy Indian twist on a British culinary icon. The egg is encased in British pork lightly muddled with onion and bhaji spices for an updated picnic staple. 120g, £1.65. waitrose.com
Get out in the great outdoors with this next-level portable grill that can feed up to five and weighs just 3.7kg (the Mini feeds two). A unique bellows system means cookable embers within four minutes, and don’t worry if the wind changes, an air-cooled double wall and top rail mean you can move it while cooking. £165. lotusgrill.co.uk
With sustainably grown beef from a conservation farm set in 700 acres of Cotswold countryside, you’ll know your burgers, steaks and sausages come from a good place. cotswoldbeef.com
This Devon-based company not only have their own boats, but also years of expertise in selecting the best seasonal fish from famous Brixham Fish Market to send straight to your door. boat2door.co.uk
Cherries from Roughway Farm – Tonbridge, Kent
Kent’s temperate climate and favourable terrain produces some of Britain’s finest cherries. Roughway delivers seasonal boxes of the plump ruby orbs to your door. 1.25kg, £13.95. roughwayfarm.co.uk
Strawberries from Strawberry Fields – Lifton, Devon
Punnets at the ready – this pick-your-own patch (complete with farm shop) promises large juicy, sun-ripened fruits that are as tempting au naturel as they are in desserts. 1kg, £8. strawberryfieldslifton.co.uk
Stroud Farmers’ Market, Gloucestershire
Hailed as the UK’s biggest (and busiest) farmers’ market, you’ll find excellent produce from organic brews to goats’ milk cheesecakes and wild boar charcuterie at this weekly (Saturdays, 9am-2pm), multi- award-winning gathering of local businesses. fresh-n-local.co.uk
Fat Hen – west Cornwall
Fat Hen has several foraging courses, but for ultimate immersion in nature, let the experts lead you through wild greens and edible herbs and flowers close to Helford River, followed by a 4-hour session at a wild spa in the woodland. The full-day Foraging Walk, Picnic & Wild Spa Experience costs £125pp. the-fat-hen.co.uk
Coastal Survival – south-west Dorset
The south-west coast is a seafood lover’s heaven – join former chef Fraser Christian in foraging for shellfish and edible seaweed and serve up a feast by the sea. The full-day Forage Cook Shellfish Seaweed course costs £126pp. coastalsurvival.com
The Hut, Colwell Bay – Isle of Wight
The menu takes the best of the world for culinary influence – there are nods to Italy, Japan and Korea – but it’s the freshest seafood that wins the day. The fruits de mer is spectacular, especially with an Aperol spritz right on the water. thehutcolwell.co.uk
Rocksalt sits on Folkestone’s harbour looking out to sea, and not only serves the best of Kent’s fish but also prime meat, such as Romney Marsh lamb. rocksaltfolkestone.co.uk
Fordwich Arms – Kent
Fordwich may be the smallest town in England (381 people at the last count), but they do have one of the prettiest pubs, right on the River Stour – famed for its angling – serving seasonal British favourites from Gloucester Old Spot pig cheek to roast Blackface lamb saddle. fordwicharms.co.uk
Anchorstone Café on the banks of the River Dart, a short water taxi from Dartmouth and home to the best local mussels, crab, lobster and hand-dived scallops. anchorstonecafe.co.uk
Bridge Inn – Herefordshire
With the Black Mountains on the doorstep, The Bridge Inn is the
perfect place from which to either recover from or embark on a
countryside yomp. A delicious and varied menu with a big focus
on local, seasonal produce. thebridgeinnmichaelchurch.co.uk
The Olive Branch in Rutland is a regular on the awards circuit and it’s perfectly placed for hikers. theolivebranchpub.com
No.1 Cromer – Norfolk
Part of Galton Blackiston’s Norfolk stable, No.1 Cromer serves up cockle popcorn, Whitby scampi, salt and pepper squid, the catch of the day and, of course, classic fish and chips (cod or haddock), all within sight of the ocean from which they came. There’s also Thai green crab burgers or, for the non-fish eaters, smoked dapple burgers with bacon jam and halloumi burgers. no1cromer.com
Family-run East Coast in Musselburgh, Edinburgh, for award-winning fish and chips. eastcoastrestaurant.co.uk
Glyndebourne Festival – East Sussex
Glyndebourne has been putting on world-class opera since 1934. This year, don’t miss Puccini’s La Bohème and Handel’s Alcina, nor fine interval feasts at Middle and Over Wallop or Nether Wallop restaurants. Until 28 August. glyndebourne.com
Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival showcases Scottish talent across 23 venues, plus cookery demos to food-themed tunes – live, of course. 15-24 July. edinburghjazzfestival.com
Ludlow Food Festival – Shropshire
Each year, over 180 local producers flock to Ludlow’s medieval castle square in celebration of the region’s culinary scene – highlights include wine tastings and a town-wide Sausage Trail. 9-11 September. ludlowfoodfestival.co.uk
Head to Armagh, Northern Ireland, for a weekend of award-winning cider, foraged lunches and apple-laden orchard tours. 8-11 September. visitarmagh.com
Adventure Cinema – nationwide venues
West Side Story in the woods, Bohemian Rhapsody by a lake or Grease against a castle backdrop – grab your popcorn for timeless summer hits under the stars. adventurecinema.co.uk
Whether it’s old-school drive-in screenings, blockbusters on the beach or classics in the city, The Luna has it covered with 40 alfresco locations UK-wide. thelunacinema.com
It turns out one of Suffolk’s best-kept secrets hasn’t always been so.
Aldeburgh’s pebble and pastel seafront was home to celebrated
composer Benjamin Britten, who founded the town’s illustrious
summer music festival. And, once a Tudor port, its shipbuilders
were responsible for galleons like Sir Francis Drake’s Golden Hind.
Now the artistic getaway, littered with sculptures and galleries, hosts
concerts and its own literary festival. After visiting Britten’s home
and seeing the formidable Martello tower, take a portion from either
of the High Street’s revered (sister) fish and chip shops to the beach.
Stay The Brudenell has panoramic views, a seafront terrace and award-winning restaurant. Doubles from £174. brudenellhotel.co.uk
In this passionately independent estuary town just south of Exeter you’ll find bijou boutiques, fine food and interesting architecture. Wander among indie shops, local delis and 17th-century Dutch- style houses, many built using ballast brought to the shipbuilding port from Holland. Bird watching, walks and watersports on the Exe estuary drift into evenings spent in Michelin Plate restaurants or tackling the famous Topsham 10 ‘posh’ pub crawl.
Stay 19th-century St George & Dragon Inn has plush rooms, local ales and big plates. Doubles from £61. innkeeperslodge.com
This Pembrokeshire town of rainbow houses and golden sands strewn with painted fishing boats – its name in Welsh, Dinbych- y-pysgod, means ‘fortlet of the fish’ – has earned its place as the jewel in the Welsh coast’s crown. Days here can be filled with succulent seafood, visits to independent art galleries, fine beaches and a boat trip to monastic Caldey Island. Stay Penally Abbey is a period house with acres of gardens and a noteworthy restaurant. Doubles from £155. penally-abbey.com
Isle of Man
Sat in the centre of the Irish Sea is a summer haven of pink heathers, teal waters and tapering green tors. Oft-forgotten and undeservedly overlooked, the Isle of Man is one of Britain’s most alluring destinations, offering adventure and serenity in spectacular scenery. Manx holidays are inevitably shaped by the sea: expect sunset paddle-boarding, cove kayaking, seal spotting, swimming and snorkelling along the island’s 100-mile coastline, as well as sumptuous world-class seafood. Cuisine is king here, with menus full of locally-farmed specialities, tours to the island’s distilleries and foraging trips with award-winning chef Pippa Lovell. The island is also a unique Unesco Biosphere Reserve of wild beauty, with abundant forests, fern-coated coastlines, stacks, glens, falls and wetlands. Trekking its scenic trails is the ideal way of earning your beach-side ice cream, made with fresh Manx milk.
Stay The Victorian Hotel Halvard has amazing Douglas Bay views, a spa and just 20 luxury suites. Suites from £150. halvard.co.uk
Mersea may only be eight miles across, but it’s a densely-packed island destination. Cut off by the tide each day, its quiet fishing community has a rich history covering pre-Roman settlement, Viking raiders and 300,000-year-old fossils. Today, its peaceful shores are busy with water activities, especially during the August regatta. On land, the 13-mile walk around the island is perfect for picnicking and putting families through their paces, while Mersea Vineyard’s white wines provide an afternoon escape for adults.
Stay The Victory at Mersea on the island’s west is a family-friendly, family-owned inn with modern rooms, harbour views and gardens. Doubles from £130. victoryatmersea.co.uk
Isle of Arran, North Ayrshire
Arran is known as ‘Scotland in Miniature’ for good reason – all the wonders of the mainland seem to be compacted into this small island off its south-west coast. Away from the tourist trail but easily accessible, Arran has soaring mountainscapes, glittering bays, sprawling golf courses, rambling rivers and plentiful wildlife. Its villages, full of character, showcase great food and drink, with whisky distilleries, sustainable seafood and ‘A Taste of Arran’ artisan products. Visitors can also delve into the island’s history at Machrie Moor prehistoric stone circle and Brodick Castle and gardens.
Stay The views from the handsome Douglas Hotel in Brodick are unbeatable and come with a warm welcome and locally-sourced menus. Doubles from £175. thedouglashotel.co.uk
Causeway Coastal Route, Northern Ireland
The curious basalt columns of the
Giant’s Causeway are just one of
the highlights along the panoramic,
120-mile road trip from Belfast to
Derry. Photogenic stops abound,
from the striking Mussenden
Temple to cinematic Dark Hedges.
Stretch seat-stiff legs on the Carrick-
a-Rede rope bridge and along the
desolate drama of Gobbin’s Cliff
Path, and take a tipple at the Old
Bushmill whiskey distillery.
Wend the CotswoldWay from the ancient wool town of Chipping Campden to Bath’s Georgian grandeur. The four-day route features Blenheim Palace and Broadway Tower, the bird- watching haven at the Cotswold Water Park, and picturesque as well as brilliantly preserved settlements such as Painswick.
Shropshire Union Canal, Shropshire
‘Calm’ doesn’t do these dark waterways justice. Drifting under an umbrella of dappled trees, accompanied by birdsong and the occasional greeting from a fisherman is the ultimate detox.The entire waterway runs 76 miles, but the best sections take your narrow boat past cow-cluttered fields and forested tunnels north of Wolverhampton. With a maximum speed of 4mph, this is summer in the slow lane. Pick up local produce along the way to eat atop the barge or moor up for hearty pub lunches.
While most punters head to Cambridge or Oxford, the River Stour in Canterbury offers a quieter trip. Float through the cathedral city’s medieval centre or past pretty Kentish countryside, stopping off for a Canterbury tart and local ale.
North Yorkshire Moors Railway
Leaving from the national park’s southern border and arriving in Yorkshire’s east coast seaside superstar two hours later, the Pickering to Whitby steam train heads through the inimitable green and gold scenery of the North Yorks Moors. Sit back and admire the peaks and valleys at a sedate pace or hop off at stations such as Grosmont’s village and castle ruins, Levisham’s natural amphitheatre and archaeological remains, and Goathland – filming location for Heartbeat and Harry Potter.
The Bluebell Railway is a revival success story in the heart of Sussex. One of the first preserved heritage lines in the country, vintage locomotives meander through green landscapes with afternoon teas on board and period- costumed staff at each station.
Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland
This island-strewn sea lough forms a kayak playground for all. Beginners can enjoy protected Lough Cuan in the north, paddling past some of its 70 islands while watching out for seals, seabirds and porpoises. Those seeking a challenge can tackle the Routen Wheel whirlpools or the swift-flowing tidal narrows at the lough’s entrance. Stay The Old Schoolhouse Inn on the shores of the lough, has eight luxury guestrooms. Doubles from £100. theoldschoolhouseinn.com
Welsh coastal path
With a continuous 870-mile path of rugged shoreline to cover, the Wales Coast Path is the first of its kind in the world, thankfully divided into eight sections. The route soars and flows over sandy bays and is peppered with geological formations and pretty coastal towns. Stay The boutique Harbourmaster Hotel is spread over three harbourside buildings. Doubles from £150. harbour-master.com
Fife to Aberdeen
Hilltop climbs, littoral sweeps and freewheels into green glens: from Edinburgh to Aberdeen, the Coast and Castle North cycling route offers a heart-pounding pedal through the Cleish Hills to visit St Andrews; in Angus, admire the castle ruins of Dunnottar and tuck into a smokie at Arbroath; then hug the coastline up to Aberdeen.
Stay A Michelin-starred restaurant with rooms, The Peat Inn, will reward your exertions. Doubles from £275. thepeatinn.co.uk
River Itchin, Hampshire
One of the world’s foremost fly-fishing chalk streams, this is where dry-fly fishing methods truly developed, helping reel in Atlantic salmon, grayling, brown and sea trout. Smaller tributaries along its route allow anglers ample space and silence.
Stay The Hotel du Vin in Winchester, with its Queen Anne-style architecture, is the original. Doubles from £154. hotelduvin.com
Ullswater, Lake District
Spreading 7.5 miles through the northern Lakes, there are diving cliffs, wooded shorelines, shingle beaches and dotted islets for wild swimmers of varying abilities to explore. With depths of 62m, water temperature tops out at 11C in summer, so you may want a wetsuit.
Stay Another Place sits lakeside. Doubles from £270. another.place
Jaw-dropping waves make the three local beaches the UK’s ultimate surf destination, with easterly winds, west-facing beach breaks and low-tide barrels whipping up waves for newbies and experts alike. Add to that a time-capsule village and post-surf pubs aplenty.
Stay Make a base behind the dunes at Croyde Bay Resort Hotel. Doubles from £150. croydeunison.co.uk
An 11th-century, a citadel dominated the horizon and today the renovated castle towers 45m over vast sands. Visitors can take short local walks or embark on the Seahouses to Belford stage of the Northumberland Coast Path, with views of the Farne Islands.
Stay The dog-friendly Victoria Hotel has rooms overlooking the castle. Doubles from £120. thevictoriahotelbamburgh.co.uk
Seilebost Beach, Isle of Harris
With white sands that sink into aquamarine seas, it’s hard to believe postcard-perfect Seilebost is in Britain. One of our most beautiful beaches, it’s also one of the least visited: in the Outer Hebrides’ Isle of Harris, it’s as far from the maddening crowds as it gets, and few regret the journey.
Studland Bay, Dorset
This expansive south coast bay is an unlikely snorkelling hotspot and a protected marine zone for seahorses. Spotting the tiny masters of camouflage takes dedication, even in these clear waters, but the bay has plenty of nursery fish and opportunity for seaweed foraging too.
Blackpool Sands, Devon
Set in the undulating South Hams, this golden crescent of shingle and sand, backed by evergreens, is sheltered and unspoilt. Sparkling clear seas invite swimming and paddleboards, and the private beach has wonderfully- maintained amenities, gardens, café and a shop
Knepp Estate – Horsham, Sussex
The hardest part of setting up camp at Knepp is choosing between yurts nestled in wildflower meadows, bell tents, or lofty treehouses built between old oak branches. This is true glamping, run by an estate dedicated to rewilding and conservation (Knepp is known for hatching the first white stork in the UK for centuries). When not snuggled up in king-size beds, guests can join one of the extensive wildlife safaris. Bell tent from £260 for 2 nights. knepp.co.uk
Also try Immersed in ancient woodland, Wytch Wood is an eco- friendly, secluded site in south Somerset. Off-grid and relying on filtered water from the River Axe, facilities include a café/bar serving locally-roasted coffee and regional beers and pop-up stalls from sustainably-minded chefs. Pitches from £54. wytch-wood.co.uk
Coastguard Lookout – Dungeness, Kent
To feel at one with the elements, look to a former HM Coastguard radar station standing proud on the shingle beach of Dungeness. It might seem harsh at first glance, but that’s exactly its charm – limestone floors and a steep, metal staircase snaking up four floors are softened by cosy, contemporary interiors. Spacious balconies extend from both rooms – on
a clear day, you might just catch a glimpse of Cap Gris Nez across the Channel. Sleeps five. From £1,159. bloomstays.com
Bonnie & Blyth – Lauder, Scottish Borders
Encircled by wildflower fields and lochs, this duo of re-purposed artists’ studios make for an off-grid getaway. Stay in the larch-clad hut-like treehouse, balanced amid the canopies, or opt for the solar-powered vintage caravan merged with a wooden cabin, overlooking the River Tweed. Expect kitchens made with reclaimed pallets, corrugated roofs, enamel crockery and fire pits for evening marshmallow-toasting. Breathtaking coastal landscapes, Edinburgh’s revered culinary scene and Abbotsford House – of literary royalty Sir Walter Scott fame – are all nearby, but don’t miss out on scenic riverside walks and sheep encounters in the local area. Sleeps 2 (plus children). From £147. kiphideaways.com
Watergate Bay – Newquay, Cornwall
Perched at the foot of a cliff-lined stretch of golden sand, Watergate Bay is a dream. Sunset hues, framed seascapes, wicker lighting and wooden walls invite the outside into 80 rooms and suites, including seven surfer-style Beach Lofts. Slip on a wetsuit and join in on surfing lessons or watch the tide roll in from the infinity pool, building up an appetite for top-notch dishes fashioned from the finest of Cornish produce at one of the hotel’s quartet of restaurants. Doubles from £312. watergatebay.co.uk
Also try A Victorian townhouse turned boutique pad overlooking Eastbourne Pier, Port hotel is a seaside haven clad in black and blush. Doubles from £135. porthotel.co.uk
Winterton Lighthouse – Winterton-on-Sea, Norfolk
Hemmed by ivory beaches and the Norfolk Broads, this ancient fishing village is home to a truly special hideaway – a handsome 18th-century lighthouse, with a hodgepodge of windows. Decorated in wood, stone and soothing white hues, the tower’s pièce de résistance remains its lantern room. Here, the beacon has been replaced with a mezzanine bedroom and panoramic seating area, all with 360-degree views over the sea and historic thatched village. The ground floor has been extended to include a glass living space, deck, and garden designed by RHS Chelsea award-winner Christopher Moss. Sleeps nine. From £450. wintertonlighthouse.com
The Edge – Whitsand Bay, Cornwall
Blue water unfurls as far as the eye can see from this eco-friendly cliffside beach house – once a tumbled-down shack – poised in what’s considered locally as Cornwall’s ‘forgotten corner’. Bi-fold doors and floor-to-ceiling windows (plus plenty of portholes) reveal it all, ensuring a vast sense of space. Fresh-white interiors channel coastal elegance across the open-plan living area, which features a log burner for cooler evenings, and a fully kitted-out kitchen so you can make the most of the county’s bounteous natural larder. A private path leads directly to the quiet sands below – a spot that’s occasionally frequented by a pod of dolphins frolicking in the surf – while a hot tub, yoga deck, alfresco shower and terrace complete with Weber barbecue encourage outdoor living across the board. Sleeps 2 (pets welcome). From £1,495 for 4 nights. uniquehomestays.com
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