Ah, the summer bank holiday – a time to, hopefully, bask in the warmth of the sun, unwind, and indulge in some mouthwatering treats. Whether you’re planning a picnic in the park, firing up the BBQ in your garden, or relaxing at home, there is an array of beautiful seasonal foods ready to tantalise your tastebuds. So join us as we explore some great options to enjoy this bank holiday.
1. Fresh Fruit Medley
Hopefully the sun will shine and you’ll be looking for a tasty way to keep hydrated. Both sweet, savoury and full of natural goodness this herby watermelon, cucumber and feta salad is a fabulous way to keep hydrated.
Picking your own berries is a great way to get outside and enjoy the wonderful flavours of summer. A colourful fruit medley is not only refreshing but also a healthy way to celebrate the summer season. Arrange your favourite fruits in a bowl, drizzle with honey or a handful of mint, and you have a gorgeous treat that’s bursting with flavour and nutrients.
2. Grilled Delights
What’s a summer bank holiday without some sizzling BBQ action? Fire up the coals and throw on some marinated chicken, succulent steaks, or some great veggie skewers. When it comes to main courses, I tend to cook a lot on the bbq, either long and slow cuts, such as brisket, which can sit beside tangy pickles and salads or a lovely BBQ chicken with maple vinegar sauce, almonds and cranberries.The charred, smoky flavours that grilling imparts elevates the taste of your dishes to a whole new level. Pair these grilled delights with some beautiful homemade sauces and a freshly picked grilled corn on the cob or a colourful salad and you’re in for a real treat.
3. Iced Beverages
If the sun decides to shine, beat the summer heat with a selection of refreshing iced beverages. From freshly brewed iced tea infused with fruits and herbs to sparkling lemonades garnished with mint leaves, the options are endless. For those looking to add a bit of fun, consider mixing up a colourful batch of Caribbean rum punch or a fabulous mocktail, like this lovely elderflower punch which will make your tastebuds sing.
4. Crisp Salads
A fresh salad really does capture the essence of summer. It’s easy and quick, and you can use whatever you have to hand. Toss together some crisp lettuce, with some vibrant vegetables along with an assortment of nuts, seeds, and cheeses. Add a light vinaigrette dressing to make the salad zing, if you’re feeling adventurous, experiment and add some grilled peaches, strawberries, or even edible flowers.
5. Frozen Delights
No summer celebration is complete without indulging in some delectable frozen treats. So pop out and purchase your favourite ice cream or if you’re feeling adventurous whip up your own homemade ice cream in your favourite flavours. Mine are mango, coconut, or raspberry swirl, yum! Or how about experimenting with frozen yogurt popsicles with chunks of your favourite fruits. These icy delights will keep you cool as you enjoy the day.
6. Classic Picnic Fare
I love a picnic and all the different finger foods. There is nothing more perfect than packing a basket with sandwiches, wraps, and sausage rolls that are easy to share. Along with a variety of cheeses, crackers, and of, course a pot of olives for a touch of sophistication. A chilled pasta salad or a quinoa-based dish makes a great addition to your picnic spread. But don’t forget the sweet treats for the those with a sweet tooth to enjoy.
7. Tastes from Spain
When I think of Spain, the first thing that comes to mind is a cold glass of Sangria coupled with a tasty tapas board. Who doesn’t love those small tapas dishes which can be eaten as a snack or a few small plates put together for a meal. Ranging from simple olives to grilled patron peppers, chilli garlic prawns to croquettes, calamari and patatas bravos. There are just so many to enjoy and share with friends and family.
8.Extending the season
While the summer won’t last forever we can prolong its flavours by pickling and preserving. This isn’t only a great way to ensure we have food all year round, but more importantly, pickles and preserves are an amazing flavour enhancer. So if you’re looking for something rewarding to try this bank holiday, why not give it a go. We have enclosed a few recipes to try here
Enjoy The Day
As you enjoy the glow of the last bank holiday for this year, these culinary delights are here to help you create lasting memories. From the burst of flavour in each bite of fresh fruit to the sizzle of the grill, the foods of summer provide a sensory adventure that truly encapsulates the spirit of the season. So, gather your loved ones, set up a cosy picnic, or BBQ – it’s time to savour every moment and every bite. Cheers to a blissful summer bank holiday filled with delicious memories!
One of my earliest food memories is when my mum used to bake with me and my brother most weekends, we used to fight over who would scrape the bowl out with the leftovers, normally he won as he is older than me so he pulled rank.
I feel there are 2 food trends for me. The first one is pasta, I think there are some good pasta orientated restaurants opening up such as Bancone. The other trend at the moment is choux pastry along with bakeries bringing back classics such as, the Paris brest.
One of my favourite places to eat, at the moment, is local to where I live, which is a place called Garrards. It does fully loaded burgers, chips, streaks and ribs. It’s one my children love to go to, as it’s very relaxed and they do really cool ice cream soda floats, in my opinion the cocktails are better!
One of my most memorable meals is when I was on my honeymoon in Hong Kong and, as you do, when you go on holiday, we asked the concierge at the hotel where we can get an authentic dining experience one evening. He made the booking for us and gave us directions to the restaurant which was situated in a shopping complex, which was getting refurbished, so once we navigated the bamboo scaffolding and the rest of the building site. We got to the restaurant and our dining experience, of a 9-course tasting menu, started with the first course being a pig’s head soup, I will let you imagine the other 8 courses, but put it this way, it wasn’t our conventional Cantonese cuisine, not a chicken ball in sight!
My ideal dinner guests would be David Jason, as he is a comic genius, Vinnie Jones, just to hear about his life experiences about his football career and his now movie career, and finally my wife as I would need someone to tidy up at the end of the meal for me…
My cookbook inspiration at the moment is the DJ BBQ Fire food written by Christian Stevenson. This is at the moment my go to book, as it’s BBQ season. I also like The Pie Room by Callum Franklin because, lets face it, who doesn’t like any form of pastry! If I have friends coming over I have a flick through a series of books by Thug Kitchen in LA. I like this book as, coming from a working kitchen, the recipes are written how we talk in the kitchen, with the expletives included.
The main three items I have in the fridge are: mature cheddar cheese, charcuterie and Branston Pickle.More from Phil Leicester