Summer Wines (and not a bar-b-que or rosé in sight)

Summer is on its way! From tomorrow in the UK, larger events will be permissable albeit at lower capacity in line with safety guidelines. Whether you’ll be attending a summer event in person or enjoying the moment from your own garden, the social season is the perfect opportunity to set up the picnic table, dress up for the occasion and crack open a bottle or two of delicious wine. More than ever it feels important to make the most of the freedom of warmer days and longer evenings. It’s been a long, cold covid winter so take time out to relax and bask in the warmth of the sun, as well as friends and family.

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Wild summer dining

Actually why wait until summer? After months of lockdown through the dark British winter, let’s make the most of the light and warmer temperatures as soon as we have the green light to move around more freely. And if that means wearing your thermals to sit outside, then layer them under a posh frock to keep warm. Get out and have some fun!

In anticipation that we’ll be able to travel further afield soon here’s a selection of some unique places to enjoy dining in the rural countryside, woodlands or overlooking the sea.

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A chocolate love affair

Chocolate has come a long way in recent years. It’s up there with raw honey, extra virgin olive oil and fine wines in terms of terroir. A gourmet product involves craftsmanship and loving care so, as with all slow food, take the time to appreciate the work and ingredients that have gone into each tantalising mouthful. Less is best when it comes to consuming sweet foods so it’s worth ensuring the chocolate you eat is delivering the best possible experience in every bite.

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This week… edible gifts

While we don’t need a special day to celebrate our mothers, all it takes is a thoughtful gift with a card or a little note on Mother’s Day (14 March, UK) to remind your mum that you’re especially thinking of her right now. Here’s my top selection of delicious edible gifts available to order online for home delivery, from afternoon tea with a twist, to premium chocolate and speciality gin.

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How to enjoy heritage English wines

Wine growing is not new in Britain. While it seems likely that the Romans introduced vineyards it was in the Norman period, with the arrival of William the Conqueror in 1066, that successful viticulture really took off. English wine is a growing industry with increased sales both here and overseas. Recent years have also seen a rise in wine tourism initiatives including Cellar Door openings and wine festivals across England and Wales. There are around 3,500 hectares under vine in the UK, up 150% in the past ten years, with an additional 3.2m vines planted in 2019.*

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This week… gin, gorgonzola and paddy fields

I’ve been really enjoying my food recently. Food is an intrinsic part of travelling and I’m missing this element of exploring the world. With time on my hands, three-meals-a-day have taken on even greater significance. Planning what I’m going to eat adds structure and that’s important when it’s often difficult to remember the day of the week, living in lockdown number three.

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