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Here comes the summer

July 13, 2011

Cream teaEngland has been taunting me for weeks now.  As much as I like Dubai with all it has to offer, the onset of summer makes me increasingly  claustrophobic.  I work from home and leaving to go to the shops or office becomes a chore at any time of the day, when your sunglasses steam up and the imprisoning heat saps the energy out of everyone.  My dogs refuse to walk. I long to be striding across green fields, the wind in my face…and maybe even a drop of rain.

As I work through the lists of things I have to do before I leave, there are certain things I long to see, hear and taste again that spur me on:

Rain and the fabulous smell of the countryside after rain.

Masses of hiking in the countryside – if you’d like to read more I’ll be sharing this on Walking on Sunshine.

Tea – made with tap water.

Skies and sheep

Huge skies, rain clouds and sheep

A crab sandwich – the crab freshly caught off the Cornish coast and piled thickly into soft brown bread – preferably from the Crab Shop in Cadgwith.

Fresh rhubarb – the shrivelled stuff on our supermarket shelves is pitiful.

Custard tarts with a sprinkling of nutmeg (Marks and Spencers are really good).

Cream teas and Cornish pasties.

Civilised driving.

Chagstock camping pigs

Chagstock, camping stove, pigs and carrots

Hills, narrow lanes, deciduous trees, huge skies.

High streets.

Good pubs and real ale.

Eating pork… in the street!


Gloucester Old Spot sausages at Stroud Farmers Market

English beaches and coastal cliff path walks.

Sheep blobbed with colours.

Dogs…in cars, in the street, in the park, on beaches, everywhere.

Extreme dress and appearance (Chagstock here we come).

Pigs in fields…and piglets.

Country churches.

Giffords circus

Giffords Circus

Carrots with tops on.

Peas in the pod, tiny broad beans, runner beans – picked from the garden.

Camping on grass – making tea on a stove.

My family, friends and relations (of course).


Fields near Guiting Power

National Trust gems like Cothele, Buckland Abbey and Lydford Gorge, Giffords Circus and the Cotswold Farm Park are places that I visit every year but I’ve added some foodie venues onto my wish list including:

Daylesford Organic Farm

Shipton Mill

Sharpham Vineyard (and cheeses)

I may sneak in another visit to the Field Kitchen at Riverford Organic Farm, I’m pledged to share a bottle of wine with my sister at John Gordon’s wine bar and I’d love another cup of tea at Barnsley House.

Barnsley House

Barnsley House

I can’t wait to meet, for real, many lovely food bloggers I know through their online presence at Food Blogger Connect at The Hempel in August (in fact my daughter is appalled that I’m staying on the couch of someone I only know through Twitter – not the best example she says).

Come November I’ll be treasuring the balmy weather and warm seas of Dubai, but an English summer is where my heart lies now.

Devon Beach

Putsborough Sands, Devon

What foods or produce would you taste on a two month stay in UK?

  1. July 13, 2011 9:11 am

    I wish I could make the August meet up, I really wish I could.
    If I were in the UK I would investigate the allure of batter-coated fish & chips.

  2. July 13, 2011 10:31 am

    I can so relate to this as even December in Dubai was stifling! And, I love your places to visit. We loved Devon and especially Riverford Organic Farm Shop! Have a super time, and make the most of the August meet up! If I were in England right now, Borough Market would be my first stop, and then Billingsgate. I visit to Le Manoir would be on the cards as well. Have a super time 🙂

    • July 14, 2011 10:07 am

      Le Manoir…now that’s a great idea.

  3. July 13, 2011 10:53 am

    Sally, just want to give you a great, big, awesome HUG. I’m reading this at work (ssshhhh) and I’m filled with a sense of nostalgia and a great ache in my heart. I only lived in the UK for 1.5 years, but I miss it so very much.
    Another thing I miss is strangers smiling at you and saying hello. The UK is so much more friendly – especially the north where I lived for most part – than Dubai I think.

    • July 14, 2011 10:07 am

      Yes you are right about that Dee – I take it for granted but my Dubai-raised daughter says she has to get used to smiling back at strangers. Thanks for the hug – recipricated.

  4. July 13, 2011 11:09 am

    So jealous of you Sally! More than the food, it’s for the rains 😦

    • July 14, 2011 10:05 am

      We’ll have plenty of that down on Dartmoor!

  5. July 13, 2011 12:14 pm

    Wow it looks like you will have a very busy and fulfilling holiday. Thanks for visiting my blog. Yours is wonderful.

  6. July 13, 2011 1:09 pm

    Sounds divine! England is one of my dream destinations and you make it sound even better than the image in my head!
    Have a wonderful time there!

  7. July 13, 2011 1:10 pm

    I am dying to see a photo of sheep blobbed with colors! Why would anyone do that to white fluffy cottony cuddly cutesy (you can tell I’ve always wanted a sheep for a pet) sheep?

    We will miss you in the moments that we’re not melting our brains away in the heat, and can’t wait to hear how the Food Blogger Connect camp goes, so excited for you! Safe travels and have a lovely vacation!

    • July 14, 2011 3:04 am

      Look closely – those sheep in the picture have pink blobs on them!

  8. July 13, 2011 1:31 pm

    gorgeous, Sally….enjoy each of the above at least once!!! Come September I will need great persuading to leave the green and pleasant to return to the Theme Park. The summer just gets better and better. Love to the family xx

    • July 14, 2011 10:04 am

      I’m enjoying your posts from the UK so much Debi.

  9. Jo Baker permalink
    July 14, 2011 9:35 am

    Thanks for this Sally, now I only have to wait until 7th August before leaving the sandpit!!!! Might have to make some scones and head to Spinneys to look for clotted cream to keep me going until then?!?!?

    Have a fab summer and look forward to another tempting edition on my return which will also make me homesick when I’ve just had my annual visit home. The funny thing is we always crave hummous and tabouli when we are in the UK, so maybe we are never satisfied……… !

    • July 14, 2011 10:03 am

      Sorry to rub it in! I’d make those scones. Have a good trip in August.

  10. July 14, 2011 9:47 am

    Oh my goodness! What gorgeous photos of your homeland! This is the England I yearn to see. I’ve spent some time in London which I loved but I know how different the rural parts of the UK must be. My sister and her family just moved there (north, near Leeds) actually. Cannot wait to visit! Have a lovely time and I eagerly await your posts from your home!

    • July 14, 2011 10:02 am

      The pictures are from summer 2010 and the South West is beautiful. I admit I have never been to Leeds but have visited the Peak District which is lovely.

  11. July 14, 2011 3:51 pm

    Matbe after London england dont have another really trendy city, but what a countryside to discover, i ve been also in Penzance in May for write something for my blog and was like discover a new country, english experience at his best. Now i am looking forward for another experience like that in Devon

    • July 18, 2011 2:33 pm

      I love Cornwall too. Thinking of Penzance, must visit St Michael’s Mount again one day.

  12. July 14, 2011 5:00 pm

    Two months! Wow 🙂 I hope we are going to manage to meet up?? Drop me an e-mail and we can see if we can sort out a date?? My market of choice in London at the moment is Broadway Market – the best fun you can have on a saturday morning! I’d have loads of English cheeses if I were you – crunchy mature cheddar and Lincolnshire Poacher being favourites. If you are feeling flush, a totally delicious way to spoil yourself is lunch at Petersham Nurseries – a transcendental experience.

    • July 18, 2011 2:32 pm

      Great recommendations Jeanne – have already stocked up on some fabulous local Devon cheeses (and always bring masses home in my suitcase). I’ll certainly drop you a line. 🙂

  13. July 16, 2011 1:08 pm

    Dreaming of England huh? I, on the other hand, am dreaming of Greece. Home seems so far away.

    • July 18, 2011 2:29 pm

      Oh Magda – sometimes it gets to you doesn’t it.

  14. July 16, 2011 5:01 pm

    I love this ‘memories of home’ post……I love just browsing the aisles of the large Tescos or Asdas….and coming home with lots of ‘London sausages’ according to my children!

    Have fun

    • July 18, 2011 2:30 pm

      I have some fabulous sausages to share with you Ozoz – watch this space.

  15. July 18, 2011 11:07 am

    What a beautiful post. Summer for me is long lazy evenings, cocktails made with homemade elderflower, fish and chips and crab sandwiches by the sea, sizzling sausages on the BBQ and rich, creamy ice creams. That cream tea picture looks gorgeous too – got me thinking about baking scones. Love the British summertime (even if it has rained pretty much every day…)

    • July 18, 2011 2:28 pm

      Now experiencing a fair amount of rain but sticking by that saying ‘there’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothing.’! Like the sound of elderflower cocktails.

  16. July 18, 2011 2:05 pm

    To be utterly fair I am ofering you a blow up airbed, not the sofa to stay on for FBC!

    Looking forward to meeting you!


    • July 18, 2011 2:26 pm

      I won’t hold you up under the trade descriptions act Helen! Very grateful for the airbed and am putting in some practice by sleeping on one in a tent this weekend. Thanks again for your very kind offer and really looking forward to meeting you.

  17. July 19, 2011 4:45 pm

    That’s a superb list, lots of things I’ve not experienced here myself… civilised driving especially!!

  18. July 21, 2011 4:51 pm

    We’ve never been to London and that picture of lush green place and eating pork on the street just makes me wish it was easy for us to get a visa.

    • July 22, 2011 11:41 am

      Oh I wish it was too Abigail.

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