With summer’s colour at its richest and days heavy with the sun-warmed breeze, it is easy to forget that a new season is just around the corner. August is the month associated with peak sunshine and the best time to enjoy lazy hours in the garden, making the most of outdoor pursuits and taking fun-filled trips to the coast.
Memories of sitting on the pier enjoying a traditional favourite are rekindled in recipes with a new twist on the combination of crisply-coated fish and golden chips. Equally nostalgic are indulgent, creamy iced desserts, perfect for hotter days, or a light and airy cloud cake, with soft meringue enveloping fruit-flavoured sponge.
From the welcome shade of a giant weeping willow on the riverbank to the spectacle of dolphins performing acrobatics in a Scottish forth, the lure of the water is hard to ignore. The pastel-hued harbours of New Quay and Aberaeron in west Wales are waiting to be explored and a canalside walk following a flight of locks allows time to reflect on a slower pace of life.
Flowers trickle down to the water’s edge in a cliffside garden, lovingly planted above a rugged Cornish cove. In borders, tall spears of gladioli allow jewel shades to catch the eye, and a simple planter attracts bees to its nectar-rich blooms. Floral arrangements in colours of the sun also lift the spirit.
The beauty of the countryside leaps from a hand-drawn map with charming illustrations, and the natural hues of flowers are imprinted on a cotton bag. Old postage stamps make an unusual wildlife collage and a timeless game is played outdoors with home-made counters and grid.
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