Nothing screams holiday quite like lounging around a pool on a blue-sky afternoon; one sun-creamed hand reaching for watermelon wedges, and the other spent turning the pages of a book. With the only concern of the day being what to eat next. From trays brimming with the globally-inspired contents of an all-inclusive buffet, from pizza slices to Greek salad, to multi-course al fresco feasts of gazpacho and grilled fish, here we round-up what to eat poolside, and the UK’s best homes with pools to book, for that holiday-at-home feeling.


Bouillabaisse at Clementine House

This golden fish soup originating from Provence is an ode to both seafood and saffron. Bouillabaisse is the dream poolside lunch for those looking to bring a taste of the South of France to the UK this summer; comprising a rich broth made from fish stock and the Mediterranean flavours of fennel and tomato, alongside fresh white fish and local shellfish such as mussels and clams — traditionally accompanied by garlicky rouille, croutons, and grated cheese. For a Provençal home to match, Essex’s Clementine House is the answer; with its outdoor swimming pool, baby blue shutters, and rustic farmhouse interiors.  

To the left is Clementine House in Essex, to the right is a bowl of Bouillabaisse


Barbecue at Pearl's on Sea

Summer is synonymous with barbecues and, when the sun is shining, smoky over-coals aromas are the scent of the season for many. From burgers to beef brisket, spatchcock chicken to kebabs, barbecues are a staple garden supper come summertime, and even better after a dip in the pool. Hailing from the US (with many different regional variations), in the deep South; barbecue isn’t just a form of cooking, it’s part of their culture, history, and DNA. Reminiscent of the wood-clad shacks that populate this area, Pearl’s on Sea in Rye is a summer house as good as they get, with a poolside deck made for afternoons of soda-sipping and sun-soaking. 

To the left is Pearl´s on Sea in Rye, to the right is a steak on the barbecue


Paella at Zephyros 

This holy rice dish flavoured with paprika and saffron and peppered with local seafood, meat, and vegetables is one of Spain’s most iconic dishes. Whilst showstopping in its presentation; with ingredients from whole prawns to grilled lemon slices often served in a beautiful edible mosaic, paella is actually relatively simple to make. Cooked in a large steel pan, it can be left to its own devices, needing just an occasional stir — particularly if looking to create the addictive “socarrat” (savoury crust). Easily mistakable for the blocky, white villas typical of Ibiza, Dorset’s Zephyros with indoor pool might just make you feel like you’ve landed in The White Island. 

To the left is Zephyros in Dorset, to the right is seafood paella


Picnic at The Artist's Retreat

Oh, the great British picnic. There is something so nostalgic about this lawn lunch; jam-packed with goodies like cream cheese and cucumber sandwiches, pork pies, and scones with clotted cream, jam, and fresh strawberries. And they taste all the better beside the pool on a July afternoon with jugs of cloudy apple juice. For a quintessential English home for this quintessential English lunch — how about a wisteria-clad manor deep in the Cornish countryside? The Artist’s Retreat is English eccentricity at its best, with an outdoor pool so tucked away amidst the greenery that one will be forgiven for forgetting a swimsuit. 

To the left is The Artist´s Retreat in Cornwall, to the right is a picnic in the countryside


Spaghetti vongole at Leopoldina

It’s a classic, and for good reason. Anyone that isn’t familiar with the smell of freshly-caught clams cooking with white wine, garlic, and parsley, then our advice is... to get familiar. This simple, traditional pasta dish has been a staple throughout Italy for centuries and is the epitome of sunshine on a plate. If looking for a suitably sophisticated abode to spaghetti-slurp from this summer — Devon’s Leopoldina is a grand manor with heated outdoor pool, constructed in the “Villa rustica Italianate” style by foremost British architect John Nas. Like something straight out of HBO’s The White Lotus, al fresco dining has never looked so good. 

To the left is Leopoldina in Devon, to the right is spaghetti vongole


Cobb salad at Honeystone

Cobb Salad, allegedly created as a kind of serendipitous fridge raid by a hungry Hollywood restaurant owner in the 1930s, has become one of L.A’s most signature dishes. This so-tasty-can-it-actually-be-a-salad salad comprises neat and colourful rows of chopped romaine lettuce, tomato, chicken, crispy bacon, hard-boiled eggs, avocado, and a tangy blue cheese dressing, and is a staple lunch throughout this glitzy La La Land neighbourhood. For a taste of the Hollywood hills here in the UK, head to Suffolk’s Honeystone; whose retro parasol-lined pool might just rival the glamour of The Beverly Hills Hotel itself.

To the left is Honeystone, to the right is someone preparing a salad


For some more poolside perusing, explore our luxury houses with pools collection.