Feasting takes on a whole new meaning come summertime — cold, sofa-bound eves spent cradling noodle soup are replaced with golden hour beach picnics atop gingham rugs; winter stews tended over for hours on drizzly afternoons with vibrant, from-the-garden salads; and steaming apple pies with mint-specked gooseberry fools. Here, we showcase our field guide to the best of British summer feasting, and the UK holiday homes from which to feast al fresco from.  


For strawberries and cream: Charlotte's Folly in Shropshire

For many, summertime is strawberries and cream. And, fortunately, there are three iconic British puds to choose from that celebrate this classic combination: trifle, knickerbocker glory, and Eton mess (or its sophisticated sister, pavlova). One sandwiched amidst sponge, jelly, and custard; one piled high in a sundae glass; and one finished with wedges of snow-white meringue. For a sugar-sweet abode to match, it has to be Charlotte’s Folly in Shropshire with its marshmallow exterior and humbug-esque prints. 

To the left is the dining room at Charlotte´s Folly, to the right are strawberries and cream


For a pork pie: Under the Yew Tree in the Cotswolds

Frequenting many a picnic basket during summer, the pork pie is as traditional as a British bite can be. Made with a hot water crust, pork shoulder and belly, and plenty of heady sage, the humble pork pie can be traced back as far as the medieval manuscript. Also dating back to Medieval England is former monastery turned idyllic hideaway Under the Yew Tree in the Cotswolds, which fortuitously boasts a pretty cottage garden from which to pluck apples to accompany piccalilli-doused mouthfalls.

To the left is the exterior of Under the Yew Tree, to the right is a pork pie


For fish 'n' chips: Kailani in Cornwall 

Oh, the great British seaside — which wouldn’t be complete without a tray of fish and chips, generously laced with salt and vinegar, devoured from laps on the harbour wall. Kailani in Cornwall is a frontline fisherman’s cottage in the charming village of Mousehole; where the waves can be seen lapping at the rocks and the sun as it sets above the horizon from the private garden’s outdoor dining table. What’s more, the evening's catch may well have been landed from these very shores. 

To the left is the sea view window at Kailani, to the right is fish and chips   


For a Ploughman's: The Hop Store in Herefordshire

That staple dish that grandpa always opts for from the pub menu when out for lunch, a Ploughman’s is an ideal summertime snack; comprising bread, cheese, cold meat, and accompaniments. Designed for (and named after) the farmers that would gobble it down during their midday break, this simple meal is surely, then, best enjoyed on a farmstay? The Hop Store in Herefordshire is the answer — and there may even be a glass of the farm’s own sparkling cider to wash it down with.

To the left is the outdoor table at The Hop Store, to the right is a cheeseboard

Designed in commemoration of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in the summer of 1953, this iconic British dish brings together chicken in a creamy, curry-spiced sauce with sultanas and apricots. Kings and queens in search of their own royal residence this summer should head to Thornemead Castle on the Somerset coast; where Coronation chicken-filled sandwiches can be cut into fingers for afternoon tea, or stuffed into lunchboxes and whisked to the beach. 

To the left is the drawing room at Thornmead Castle, to the right is an afternoon tea

The “scotched egg” was allegedly first created by Fortnum & Mason in the 18th century for Londoners looking to flee to their country homes during the summertime. Fortunately, this bitesized delicacy — a boiled egg wrapped in sausage meat, coated in breadcrumbs, and then fried — has continued in popularity, as has city-dwellers looking to leave the concrete jungle behind. Avalon Manor in Wiltshire is a charming country house for the whole family, just an hour and a half’s train ride from Paddington.

To the left is the exterior at Avalon Manor, to the right is a scotch egg


One of the official drinks of Wimbledon, Pimm’s has to be Britain’s most iconic summertime sip. The fruity punch comprises Pimm’s gin-based fruit cup alongside lemonade, slices of strawberry, orange, and cucumber, and garnished with fresh mint leaves. In-keeping with the theme, why not a home with its own tennis court? The Art House in West Sussex is a has-it-all homestay whose eclectic interiors tussle with its glorious seven-acre gardens to be the home's crowning glory.

To the left is the outdoor space at The Art House, to the right are glasses of Pimm´s

Feeling inspired? Gastronomes can read about the great British food renaissance, peruse our homes near Michelin-starred restaurants, or explore our collection of luxury homes with private chefs.