Hello friends and welcome to a brand new week.
Today we say goodbye to the last days of Spring and welcome the start of Summer, bringing with it longer, brighter days and warmer weather, and boy, haven’t the hot days arrived with a vengeance. In Sydney, the past two days have been scorchers, however when it is not so unbearably hot, summer is a great time to be outdoors. Never has this become more apparent than during COVID times when getting out into nature and letting the sounds, smells and feelings of nature soothe us, become so desirable. In Japan they even have a name for this, it’s called forest bathing. Which begs the question, what does being outdoors mean to you?
On most days for me, being outdoors means stepping outside my front door and taking a walk around the streets in my neighbourhood. There is a beautiful simplicity to strolling along observing the different flowers and colours popping up in the gardens which also herald the change of seasons. Where I live the colours of purple and white are symbolic of summer and the gardens are flushed with jacaranda trees, agapanthus, hydrangeas. little Polly, and wisteria all contrasting against the bright whites of flowers such as fragrant gardenias, the sweet smelling and perfumed star jasmine, and the commanding dinner plate sized flowers of the Little Gem magnolia. It is pure joy.
Agapanthus and gardenias in neighbourhood gardens
If finding some unique outdoor locations to visit in Australia beyond your own backyard is of interest, you might enjoy the podcast Flight of Fancy with travel journalist Ben Groundwater which you can listen to here.
Are you a land based adventurer or underwater adventurer? Do you prefer glamping or camping? There is something to enlighten all types of outdoor enthusiasts including those who enjoy wildlife, which in Australia is surprisingly easy to find.
What better time to have a few friends drop in for a meal than when the days start to become longer and the weather is warming up. Taking your entertaining outdoors lends itself to a more casual and relaxed vibe. Whether that be sitting on a blanket under a shade bearing tree having a picnic with your family, enjoying a poolside lunch at an outdoor table set under a shady pergola with friends, firing up the BBQ beachside for a gathering and a mandatory game of summer cricket to follow a sausage sanga and a few cold beers, or a romantic champagne and strawberry breakfast for two on the balcony, all of these options set the scene to slow down the pace of life, take a breath and enjoy the company of others.
Summer entertaining is often synonymous with enjoying freshly prepared salads accompanying seafood, chicken or leg ham carved from the bone. A salad does not always have to be green, many are colourful and made using seasonal ingredients from the produce markets or the garden and may include tropical fruits such as mango, watermelon and avocado often combined with salty cheeses or toasted nuts. You can find the recipe for an epic Watermelon and Grilled Halloumi salad here or a Mango, avocado and macadamia salad here.
Watermelon and Grilled Halloumi salad
Until next time, may your days be both serendipitous and enjoyable.