I so adore this time of year, drifting into summer, full of hope and optimism for a warm summer.
A cloth for the table, naturally, although we’re outside, there are certain standards to maintain after all. A sturdy vase, filled with freshly picked wild flowers, not precious primulas but common or garden angelica and a branch of gorgeous smelling lilac. Bird song fills the air, the swallows have returned, I am officially on holiday in my back garden!
I will let you into a little secret…..I have a fondness for my garden shed…
It’s a hideaway, a retreat. I’m surrounded by my pots, with a view out to the raised beds of the kitchen garden – the phone doesn’t ring, and the wireless network doesn’t stretch there either. Mice are tunnelling under the floor boards, braving beyond the borders of their composting bin base and making reconnoissance missions to steal the bean seeds I have foolishly stored there. The Shed’s wooden slats no longer form a continuous end wall, and sunlight streams though the side of the shed where the gap is. I’ve had new glass put in and it’s had a lick of paint – I just adore it.
And bunting, lots and lots of bunting fluttering in the warm breeze.
There’s just something quintessentially British about bunting, memories of old fashioned street parties, brought out for special occasions
No pudding more accurately captures the idyl of British afternoon summers than Eton Mess
The British favourite was creatively named after its original location, Eton College and now served at Prize giving. It is a gorgeous mix of strawberry’s cream and meringue, all jumbled up in a glorious mess. The beauty of this creation is how simple it is to make but just how wonderful it tastes! And it almost goes without saying, Tea with Mary Kate insists Eton Mess is served with tea. I was feeling in need of a bucket of the warm beverage, Portmerion’s “Crazy Daisy” crockery fitting the bill perfectly. The contrast of the sweet summer pudding with warm, aromatic tea served out of doors, just perfect on a idyllic sunny afternoon.
Tea with Mary Kate wishes for the best ever Whitsun.
Create your own idyllic picnic. Avoid the inevitable traffic jams, and have a “day out” in your back garden. Above all though, enjoy the extra time Whitsun brings, whatever the weather, though, quite honestly, I’ll be hoping for warm and sunny, but I’d settle for dry