It’s getting hot, hot, hot and there’s nothing nicer than being able to enjoy some time in the sun with the people you love. Whether it’s a boyfriend/girlfriend, husband/wife, friends or family, here are some quirky ideas for things you can do in the sunshine with the people you love.
Have a gourmet BBQ – I love a fat, juicy burger as much as the next person. But, if like me, you get a bit sick of bog standard BBQ food every weekend, try spicing things up a little with some more interesting recipes. A BBQ tradition in my family is peaches wrapped in bacon, you would be forgiven for thinking that sounds disgusting, but it’s honestly delicious! Simply wrap tinned peach slices in streaky bacon and secure with a cocktail stick and pop them on the barbecue until they’re nice and crispy. Another favourite is lemon and parsley salmon, grab a couple of salmon fillets and wrap them in foil with a generous squeeze of lemon juice and chopped parsley and barbecue away, incredibly delicious. My boyfriend also made some incredible Indian spiced chicken skewers on the BBQ the other day, you can see a photo of them here.
Go for a pub lunch – This honestly can’t be beaten, a pint of cider or a large glass of cold white wine in a beautiful pub garden on a lazy Saturday afternoon. Depending on where you live you’ll have your favourite places already, but some of my favourites are The Phoenix Inn, Hartley Wintney, The Frog and Wicket, Eversley, and The Greyhound, Finchampstead.
Outdoor cinema – These are everywhere at the moment, and there are a huge range of films on offer, so if a Grease sing-a-long isn’t quite to your taste you’ll be able to find something that is. I took my parents to see Pretty Woman at Guildford Cathedral and it was so much fun – we took a couple of bottles of prosecco and some snacks with us and had a great time. If you’re wanting to take food and drink with you then check before hand, some places don’t allow this, and I’d also recommend bringing some blankets just incase the temperature drops!
Visit an outdoor spa – Most spas have an outdoor pool with loungers, this way you can enjoy some relaxation time with the people you love, while topping up your tan. A new favourite of mine is the Champagne Pool at Harbour Hotel, Guildford – the pool has gentle jets in it and waiters bring you champagne to sip while you dip!
Take a drive – Sounds overly simplistic but my boyfriend and I went for a nice little cruise the other day, and he took me to a little place called Hannington. Long story short, I fell in love with the little square at the centre of the village and rang every estate agent in the area to see what property they had for sale. Even if you don’t have a destination in mind just hop in the front seats and go wherever you feel like, roll down the windows and make sure you’ve got a great playlist!
Concerts – There are loads of outdoor music events on at the moment, whether it’s large scale like British Summertime at Hyde Park, or a smaller event like Party in the Park at Woking, they’re great fun in the sun with a pint in hand!
Visit a rooftop bar – There are loads of these in London that are fantastic, my personal favourite is Vista Roof Bar Terrace at The Trafalgar Hotel, but if you want to stay more local, The Botanist in Farnham has a lovely rooftop terrace, and they do amazing cocktails.
Bike ride – This sounds corny but it’s great fun, I love Alice Holt near Farnham, you can hire bikes here as well so you don’t need to worry about lugging them there in a car! The grounds are beautiful and there are lots of different paths to take. The only downside is the parking is a little pricey, so be prepared for that.
Go for a walk – Another simple one, but it can be so lovely (especially if it’s followed by a trip to the pub), also perfect if you’ve got a doggy! I love a stroll around Virginia Water, the views are really pretty, there’s an ice-cream van half way round the lake and the waterfall section is an iconic Instagram ready photo opportunity.
A classic picnic – This is out of the question for me because my boyfriend has a bizarre aversion to eating outside (I think it’s bug related), but I think this is such a simple, sweet and fun idea. Adult-it-up with a nice bottle of champagne, and go all out, Waitrose and M&S have an amazing selection of picnic bits and bobs, it’s all bloody delicious.
Hire a rowing boat or go punting – If you live in Cambridge or Oxford, this one is perfect for you! I loved punting along the River Cam, I enjoyed it more and more as the consumption of prosecco increased, at the right times of year I believe you can buy jugs of pimms too, yum. If there are no punting options near you, there’ll be a boat house nearby that will let you hire a rowing boat, I challenge you to take one of these out and not row yourself in a circle, it’s great fun, and you’re guaranteed to collapse in a fit of giggles, so cute.
Head down to your nearest beach – Take a walk along the pier, have a dip in the sea or munch on some fish and chips, beaches have so much to offer, and they’re a really fun day out in the sun.
Play tennis – This is one for the active couples out there! Don a tennis hat and some rackets and just have some fun, it doesn’t have to be competitive – but I can’t guarantee it won’t get that way! My friend Gini and I used to love playing tennis, we’re both absolutely rubbish, but it was great exercise and we always had a giggle.
Have you got any date night suggestions? I’d love to hear them! Drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org