A cornucopia of summer drinks

A cornucopia of summer drinks

It’s schorchio here in sunny Devon! Here are some great ideas for refreshing summer drinks by guest blogger Simon Clark:




Summer is the best time of year. The grass is bright green, flowers are blooming on the trees, songbirds flit from branch to branch, and the days are long and endless as dusk lingers into the night. Even without a spacious garden to call your own, there’s no reason not to fully enjoy some delicious and refreshing summertime beverages.

With its jaunty name and signature ginger ale fizz, a June Bug will brighten up your day. A combination of ginger ale, grenadine, orange juice and the real kicker, scoops of orange sherbet, this drink screams summertime. This citrus delight can be shared over a brunch with friends or with a picnic at the park.

No mention of summer drinks could be complete without that old favourite: lemonade. A giant pitcher with some lemon slices layered on top will be a pretty sight on a warm day. The perfect combination of sweet and tart, use fresh lemons and roll them across a table or surface to loosen up the pulp inside to create the tastiest concoction. If you want to make it a lemonade with a kick, add a splash of vodka. You can also make fruit-infused lemonade by combining unexpected flavours like rosemary, mint and watermelon.

Summer is also the best time for berry picking. A wonderful way to feel like you’re spending quality time in your very own garden, head to a fruit farm and spend the morning loading up your basket with an array of juicy strawberries and raspberries. When you get home, combine them in a blender with some ice cream and a dash of honey and enjoy the fruits of your labour with a delicious smoothie.

For the wine lovers, stir up a blackberry sangria to quench your thirst. Using a rosé wine as a base, mix in blackberry syrup for sweetness, chop up and stir in a few plums, and present to your picnic guests in mason jars for a cute vintage feel that will make for a sweet summer memory.

Whether you have an outdoor garden or not, you can still grow some small veggies and fruits, like tomatoes, in your flat. Nothing feels better than using a tomato that you grew in a Bloody Mary for a leisurely breakfast in bed.

Elderflower is a flower of the summertime and makes the best Elderflower Fizz. Combine cranberry juice, ice, vodka, and elderflower liquer to create a unique concoction that will leave your friends wanting more.

Utilise public green spaces and locally grown produce where you can. No matter what beverage you whip up, you’ll be enjoying everything this celebratory season has to offer.


A guest post by Simon Clark. Simon is freelance writer who enjoys traveling and good things in life, like sipping cocktails by a sandy beach or simply enjoying a glass of Pimm’s in a sunny day. Lucky you Simon! can we swap lives please? (ed.) 😉

Image by Daniel Go used under creative commons licence

Summer Handbags

Summer Handbags

Lovely readers, I need your help. Now that the sun has come out none of my handbags are ‘summery’ enough, and I’d like your advice on choosing one. I usually just use a tote or a canvas bag when it gets to summer, but this year I want a bag that is a little more ‘grown-up’.

I like Radley handbags because their Scottie dog logo makes me think of my lovely sister’s dog, Monty (that’s both my sister and Monty who are lovely). The only problem is that searching their site has put me in a dilemma as there are too many pretty bags to choose from (and I didn’t know they sold shoes as well – my credit card is quaking!). This is my shortlist:


I love the print on this ‘Windsor‘ bag, and that it’s a cotton tote, but the leather handles and lined interior make it into the grown-up handbag that I am looking for. But, it comes in three colourways: mint, brown, and red, and I just can’t choose between them. Then there is a wide range of mustard-colour handbags, which is one of my favourite colours:




The across-body strap on this ‘Compton‘ bag means I would be able to wear it that way when on the Princess (my bike), and the colour would also look good in Autumn. But should I be even more ‘on-trend’ and go for a pastel-coloured bag, like this mint ‘Angelica‘ one:



The interior is split into three compartments, with a lining in the same lovely print as the exterior of the ‘Windsor’ bag, so that would make me happy. However, I do not wear pastel colours, as they wash me out, but would a pastel bag be ok with my usual more autumnal-coloured attire?

See, I really do need your help. Please do have a look and help me choose. Which one of the above is your favourite or are there any others I may have overlooked that you like better? I’d love to know.


Handmade Thursday: Pretty Ice Cubes

Handmade Thursday: Pretty Ice Cubes

Maybe I am stretching the concept of ‘handmade’ just a little bit too far here – but my contribution this week is a post about ice cubes!

On my allotment the annual herb borage self-seeds freely, and I let it do so, as the pretty blue flowers attract bees, and I like to use them to freeze in ice and add to summer drinks.



It does not involve any more than that – collecting the flower heads and placing one in each individual ice cube (or ice heart in this case) compartment, and filling up with water before freezing.




Making these borage-cubes always makes me happy and is a true indicator that summer has finally arrived. They are perfect in summer drinks like home-made lemonade, Pimms, or a good old Gin and Tonic (though the picture below shows sparkling water masquerading as a G&T, as I am on a course of anti-biotics at the moment so cannot indulge, boo!)



Do pop over to White Lily Green, the blog hosting this link up, to see more Handmade Thursday posts – just click on the button below:


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