Enjoying Summer Food Outdoors

The best thing about good weather and Gliffaes is being able to sit outside in truly wonderful surroundings and enjoy a long and leisurely lunch in the company of good friends. Simple pleasures indeed but I think we fail to under estimate the importance of the simple things in life. With so much rush and hassle everyday, two hours sitting in the warm shade of a tree next to an old friend with a bottle of wine and a plate of cheese is a simple way to bring us all back down to earth.
This weekend it was lovely to host a birthday lunch for Nicola Hill and 20 of her friends and family and as the weather was so fine we set up her lunch table under the shade of the cedar tree on the west lawn. Poached salmon, hollandaise, some lovely fresh salads, cold Welsh beef and some fine Welsh cheese all helped down with some thoughtfuly  chosen wine. We served a light red Morgon, straight from the cellar, and some chilled white Burgundy both of which seemed to slip down quite nicely.
Although not quite so easy to serve 40-50 for dinner outside on Saturday evening, almost everyone had a drinks on the terrace before dinner and with the French doors wide open the scent from the wisteria filling the dining room it was as good as being outside. The menu had a light, early summer feel to it with such things as:

  • Chilled Pea and Mint soup
  • Pan Fried Fillet of Mackerel with sweet Pickled Vegetable Salad
  • Medallions of Cornish Lobster, Pickled Bream, Potted Spiced Crab & Almonds, Potato Salad

Sunday lunch time and no matter what the temperature everyone still loves roast beef and served out on the terrace in the shade of a big parasol makes for a splendid way to write off Sunday afternoon. With more sunny weather forecast I am sure lots more will be taking advantage of our position above the river for some ‘al fresco’ dining.