29 June 2016
Nothing heralds the British summer more than devouring a bowl of strawberries and cream while watching Wimbledon. This delicious culinary treat has been associated with the tennis event since 1877. Apparently some 23 tonnes of strawbs and 7,000 litres of cream are enjoyed during the fortnight, but no-one really knows why.
The link may be that English statesman Thomas Wolsey used to serve the treat and had a real tennis court at Hampton Court. No doubt, many of us we'll be hoping for a Brit win this year so we can wash down our strawberries with some bubbles! If Andy Murray doesn't hit the spot, we can always hope for medals at the Rio Olympics. Why not celebrate our sports' finest with a stunning Strawberry Sorbet or Champagne Sorbet bouquet.
Another great English sporting tradition is the Henley Royal Regatta. I must confess going to the regatta in Henley-on-Thames several years ago but only seeing a handful of races as the Pimm's tent beckoned. But who doesn't enjoy a Pimm's on a balmy summer's day?
Interestingly, it was first produced in 1823 by James Pimm after he realised customers stayed longer when they sipped (rather than slugged) their gin. Ice, mint and orange slices please! For a vibrant orange, yellow and white bouquet drink in a 50 Lily Blooms bouquet.
Yesteryear summer traditions of holiday camps, donkey rides on the beach and a strawberry Mivvi have been superseded by barbequing at the first hint of sunshine, glamping and obsessing about the weather, pollen, and the traffic.
Also, you can't have failed to have noticed we've gone music-festival crazy in recent years, with a long list of them throughout the summer from Glastonbury to T in the Park. Part of this tradition is to pay an arm and a leg for your ticket, don cool wellies and wade through the mud after the torrential downpours! Food festivals are fast becoming as popular as music festivals with chilli, beer, garlic, apple and even sausage festivals to choose from.
I love that the British eccentricity lives on in wackier summer traditions including cheese rolling, ferret racing, tombola, growing the biggest turnip at village fetes, gurning competitions, bog snorkelling, worm charming and Morris Dancing.
Just be ready to run to ye olde pub when the heavens open!