Sometimes it feels as though we wait all year for summer, only for it to arrive and disappear in a flash (or possibly even a flash flood). Every year something comes along that screams al fresco living. Anything flavoured with strawberry or pimms that's light and fruit flavoured normally puts us in the mood for lounging outdoors under blue skies. Recently, the whole summer/eating thing has gone a lot more trend driven (Aperol Spritz, we're talking to you). This year is no different with a host of summer lifestyle concepts, from frozen rose to dial-a-picnic, all generated to help make summer 2018 the tastiest yet. Here's what's been tickling the Livingetc tastebuds...
1. LadureeIce Cream
Who doesn't love a macaron? The tiny French fancy screams delicate chic so it was only a matter of time before the world famous French patisserie reinvented its core product in an ice-cream form. The 120ml cup of ice cream or sorbet is available now for £4.90 fromLaduree at Harrods, Covent Garden, Burlington Arcade and Corn Hill, with500ml and 1 litre options available from 1st July. Flavours include strawberry, chocolate and pistachio. Form an orderly queue...
2. Fortnum & Mason's Champagne Pop
Undoubtedly one of summer's biggest hits, choose from the classic Blanc de Blanc – a whole glass of Fortnum’s signature champagne - Kir Royale, or limited edition Rosé.Individual Fortnum & Mason Ice Popsicles are £2.95 and available in the Piccadilly flagship shop, while boxes of 10 are available at fortnumandmason.com
3. Gail's Picnics
We're calling these mini bites intended for nibbling in a picnic setting alfresco tapas. Gail's has the concept nailed, delivering a hamper crammed with delights anywhere in London with 48 hours notice. Featuring a selection of mini sandwiches, savouries and sweets, it feeds 10 people for £90.
4. Love Kombucha
Move over Aperol Spritz. Make way lime-topped lager. When a warm summer day is crying out for something fizzy, delicious and refreshing, Organic Kombucha is just what you need. Okay, it's non-alcoholic but, stay with us, because this fermented,lightly bubbly tea drink (£5.49)is both incredibly healthy and fast becoming a summer staple, with sales up 189% on Amazon over the last two summers.
Ice cubes in wine is so 2017. What you need is arefreshing, delicious ‘frosé’ - orfrozen rosé. London barCaminois serving up these boozy slush puppies, best enjoyed with friends at one of their four locations, or stop by the Kings Cross branch for the pop-up in their sun-drenched courtyard from 16th July. You can, of course, try making your own. Simply freeze your favouite tipple the whizz around in a processor then garnish till your heart's content.
6. Bill'sAncient Grain Bowl
'You don't win friends with salad', or so said Homer Simpson when his eldest daughter Lisa tried vegetarianism. But this delicious salad from Bill'sis about to change that. If you're looking for a fresh, zingy lunch to enjoy al fresco (or even al desko), theAncient Grain Bowl, £9.95, has it all - wild rice, buckwheat, toasted millet, black quinoa, asparagus, charred broccoli, roastedcherry tomatoes, red pepper, avocado, spring onion, red pepper, tapenade, seeds and lemon dressing. The coolest way to smash your five a day...
7. Pavlova Ice Cream
This isn't just any new ice cream, this is a Marks and Spencer new ice cream - and we have a feeling the Raspberry Pavlova is going to be a sell out. With Scottish raspberries and crushed mini meringues, it has a hidden centre of West Country clotted cream ice cream. And that is undoubtedly one of the best sentences we've ever heard. Kind of like an Eton Mess, in a tub, for £3 (and we're telling ourselves that that's a single serving). Other new M&S ice cream flavours include Rhubarb & Custard, Blackcurrant Cheesecake and Belgian chocolate with a sea salt caramel sauce.
8. Summer Berry Cocktails
East London bar The Natural Philosopher has launcheda seasonal list of four cocktails called 'Berries'.Created by head bartender Alf del Portillo, the special summer menu features four drinks inspired by classic British fruits - Blackberries, Blueberries, Strawberries and Raspberries. Our favourite is the latter, made of Linie Aquavit, Ancho Reyes Verde, Philosopher’s Raspberry and Coconut Kombucha. A floral dream in a glass.
9. Japanese Afternoon Tea
London hotel The Ned has no shortage of amazing summer food options, but the chefs at its restaurant Kaia have created something particularly special in their authentic Japanese afternoon tea for two. Expect steam buns with kumquat compote and sesame caramel choux, served on a stunning bamboo structure. Served every Saturday from 2-5pm, it costs £30. To bookclick here.
10. Juice Bubble
We know, it looks like a toy - but we promise you inside is a delicious shot of juice. PRESS is the first juice company in the world to use a biodegradable, edible algae juice packaging to encase a 35ml helping of four of their signature cold-pressed flavours; Berry Dreams, Sunshine Crush, Green Goddess and Blue Magic. This is how we'll drink everything in the future. Exclusive to Selfridges, costing £2.95.