Right now, it feels like we’re all holding out for a holiday but, the question is, should we stay or should we go? Travelling anywhere, let alone on holiday, is a complicated business. The shifting sands of quarantine rules, flight corridors and local lockdowns, can make a holiday at home in the UK the simpler option. A staycation in your own home can feel like a luxury break – I promise!
I’m using the ideas below to set up for our staycation holidays this year. I’ve also included one of my favourite, super-easy, salad recipes that makes me feel like I’m on holiday, wherever I am.
When holidaying at home means your actual home:
1) Make it different...
It's not always easy to relax at home, with the laundry pile making eyes at you and the to-do list ever-expanding (especially at the moment when home is also an office and a school). However, you’ll be surprised how a few simple things can make your space feel different. I love to move furniture around to create a whole new ambience – in fact, the inspiration for my versatile modular garden sofa was a desire to for different vibes and energy through rearranging my outdoor seating.
Make sure you have the garden furniture out for your staycation – or even bring some of it inside for a lovely holiday mood. Avoid using ceiling lights in favour of lanterns and candles. If you have kids, set up a holiday campsite in another room.
Once the ambience is right, it’s all about the food! Get in a mountain of all the things you don’t normally or those things you keep ‘just for holidays’ - in our house, that’s chocolate breakfast cereals! Stock up at farm shops, or have some treats delivered. I love setting up every meal tapas-style.
2) Make it indulgent...
What are the little things you love about staying in a hotel, or at your favourite gite in the French countryside? Put some crisp white sheets on your bed and be sure to turn it down every night. Cut up lemon, limes, apples, strawberries to flavour big jugs of iced water to sip on. Drink all your wine from a carafe. Be sure to lounge! Stuff the admin in a drawer and focus on a pile of books and magazines. If the weather is not up to much, bring your lounger indoors.
3) Make it fun...
Why don’t you… hire a hot tub, buy a pizza oven, improvise a water slide with a hosepipe and plastic sheeting? Or set up a garden cinema, put up a tent, and sleep under the stars?
4) Take it outdoors...
Spending time outdoors is good for us. Investing in new luxury garden furniture will refresh your outside space and make it easy to relax. Close your eyes, lie back and think of… anywhere you like. Our designs are stylish, contemporary and cheerful - get that holiday feeling with pieces in blue, orange, turquoise, red and green. Armadillo Sun bean bag furniture can be left outside all summer long and won’t stain, fade or rot. Our chairs, loungers and tables dry out quickly after a rain shower and are ideal for by the pool or on the patio. Our durable fabric comes with a five-year guarantee and, with minimal care, our furniture will last and stay beautiful for many, many years to come.
5) Make it easy...
This is the perfect time for low-key day trips to all those places close by that you’ve always meant to visit but somehow never got round to – a ramble in the countryside or a trip to pick-your-own redcurrants, plums and strawberries. You can even throw a couple of chairs and a rug into the back of the car for a trip to the beach (make them bean bag chairs for the best in comfort). Or (as things open up) be a tourist in your nearest big city and wander the near deserted art galleries, churches and museums.
Are you planning a staycation at home this year? What will you be doing to make it fun and relaxing? One thing’s for sure: we all need a breather. And easy living means easy food. Here’s a delish recipe that will make you feel as if you’re on holiday, even if you’re not.
Epic Summer Salad
For the dressing:
Large bunch mint
Small bunch coriander
Small bunch basil
1 fat green chillli, deseeded and chopped
1 small garlic clove
100ml extra-virgin olive oil
2 limes, zested and juiced
2tbsp white wine vinegar
For the salad:
400g black beans, drained
2 large handfuls baby spinach leaves, roughly chopped
500g heritage tomatoes, chopped into large chunks
½ cucumber, halved lengthways, seeds scooped out and sliced on an angle
1 mango, peeled and chopped into chunks
1 large red onion, halved and finely sliced
6-8 radishes, sliced
2 avocados, peeled and sliced
100g feta, crumbled
Handful of herbs (reserved from the dressing)
How to make:
Make the dressing by blending all of the ingredients in a food processor (or very finely chop), saving a few herb leaves for the salad.
Scatter the beans and spinach over a large platter. Arrange the tomatoes, cucumber, mango, onion and radishes on top and gently toss together with your hands. Top the salad with the avocadoes, feta and herbs, and serve the dressing on the side.
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