… my big plan is to cook six meals inspired by some of my favourite holiday destinations from years gone by, and share those recipes with you here on the blog. I have some ideas already for dishes I’d like to cook, but if you have any suggestions for recipes I should try I would love to hear them…
If I’m honest, the idea of a ‘staycation’ has never appealed much to me. For a holiday to be a proper holiday you really need to get away from it all, don’t you?
I adore exploring new destinations as well as returning to much loved haunts; sampling the local cuisine, relaxing by a pool with a good book or acting like a Japanese tourist and fitting in as many sights as I can in a single day.
Admittedly, holidays have changed quite a bit since having children. We’ve been forced to slow down and plan ahead much more carefully.
I remember our first holiday abroad with Jessie when she was just learning to walk. With another couple and their young daughter we rented a beautiful villa in Tuscany. It would have been amazing, if it hadn’t been for the unfenced pool and marble staircases and sheer drop down what seemed like a mini cliff face at the bottom of the garden, oh and all the prickly rose bushes scattered around the stunning garden. Nansi and I were having near heart attacks every five minutes as our plucky girls explored and stumbled their way around the place. Not a relaxing holiday. But a massive lesson learned on the need to check out how family-friendly your holiday accommodation will be.
Sadly it looks increasingly likely we won’t be having a family holiday this year. My husband has quit his job and is retraining in IT, and I’m freelancing part-time on a couple of projects but the income is very up-and-down. And we’ve just been stung by some rather steep vets’ bills. So a staycation it might just have to be.
But I’m not going to let that get me down. Oh no, not me. So while I might read about other’s plans to fly off to far-flung foreign destinations, I won’t get jealous. We live in lovely Somerset after all. There’s so much to do right here on our doorstep, isn’t there? How many tourists flock to this part of the world every year to get away from it all, and here we are already!
And if I can’t go off to see the world this year, well I’ll just have to bring the world to our corner of Somerset.
Over the six weeks of the school holidays, my big plan is to cook six meals inspired by some of my favourite holiday destinations from years gone by, and share those recipes with you here on the blog. I have some ideas already for dishes I’d like to cook, but if you have any suggestions for recipes I should try I would love to hear them. Even better if they appear on your blog as then I can easily link up with them too.
In no particular order, the places I’ll be visiting on my culinary world tour are:
Barcelona: when I went inter-railing with my best friend Ruth after our A-levels, this had to be my favourite city. The food, the beer, the Gaudi, the boys…
New York: I have very fond memories of visiting New York with my Mum and sister Elly when I was about 12 years old. I remember Mum bartering with a bloke on a street corner selling bangles and an Italian waiter chasing us down the street as we hadn’t left a tip!
Northumberland: I spent some of my childhood just outside Newcastle and enjoyed many an idyllic day out playing on the beautiful beaches, visiting the spooky castles and wandering along Hadrian’s Wall. I can’t wait to take my husband and children there sometime soon.
Penang: My Mum was born on the Malaysian island of Penang and I think it is one of the most beautiful places on the planet. And the food isn’t bad either!
Rio de Janeiro: one of my jammiest PR jollies ever was to take a group of journalists to Brazil for a tour of an aircraft factory. The tour lasted half a day but we had to stay a week because of flight availability. What a shame! We had a fantastic time in Rio and Sao Paulo and I’m desperate to get back there again one day.
Mystery destination: I haven’t quite decided on my final destination. I’ve been considering Turkey and Italy, or perhaps Bordeaux or Greece. Or how about Norway or Sweden? I’ve had wonderful times in each of these countries but whose food should I try to recreate in the final week of my staycation? Please let me know where you think I should head to!