Summer: the season for early season strolls, eating al fresco, dancing at festivals and entertaining outdoors. There's so much more to see and do, and we want to make sure you enjoy every moment.
To help you make the most of this very special season we've asked some of our colleagues to share the summertime moments they enjoy the most...
Shaun Bradley, BBQs
"The moment you make that split decision to invite your friends around for an impromptu afternoon barbeque, which always ends up going well into the evening!"
When we asked David about his favourite summertime moment he was with one of our newest suppliers. The Kadai, meaning 'cooking vessel' in Indian, is brand new for 2017 and offers the very latest in outdoor entertaining. Branded as a BBQ firepit it offers the ideal combination of cooling with outdoor heating, ideal for those cooler British evenings.We must also give a mention to our gas-powered BBQ range, which retain all the fun and flavour of a charcoal grill but with added convenience. A few well-chosen accessories will also help proceedings. Tongs and a spatula are vital pieces of kit, but how about a Weber poultry roaster (which allows you to not only cook the perfect roast chicken, but also prepare nachos and even chocolate brownies) or a pizza stone which can also be used for baking bread and cakes...as well as delicious pizzas, on a BBQ!
Amy Jones, The Pet Place
"The moment you're walking the dog and stop to take in the environment. We take our surroundings for granted so sometimes it's good to stop and appreciate what we've got."
Dogs are great for getting us outdoors and who wouldn't want to be outdoors when the sky is blue and the sun is shining. Like Amy said, it's sometimes good to stop, take a look around and appreciate our environment. A dog walk is the ideal opportunity to do just that... as well as being time for some serious fun with our four legged friends!
Ball catchers continue to be hugely popular for dog walkers, but something else that caught our eye in The Pet Place was the Nerf Dog. Anyone with kids under the age of 12 will probably have Nerf pellets hidden all around their house, but not there's Nerf fun to be had with dogs. These amazing launchers can catapult balls to a distance of 50ft! And once the fun is over our new range of Animology Chill Put, fresh breeze beds are perfect way for your pet to cool down after an afternoon in the sunshine.
Tony Lewis, The Fresh Approach Restaurant
"The moment you can pick your own freshly grown herbs and add them to a summertime recipe. There's something very special and satisfying about growing your own."
We love the whole concept of growing your own and have an entire section dedicated to it in our Open Skies Glass House. And not just herbs, we've got a great selection of fruit and vegetables, all of which are just as easy to grow at home. But as Tony mentioned herbs we asked him if there were any summertime recipe tips he could share and we think you're going to love these quick and easy taste sensations:
Dress your salad: Strip rosemary from its stem and add to a combination of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Throw in a pinch of salt before blending for a beautiful balsamic dressing with a tasty twist.
Sprinkle some seasoning: Drizzle olive oil over a selection of hard herbs such as sage, rosemary and thyme. Drain off excess oil and bake on a tray for 10 minutes before sprinkling over pasta or grilled chicken for extra flavour.
Perfect pesto: Basil is great base for a pesto, but why not blend a different choice of soft herbs - such as mint, oregano or coriander - with a touch of oil and garlic, for a quick and easy alternative.
David Kirton, Reserve Wines
"The moment when you hear the ice crackle as you pour the perfect G&T! I always put ice in the glass first and then add a good slug of gin with some ice-cold tonic."
For David, it's all about a fabulously refreshing gin and tonic, the perfect summertime tipple. Gin is definitely the on-trend drink of the moment, especially when served with its long-time, traditional partner. Reserve Wines offers a fantastic range of this refreshing spirit, featuring many local varieties. One combination in particular is proving very popular; Manchester Raspberry Infused Gin with Fentimans Botanical Tonic Water, whilst Hunters Gin combined with Franklin tonic is another great recommendation.
There are many others to choose from, all of which are distilled from a base gin and given their own special twist. And instead of adding the usual suspects of lemon or cucumber, why not slip a sprig of mint into your G&T this summer. There are no rules to this versatile drink do just give it a go and enjoy experimenting!
Sum Dunn, Furniture
"The moment you realise you've got a completely free afternoon! We're always so busy it's great to just take time out, sit in the sunshine and read a good book."
Our Outdoor Living Department has everything you'll need to turn your garden into the perfect outdoor space, whether you're all about alfresco entertainment, or you simply want a place to sit back, relax and, like Sam - get lost in the pages of a good book. All our latest ranges of outdoor furniture are comfy, lightweight and maintenance free. From the very latest for casual dining to a beautiful bistro set for two, we're confident you'll find something to suit your favourite summertime moment.
And as well as our furniture we've got all the finishing touches you'll need from cushions and lighting to patio heaters and parasols. Perfect for providing shade on a hot summer's day, parasols can be equally as useful in the evening with the addition of a parasol heater or our LED powered parasols adding some atmospheric lighting to the scene.
Emma Taylor, Clothing
"The moment you wake up, look out of the window and know it's going to be a sunglasses and shorts kind of day!"
There's definitely a nautical feel in our clothing department this season. Seasalt continues to be one of our most popular lines and their seaside style seems to be rubbing off with clothing lines such as Joules and Brakeburn also feature some beautiful nautical influences. Yellow and mustard shades are big for summer and our jackets and coats from Joules and Barbour would be ideal for an outdoor concert, whilst our stylish shift dresses from Joules are a great choice for a day at the races. Just add a paid of shades from our Ramaldi collection for the perfect finishing touch.
But as Emma pointed out, the Great British weather isn't always guaranteed so our pretty, pack-away rain macs are great to pop in a bag, just in case. Or even when it's not raining. . . why not style with a pair of Barbour wellies, some shades and you've got festival chic all sorted!
Coral Leather, Food Hall
"The moment you're watching Wimbledon and you see all the strawberries! Never mind the tennis, it's the strawberries that remind me of all the lovely fresh summer flavours."
Like the rest of the UK we'll be cheering Andy Murray on, hoping he wins his third Wimbledon title, but like Linda we agree that the other star of this annual event is the strawberry! And we're always amazed by the numbers sold! Whilst autumn is a time for hearty stews and warming broths, summer is all about fresh flavours, fruit salads and light bites, and our Food Hall is the place to stock up on your strawberries as well as a whole host of other summertime favourites.
And we believe in keeping it local. Honeywell's butchers support the local farming community and provide customers with the finest selection of local meat whilst our fresh produce counter features the very best of British. Some of our seasonal favourites include new potatoes from Cornwall (delicious boiled with a dash of butter) and juicy red tomatoes from Blackpool, the ideal base for any seasonal salad or sliced on a juicy burger straight from the BBQ!