28th May to 3rd June is officially National Barbecue Week, so in the spirit of eating al fresco…
Where is the best place to hunker down around a homemade fire and pit your wits against the elements for the inimitable experience of back to basics eating? With the whole of the West Country at our disposal, we’ve sought out our favourite places to toast marshmallows and char over hot coals.
Beaches are a popular option for creating your own little outdoor kitchen. The spray of the surf, the setting of the sun, the sand in the sandwiches?! Never mind if a sausage rolls off the grill, a rinse in the sea will season it nicely.
‘We go to the top of Godrevy cliffs where you can watch the sun set. You have the perfect view and can see the seals.’ (Tanya, Property)
‘I would pack my BBQ along with rolls and sausages for a sausage sizzle, washed down with a bottle of champagne, either beach is great with a group of friends’. (Pip, Property Manager)
‘Sail up the river estuary where you will find tiny beaches that can only be accessed by boat. Take your own disposable barbecue with you, but obviously make sure you dispose of it properly afterwards!’ (Mary, Operations Manager)
‘The farm is a nice place to go for a barbie. It's a nice family place to go, lots of space for kiddies to run around, lush icecream for pud, and the ponds with the ducks to explore.’ (Beckii, Property)
‘It’s child-friendly, the food is good, and it’s reasonably priced’. (Nicky, Booking Office Manager)
‘A great place to take the dogs and watch a sunset’. (Anna G, Property Manager)
Mears Beach, Coverack
‘Particularly nice at low tide, a ten minute walk from the village’. (Anna G, Property Manager)
There are some pretty big beaches here, so hopefully you won’t be smoking out the neighbours. Then again, you could try atop a moorland tor, for a 360 panorama. Just shelter your barbie amongst the rocks…
‘There are barbecue stands already there in the gardens (I think you may have to book them), just bring your stuff – if it rains, the pub is right there. There are fantastic views right across the estuary and it is a great place to laze away a whole day when you arrive by boat from Topsham.’ (Anna H, Property Manager)
‘Totally unspoilt pebble beach where you can find driftwood to burn but there is a beachside cafe if needed. It is an easy walk from the car park’.(Anna H, Property Manager)
‘Another pebble beach with driftwood. You can get fresh fish from ‘the boat on the beach’ to grill or you can go out on a boat trip and catch your own mackerel. There is also one of the best fish and chip shops there in case you end up cheating. (Anna H, Property Manager)
Country parks, and manor gardens, a more sophisticate style of outdoor eating, akin to the days of frilly sun shades on a picnic blanket whilst the butler waits in the shade.
Victoria Park, Bath
‘Fab for young children and they have lovely tropical gardens’. (Jill, Booking Office)
‘Lovely scenery for picnics, and plenty of open space for barbecues’. (Jill, Booking Office)
‘I would go up to the top of Ham Hill where you can see for miles on a clear day and there is always a quiet spot’. (Liz W, Booking Office)
Take the English Country Garden picnic up a notch. Immerse yourself in the stories of Thomas Hardy to the summer smell of charcoal embers drifting on a breeze.
‘Many have barbecue areas, but in the grounds of a pub means there is somewhere to run for cover as the rain started!’ (Anna H, Property Manager)
‘There are lots of little caves to shelter in, but make sure you have someone strong to carry all the bbq paraphernalia as a there are a million steep steps cut into the cliff path to get down to the beach, unless you went there by boat. Worth the effort for a whole day out.’ (Anna H, Property Manager)