As the sun begins to make more of an appearance in April signaling the onset of a sizzling summer, it’s time to dive into a culinary oasis that promises to keep diners cool, refreshed and energised. We’ve rounded up an array of ideas and dishes from our panel of experts, each bursting with freshness and designed to lower your mercury levels while tantalising your taste buds. From zesty salads that dance on the palate to frosty desserts, these summer treats are not just food, they’re a cool breeze on a hot day! Get ready to transform your kitchen into a haven of delectable flavours that make every summer day feel like a breezy beach holiday.

Fleur & Paul, Owners at The Retreat
We get a lot of tourists in our village during the summer months, so we tailor our deli menu to items more suitable for picnics such as flapjacks and tray bakes. Our millionaire’s shortbread is always a winner, giving walkers some much needed energy when they are out and about in the forest. We make sure we have plenty of variety to keep visitors coming back for more. For customers seeking a healthier option, we also have a fantastic smoothie menu and use frozen fruit, so they are nice and cool when it’s hot outside.

Katie Roberts, General Manager at Spaces at The Spine
At Spaces at The Spine, we take pride in crafting menus that align with the growing interest in healthy eating and sustainability. As one of the healthiest venues in the northwest, built according to the WELL Building Standard concepts, it is vital that our culinary offerings reflect this.

Our upcoming spring and summer menus place a strong emphasis on ingredients that positively impact our guests’ wellbeing. For instance, our spinach and white bean salad features farro, an ancient yet nutritious grain that provides a healthy dose of zinc, magnesium and vitamin B3. These help to regulate your immune system, improve muscle function, aid digestion and more. Plus, our menus provide a detailed rationale behind selecting specific ingredients, offering our guests a deeper understanding of their culinary experience.

Michelle Grainger, Executive Director, North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission
Despite not being a traditional flavour, sweet potato sorbet is a tasty recipe set to become a fast favourite for children and parents this summer. Unlike many ice creams, sweet potato sorbet doesn’t contain dairy, nuts, or egg yolk, which are some of the most frequent allergens among children, making it more suitable for wider groups and alleviating some concerns for parents and guardians.

What’s more, sweet potatoes, which make up the base of the frozen treat, are fat-free, saturated fat-free and also contain a wide variety of vitamins, introducing a new way for children to enjoy nutrient-dense food. The orange superfood is also packed with vitamin A, which contributes to the normal function of the immune system – great for helping with playground bugs and viruses which children pick up so easily.

Rachel Green, Chef, Writer & Restaurant Consultant
I love to spend time on the stunning Lincolnshire coastline – so it’s no surprise to see fish featuring in my collection of summer recipes, but summer wouldn’t be summer without a spectacular salad. For a bit of no-nonsense al-fresco dining, my Summer Pea Salad features peppered mackerel fillets and some gorgeous fresh vegetables.