Girl about town

This month, our gal has mostly been beaching, barbecuing and holidaying. It’s a tough life, but…

All this fabulous sunshine has driven me to eat outside as much as is humanly possible. Be it barbeques, fish and chips on the beach or picnics – if it ain’t outside, I ain’t eating, is my summer mantra, rain or no.

BBQs, fish and chips and seaside ice cream are not in my mind the healthiest of dishes, but for me they are the epitome of British summertime, and thus should be enjoyed wholeheartedly. I have been tempering these with summer salads garnished with herbs from my very own garden. Exciting times…this is the first year I’ve had a fully functioning, healthy herb patch as opposed to a withered, un-loved, un-watered one, and what a delight it is to pick my own.

On trips to the South of France and southern Spain, I’ve enjoyed health-giving fresh-grilled sardines, all manner of prawns from crevettes to gambas, and simply delicious salads garnished with olive oil. At home, the British summer options are delicious yet nowhere-near-saintly; I have developed an addiction to Northumberland Sausage Company’s Red Onion and Tarset Valley Marmalade variety, and Aberdeen Angus and Wagyu beef burgers picked up at Wark Village Store.

Vegetable and halloumi kebabs went down a storm at my barbie, though not so well as Simon Walsh of Close House’s BBQ spatchcok chicken and summer ‘slaw, featured in the last appetite.




serves 4


100g fresh broad beans, podded

100g fresh peas, shelled

1 ripe avocado

1 lemon, juiced

1 tomato, deseeded and finely chopped

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

salt and black pepper


Using two medium-sized pans boil the broad beans and peas for 2-3 minutes.  Unless very young and fresh it’s a good idea to squeeze the broad beans out of their shells once cooked – you will be rewarded with a deliciously tender bean.

Cut the avocado in half, remove the stone and scoop out the flesh.  Roughly chop and place in a medium sized bowl.

Poor over the lemon juice and mix well.

Now add the broad beans, peas, tomatoes and olive oil, season with salt and pepper, mix well and serve.

Fish and chips from Coleman’s on South Shields beach fuels my summer seaside walks, while up in lovely Amble, walks are complemented by the catch of the day at the Boathouse, followed up by Spurelli’s amazing ice cream.


Herby BBQ Shallots


serves 4


20 medium- sized shallots

4 cloves garlic

20g thyme

100ml olive oil


Peel the shallots. Take a piece of tin foil A3 in size and fold in half.

Place shallots, garlic and thyme on the foil and season with salt and pepper. Pour over the olive oil and close up all the sides of the foil. Cook for 25-30 mins on the edge of the BBQ grill, turning once after 10-15 mins.

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