Summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language”

Henry James

It’s here! We’re well into the summer season of course but finally the weather seems to have caught up. Isn’t it wonderful? There’s little so enjoyable as summer sun, good food and a tipple or two (or three).

Sunshine has long been known to be good for our mood, triggering more serotonin to make us feel happier and help keep us calm and more focused. And the contrast with the dark nights helps to regulate melatonin production, ensuring we sleep well. So these longer days and clearer skies really are good for us.

In addition, we tend to get outside a lot more. The warm weather, the blue skies, whether hitting the beach or exploring the beautiful countryside here in Devon, we all tend to get out more. So more exercise, more quality air… It’s no wonder everything just feels better.

And of course food is a big part of that.

We naturally crave lighter, healthier foods during the summer months, which can only be a good thing. So it’s just as well that so many wonderful ingredients becoming available, especially when looking at the range of homegrown fruit and vegetables here in the UK. Glorious salads, fresh beans and peas, new potatoes, and not forgetting the amazing array of berries and other fruit. With a full range of ingredients available, it’s no wonder the food seems so different from the rest of the year.

It’s not just what we eat though, it’s how we eat it. BBQs are out in force across the country, and alfresco dining is a necessity rather than the occasional treat (it’s blazing sunshine and 30 degrees as I write this). And we all love a great British picnic with friends and family.

To help you make the most of it all, we put together our normal Seasonal table below, with all the main ingredients that are in season listed.

Plus, we’ve updated the seasonal inspiration pages, and there are loads of great summer recipes on the site just waiting to tempt you. And don’t forget, our basics guide for BBQ covers everything you need to make the most of your outdoor grill!

IngredientsJulAugSep
Apricots
Asparagus
Aubergine
Basil
Beef
Beetroot
Blackberry
Blackcurrants
Broad Bean
Broccoli
Cabbage
Carrots
Chicken
Courgettes
Cucumbers
Crab
Fennel
French Beans
Globe Artichoke
Gooseberry
Lamb
Lambs Lettuce
Lettuce
Mackerel
Mangetout
Mint
Nectarine
New Potatoes
IngredientsJulAugSep
Onion
Pak Choi
Peaches
Peas
Peppers
Plums
Pomegranate
Pork
Radicchio
Radish
Raspberries
Redcurrant
Runner Beans
Shallots
Sorrel
Spinach
Spring Onion
Strawberries
Sweetcorn
Swiss Chard
Tayberries
Tomato
Watercress
Watermelon