Summer fun…but where’s Orkney’s sun!!
Whilst the rest of the UK are basking in a heat wave, it’s not quite like that up here in Orkney! The Orkney Islands is an archipelago in the northern isles of Scotland and we very much have our own micro climate. Even on the same day the islands weather can be very different if you’re on the north or the east side of the mainland. If we have rubbish weather and a day off we will always head to the other side of the island and visit friends 😊. Although the average temperature for August for us is around 16o C, that doesn’t stop us from getting out and enjoying our summer.
One activity that we love and that’s on our doorstep is walking on the beach and collecting sea glass. Many people we meet on our travels, at shows and in our distillery ask us where we got the inspiration for our ‘Sea Glass Gin’ bottle label, and it was from simply picking sea glass with our kids on the beach. We love the colours of the pieces that we pick up and the fun memories that we make whilst doing the activity and this is all bought to life by our label. Now the children are older we don’t to collect sea glass so much as they’d rather be hanging out in their kayak. I now have boxes of sea glass and one day I will make something fabulous with it all. We also used the beach for our first ever social media shots….
In search of the heat that we are used to from living in Australia and England before that, we head to our polytunnel, or I do anyway 😉. I LOVE our polytunnel, the shelter it gives from our never-ending wind, the heat (plus 30o C) and also the smell…mmm… Anyone who visits the polytunnel always comments on the smell even if they aren’t keen gardeners! Along with the gorgeous botanicals that we grow like lavender and rosemary, mint is one of my favourites. So many varieties and they all smell and look slightly different. We currently grow, British mint, apple mint, Spanish mint and chocolate mint, and yes that one does taste of chocolate mint – awesome!
One of my favourite cocktails at this time of the year is a cool ‘Mighty Minty Mule’! Mighty because I love to crush copious amount of mint and also therefore minty, a mule as I serve it in a copper mug with a straw, delice. If you fancy making one yourself it’s dead easy, here goes….
- In a copper mug or a cold tall glass add as many mint leaves as you like, of any variety and crush them with the end of a rolling pin to release their aroma and flavour
- Add one or two measures of ‘Into the Wild’ vodka and give it all a brief stir
- Finish by adding ice and topping up with ginger ale to your taste
- Sit back, relax and enjoy the sunshine 😊
For the ice cream lovers in your family, we are super lucky to have ‘Orkney Ice Cream’ here in Orkney www.orkneyicecream.com and one of the best places to go to experience it is Gerri’s Ice Cream Parlour in Stenness. Here they have the legendry ‘Stenness Monster’, seven scoops of Orkney ice cream in a foot long cone. If you manage to finish this in the cafe you get a certificate and your name up on the wall for that year, an annual challenge for many. Cameron is the only person in our family to have tried this… he loved his cone but I did finish it for him, not surprising seeing as he was only six and three quarters!
Whatever you get up to this August, I hope you keep cool and have a great time!