The summer of 2018 has seen extended periods of above normal seasonal temperatures. Rising to the mid-30’s for days on end, sitting out in the afternoon sun has been particularly uncomfortable.

With this in mind, when my daughter-in-law and her mum came for afternoon tea I made a camp under the shade of the apple tree.

Shifting my heavy teak chairs from their normal “sundowner” location at the front of the house I placed them under the leaf-laden branches. I manoeuvred a matching café style table and covered it with a cloth made from an Ikea gingham fabric.

Coordinating cushions, and pink, white, and turquoise bunting completed the “soft furnishings” and provided the perfect backdrop for a delicious cream tea which was served on white china plates and in Joules mugs.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the consistently warm weather over these past few weeks as it has enabled me to make full use of the garden and, as a consequence, made the house seem so much bigger.

Although the soaring temperatures seem to have come to an end, and the days are getting noticeably shorter, I gather fair weather is forecast until October. I relish the thought of a mild autumn and shall continue to enjoy alfresco dining for as long as possible.

I hope you do too x