INSPIRATION • June 2020
If you’ve ditched your holiday spirit, we’re here to help you get it back. From a Provencal wine escape to an Indian Ocean getaway, our destination experts show you how to recreate an authentic holiday experience at home. Better still, you can even bag Avios along the way by shopping at their recommended retailers through the British Airways Avios eStore
Says who: Sofia Cherif, marketing manager for the three Hilton Hotels & Resorts in the Seychelles
Who said you can’t experience a sneak peek of the Seychelles while you wait for the real thing? It starts with Takamaka rum, preferably dark (available from Masters of Malt; 5 Avios/ £1). Mix with Coke and lime, or enjoy as a classic rum punch with fruit juice and syrup. Then set the mood with our signature welcome song Anmenn Mwan by Joseph Sinon. You can whip up a classic Seychellois meal with smoked marlin, an octopus curry or grilled red snapper, served with fresh coconut (we put this with everything!). Set up a hammock in your backyard (Wayfair; 3 Avios/£1), convince someone to fan you with a banana leaf, picture crystal-clear waters and giant granite boulders, and you can take your mind to paradise while your body stays at home.
Says who: Caroline Craig, author of Provence: Recipes from the French Mediterranean
There’s nothing quite like an apéritif in the South of France. Whether you’re sipping pastis or a Domaine du Mas Ensoleillé (for this, try British Airways’ wine club, The Wine Flyer) under a pergola while someone clatters about the kitchen, or you’re sitting on a café terrace watching the world go by, ‘l’apéro’ is a way of life. While we wait to get back to the Côte d’Azur, it’s easy to recreate the senses of a Provençal aperitif in your back garden. Arm yourself with these rustic green and azure bowls (OKA; 6 Avios/£1) and fill them with olives sprinkled with a Provence-inspired herb blend (Not On the High Street; 4 Avios/£1) and some salted toasted almonds. Transport yourself to the region’s famous lavender fields with a lavender-scented candle (Wayfair; 3 Avios/£1), and tune into some French radio to trick your mind that you’re there.
Says who: Angelina Villa-Clarke, Far East enthusiast and travel journalist
While we may have to wait a while to reach the shores of Phuket – which is peppered with some of Thailand’s most swoon-worthy spas – we can conjure up our own mini pampering retreat at home. Create your own relaxing pavilion area with a tented gazebo (Wayfair; 3 Avios/£1), and rattan sun loungers (Garden Furniture House; 5 Avios/£1). Be sure to surround yourself with plenty of greenery – fake it, if you have to, with artificial palm plants (Wayfair; 3 Avios/£1). A Thai spa is all about immersing your senses, so burn scented candles, such as Baobab’s and fill hand-carved bowls (Amara; 8 Avios/£1) with some ylang ylang-scented oil (Not On the High Street; 4 Avios/£1) to soak your feet in. Lastly, persuade a cohabitee to be a willing masseuse and kick back to a soothing soundtrack of chill-out music. Before you know it, you’ll be transported to the shores of the Andaman Sea.
Says who: Dwayne ‘Big Daddy’ Thompson, inventor of Big Daddy Sauces
You’ve been stuck inside, now it’s time to get grilling and chilling! First, set up the barbecue of your choice, whether charcoal, gas (Very; 1 Avios/£1), wood-burning smoker or direct heat. Invest in some barbecue tools (Argos; 1 Avios/£1), and grab my award-winning Big Daddy Bomb barbecue sauce (it’s good on everything). Lay on mouth-watering meats, including beef steaks, spare ribs, smoked sausage and hamburgers, and our classic sides of coleslaw, potato salad and corn on the cob. Wash it all down with a nice tall glass of Southern-style sweet tea or a teeth-chattering cold beer. And set the party scene by turning up the volume as you jam to the sounds of Alvin Garrett. Those who just want to relax and watch the party can be seated comfortably in the shade on colourful outdoor cushions (Wayfair; 3 Avios/£1).
Says who: Marianna Leivaditaki, head chef at Morito Hackney Road and author of Aegean: Recipes from the Mountains to the Sea, published by Kyle Books
I often wish I was on a small hidden Cretan beach away from the big city. To bring my home closer to me, first, I need good company – friends who can light a fire, bring along a guitar or whose jokes make you laugh. I dress my picnic table with a light linen tablecloth, stripy napkins (Conran Shop; 8 Avios/£1) and colourful dishes (Wayfair; 3 Avios/£1), and fill the scene with geraniums. I make as many delicious bites as I can –spinach and feta pies, fried meatballs, good cheese, a salad of tomatoes, onions and black olives (Buy Wholefoods Online; 12 Avios/£1) – and include barley rusks and, of course, a massive watermelon. Meat or fish can go on the barbecue and, when the cooking is over, throw on some firewood to keep it going. As the night approaches, sip on some good Cretan tsikoudia, close your eyes and listen to the guitar playing.
Says who: Neri Baccheschi Berti, CEO of Castello di Vicarello
While we long to welcome our guests with a cocktail on the terrace of our 12th-century Castello di Vicarello vineyard estate, for now you can recreate a slice of our treasured Tuscany at home. Everything starts with an Aperol Spritz – three parts prosecco, three parts Aperol, one part soda, served over ice and a few slices of fresh orange. You can’t beat fresh homemade pasta (Not On the High Street; 4 Avios/£1) – and have a browse through my mother, Aurora Baccheschi Berti’s cookbook, My Tuscan Kitchen, which is full of seasonal flavours from the Italian countryside. You’ll need traditional Tuscan wine, and our organic Terre di Vico is the perfect accompaniment, served in a carafe (Conran Shop; 8 Avios/£1). Dress code is rustic and relaxed – floaty cotton and linen clothing, finished with a Panama hat. Set the scene with a billowing white tablecloth and a vase of seasonal flowers and foliage, and put on Spotify’s Road to Tuscany playlist – perfect for a long summer afternoon spent imagining the breath-taking views across the Maremma landscape.
Are you feeling inspired to recreate some holiday vibes in your back garden? Send a picture of your efforts to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line Back Garden Holiday, and we’ll feature the most creative in an upcoming issue of The Club