Here comes summer!

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  • Dive in at Bishopstrow House
    Dive in at Bishopstrow House
  • From me to you – PhotoLoveLetter
  • Poolside at Maison Talbooth

Clare Baranowski gets a PhotoLoveLetter while sipping a Pimms

ALL THIS JULY SUNSHINE is turning our heads to strawberries and cream and tall glasses of Pimm’s chinking with ice.

Summer weddings are everywhere, too. Bridesmaids in frothy dresses, parasols on sunny terraces, floppy hats and melt-in-the-mouth cup cake pyramids… and of course presents galore.

The best present I came across the other day – from the happy couple to their guests just a few weeks after the nuptials – was a PhotoLoveLetter. These gorgeous photo books are personalized picture albums with messages and text . They come in a pretty presentation box with silver inlaid writing and sealed with a ribbon tie. Note to self: order one for partner’s next birthday! If you’re tempted, check out

Summer is also when British country houses come into their own, and the Room for Romance site is rife with beautiful places where you can have not just tie the knot but have tea on the terrace, play croquet in the gardens or stay cool by the pool – heated of course!

Our summertime favourites include Homewood Park near Bath, whose attractions include a heated outdoor pool and perfectly formed mini spa. You can also kick back in a lounger on the lawn and dip into your Kindle surrounded by some of the prettiest gardens around Bath.

We’re also especially fond of Bishopstrow House, which has not just one pool but two! One outdoors, one indoors so take your pick. When you're tired of honing your tan outside, just hop into the jacuzzi or turn up the heat in the steam rooms before getting a pummeling to soothe away tensions from one of the therapists.

Over on the Suffolk borders you’ll find Maison Talbooth, with its fabulous outdoor pool, hammocks and tennis court. That’s not forgetting Le Talbooth restaurant right on the riverside, with its lovely terrace. Sunday barbecues are  a speciality! Now, where's that Pimm's...


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