Holidays at Home

Outdoor living

Can you remember your favourite January holiday?

Was it on the ski slopes of Verbier? Or on the beach in Fiji? Or was it in fact camping with your family on a freshwater river or Aussie beach close to home?

This year, we’ll all be somewhat close to home. The pandemic has completely changed so much in our life and particularly our ability to travel.

For me, this is a chance to take the time with those I cherish and rediscover the things I love about Aussie life.

Normally, I escape the summer heat and take flight to the northern hemisphere to enjoy the snow and winter landscapes of Scotland, Scandanavia or Northwest America.

This year though, I’ll be doing what most of us will be doing – having a small quiet gathering for Christmas lunch and then time in the caravan exploring beautiful regions and sights close to home.

The nostalgia of life in a caravan over summer actually makes me quite excited. And compared to summers camping or in the van I spent as a kid, this January we’ll have access to much better food and wine, flavours and textures, which we didn’t really appreciate so much back in the 70s and 80s.

Living, cooking and eating outdoors is really quite exciting with style of food we now enjoy in Australia.

Fresh seafood or river trout with Australian chardonnay is one of the greatest joys of summer life outside. And this year lobster will no doubt be a feature on many Aussie tables both at home or at beach side holiday spots.

I also love to cook delicious steaks and snags on an open fire or gas barbecue with a tasty drop of red wine. And finish the night with a cheese board and condiments.

These are pretty simple pleasures but combined with the right greens, sauces, mustards, freshly made bread and fun, generous friends, outdoor living at your van or campsite can be wonderfully creative and happy.

I’ll be taking the time to explore good Australian wines from across the regions we travel through and I can’t wait to visit markets, providores, delicatessens and farmgates for the best of regional Australian produce.

It might be something I haven’t done over summer for a very long time, but like a good vintage wine, quality often comes from simplicity and that’s how I intend to spend my summer holidays at home.

This has been a very trying year for many, so I hope you’ll also have the time to enjoy a summer reconnecting with friends, family and the simple life.

Have a wonderful summer break and may you get to enjoy holidays at home like we did when we were younger – carefree, outdoors and with those you love.