My three favourite things for August: Swimming, Siestas & Sangria!

Well, what unusually contrasting weather we are having! One minute it’s torrential rain, the next it’s baking hot and 36 degrees. The British weather has always been rather changeable but this year has really seen some extremes.

Anyway, I took myself off to the Mediterranean for a few weeks with the family in July where the weather is rather less changeable. It was a constant 30 plus degrees with rather less humidity and, of course, as we stayed right on the coast we took in the refreshing sea breeze. Also to complement that refreshing wind, we indulged in sea bathing – very different to swimming in a pool… a rather delightful experience.

Fornells in Menorca

We had a routine of getting up early due to the extreme heat in the middle of the day, and swimming in the sea. Where we stay – the small fishing village of Fornells in Menorca – the sea is exquisite and crystal clear.

I swear a dip in that sea has the most amazing health benefits. Any little ache, pain, niggles or mosquito bite irritation just disappears as soon as you immerse your body into the beautifully blue water. Being a woman of a certain age, I’m generally hot, so to immerse oneself is just heavenly. I’d swim for at least 30 minutes – the sea was buoyant from the salt and minerals and so exercising in the water was a real treat.

Swimming is one of those exercises that nearly anybody of any age can find beneficial as the body is supported by the water. Those with injuries, illness and even amputees, can find welcome relief and relaxation once immersed. More HERE on the health benefits.

After lots of swimming and walks along the rocky coastline, we would retreat back to the villa for a healthy lunch of salad and fish and then, due to the heat, we would all have a little siesta! Something the Spanish find normal in the summer. A mid-afternoon nap also has health benefits – those countries in southern Europe whose inhabitants enjoy a siesta on a regular basis have much lower rates of stress and heart disease.

After waking up refreshed and raring to go once more we would generally pack a bag and go to the beach. Menorca is full of some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and is still very much low key and undiscovered compared to its sister islands of Majorca and Ibiza. Many of these beaches can only be accessed by boat however the island does have an amazing bus service that can take you to many stunning beaches. For the first time this year we didn’t hire a car – instead we took a bus with the locals and it was great fun. We would then once again spend the afternoon wallowing in the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean.

At the end of our day we would then treat ourselves to a cool jug of sangria at our local bar. It’s a very traditional place. Been there forever, now run by the third generation of the same family. The sangria is just divine. They make it particularly well here with lots of fresh fruit, local red wine, a dash of Cointreau and lots of ice. It’s very different to those bottles of ready-made sangria you can buy or those places that fill up the jug with lots of cheap orange juice – or even worse fizzy pop!

Here’s a traditional recipe for Sangria. However its probably not the same as the one we have at our favourite bar as, after years of asking, our lovely friendly bar man, taps his nose and says it’s his Mama’s secret recipe!

So this summer indulge yourself and discover the multiple benefits of swimming, siestas and relaxing with a long cool glass of fruity Sangria. Must be partaken in that order!

Have a wonderful summer ladies, wherever you choose to spend it, abroad or in the UK. Remember to relax, restore your energy and rejuvenate your body!

Best wishes, Lesley

Read more from Lesley here