Great Britain is great, the clue is in the name. British Summer Time is especially magnificent, all light evenings and flowing rosé and whingeing about hay fever and flying ants. The solstice is behind us but summer, like a backstage soprano gargling salt water, hasn’t even begun to sing. Pollen counts are high and spirits are even higher.
Nobody wants to go home too early. Who wants to sleep on a balmy night? We all outstay our home time by a few units, we wake up in our make-up. BST is a dry mouth in the morning and a foggy head. Back at the office we snatch glimpses of Wimbledon on BBC Sport between meetings, digitally gathering on the grassy knoll over strawberries and cream. Queen Beyoncé and future-queen Kate are out-floraling and out-pastelling each other on centre court. Game, set and same-day delivery from Matches.
Ironically, it’s when Britain starts to get properly lit that we all think about leaving. Weekends in Britain are essentially two-day staycations where we practice going on holiday. Literal dress rehearsals, trialling the outfits we’re planning to debut at the beach when we’re really away. Initiation for short shorts and crop tops (are they still a thing?) take place at wine bars and parks and lidos across this green country. But wait. A Campari spritz in a David Beckham sarong does not the holiday make. You can never really lose yourself when you eventually have to get up for work. Going on a real vacation, abroad, is the theory of summer put to the test. No more worries for a week or two. Real vacations are bookended by crack-of-dawn flights and aggressive 100ml-ing of itsy bitsy teeny weeny shampoo and conditioners.
There’s something about the air in Europe in the early summer. Fending off the humidity with an ice-cold beer. The smell of Piz Buin mixed with sea salt and citronella. Quiet beach coves and rowdy tavernas. Hotels, motels, holiday inns. Trinckety market stalls and donkey postcards. Kaftans, bikinis, jelly shoes. Yes to everything strappy. Think of the content.
If you’re looking for fun and sunshine, there’s enough for everyone by the Agean Sea. An 11am flight out of Luton will see you touchdown in Turkey at The Bodrum Edition in time for sundowners at their beach bar, with time for a preliminary dip in the infinity pool to shrug off the flight. Float on your back and let the unique stress of the passport control queue drift away. To get you up to speed, this hotel, which just opened on the west of Yalikavak marina, houses 102 room and suites.
As part of the Edition group it’s stylish heritage is cemented, with Studio 54 alumni Ian Schrager overseeing all creative experiences and direction. I’m here for the opening weekend and though there must be 400+ guests sea-side, my minimally tasteful (and massive) room feels intensely private, right at the top of the sheer cliff-like cove of sheltered water. Grandiose steps lead the way past pools and immaculate gardens down to a beautiful crescent moon of Dulux-white sand and bluer than blue sea, bracketed by a jetty of private waterfront cabanas. Picturesque is an understatement. Staff are posted to help you navigate, and I feel like Cinderella at the ball, praying not to turn into a pumpkin.
Speaking of food, it’s a big deal at the Bodrum, with Peruvian chef Diego Munoz (formerly of El Bulli) heading up both the casual and fine dining offerings. I promise the 20 course tasting menu (with next level ceviche) will change your life and the lobster omelette is a must. I’d sell a kidney for more crab tostadas from the all-day dining menu, keen to smuggle them back home strapped to my body like a sky pirate. After a feast befitting of Caesar himself I golf buggy (yes, golf buggy) back to my room amply wined and dined.
The following day there are infinity pools to swim in and a hamam to explore, but they didn’t happen on Friday night so you’ll have to go yourself for details. The weekend sees me dancing til dawn at the onsite nightclub Discetto more than once, catwalking through a pétanque sandpit and literally walking on water.
On my last day, after a short Agatha Christie style interlude we’ll affectionately name The Mystery of the Blue Pants, I’m taking a car back to the airport. Friday night lingers in my memory as I board my easyjet flight blonder and browner than Cheddar Man.