Sunshine has arrived! Here’s how you can spend as little time as possible in the kitchen and more time outside – you’re on holiday after all…


Bloom Stays have teamed up with Alex Hollywood to bring you three delicious recipes which you can easily make for 2 or 22 people when you’re on holiday. We’ve used basic kitchen equipment so that you can recreate these without too much trouble. The ingredients in each of these recipes can be easily found in local farm shops or supermarkets. For more tasty recipes to please your crowd, check out Alex Hollywood’s cookbook Cooking Tonight. 

Over the next few weeks we will be posting step-by-step videos of Alex over on our Instagram so do follow us and watch out for those. The videos were filmed in our gorgeous holiday home, The Willows, in Ash just outside of Canterbury. This holiday home sleeps up to 8 guests and it’s dog-friendly! The large kitchen is great for social gatherings and the courtyard provides a very private and peaceful spot that’s ideal for al fresco dining. We tested the dining spot with the salmon and asparagus salad recipe below and it certainly passed the test.


The Willows, kitchen space

Banana & oat pancakes with blueberry compote

Start your morning with these tasty stacked pancakes, they’re super easy to scale up or down depending on how many are demanded! Paired with blueberry compote these pancakes will fuel you through till lunch. 


For the pancakes:

2 ripe bananas

80g porridge oats

1 tbsp Greek yogurt

2 medium or large eggs

2 tsp baking powder

A splash of vanilla essence

A pinch of salt

Butter and sunflower oil for frying


For the compote:

350g blueberries

2tbs icing sugar

A squeeze of fresh lemon juice

A little water to loosen if necessary.


To serve:

Maple syrup or honey

Chopped fresh fruit


For the compote, put all the ingredients into a saucepan to heat and allow to bubble and reduce until the compote darkens and becomes slightly syrupy – loosen to desired consistency with a little water and allow to cool slightly. Decant this into a jar or jug. 

To make the batter, put the ingredients into a food processor and blitz til smooth then chill in the fridge for 30 mins (this can be made the night before). Heat a dash of oil and butter in a pan, keep the heat on med/low and spoon in a little batter. When bubbles form on top, flip the pancake and cook a minute or so more then transfer to a warm serving plate.

When you have made a stack, serve with melted butter, a drizzle of compote or maple syrup and chopped fresh fruit. 



Irish soda bread & local Kent cheeses

This is a super quick, low fuss and no-need bread. Great to take on picnics or serve with cheeses after dinner. We paired ours with a selection of cheese from Canterbury Cheesemakers, we picked their goat’s cheese, camembert and Ashmore, along with their gorgeously sweet, rhubarb chutney. If you have any local honey left over from breakfast that would also make a great combo with the bread.


100g porridge oats

160g strong white bread flour

160g wholemeal flour

10g bicarbonate of soda

6g salt

35g black treacle

10g honey

350ml buttermilk

(a little water to loosen the dough if necessary)


In a bowl mix the dry ingredients. Then mix in the wet ingredients and tip onto a floured surface and shape by hand into a slightly flattened round ball. Cut a cross on the top and sprinkle lightly with a little flour and bake at 200 degrees for 25-35 minutes until golden brown. Cool and eat.

Poached salmon asparagus and new potato salad with a toasted walnut vinaigrette

A simple, fresh and utterly delicious summer salad that is perfect for al fresco dining. Swap in the vegetables or scale up or down on the salmon fillets, this salad is packed full of goodness that takes no time at all to throw together.


For the salad:

1 salmon side or 3-4 salmon fillets (buy cooked if you’re short on time)

2 bay leaves 

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

6 mixed peppercorns 

8-10 asparagus spears

100g green beans

300g jersey potatoes

1 baby gem cos or romaine lettuce

2-3 chopped spring onions

1 tbsp of each: chopped parsley, cress, chives

1 knob of butter

Salt & pepper

1 handful of toasted walnuts


For the vinaigrette:

1 shallot

5 tbsp walnut oil

2 tbsp white wine vinegar

1tsp runny honey

1tsp Dijon mustard

Salt and pepper


First, poach the salmon. Bring a pan of seasoned water with the bay leaves, mustard seeds and peppercorns to the boil, turn the heat down and place the salmon side or fillets in (skin side down). Allow to simmer for 8-10 minutes in a very low heat til opaque, remove from the heat and allow to cool and rest slightly then set aside on a plate.

Prepare your vegetables. Boil your new potatoes in salted water til tender, drain add a knob of butter, season and set aside. Plunge the asparagus into boiling salted water for 3-5 minutes then drain and place in a bowl of iced water (this retains the colour and stops the spears from cooking further). Cook the beans in boiling water for 5 minutes or so then drain and add to the asparagus to chill.

Make your vinaigrette. Finely chop the shallot and pop it into a clean jar, then add the rest of the vinaigrette ingredients, season well, screw the lid on and shake til the vinaigrette is emulsified and glossy looking.

Chop the lettuce and throw it into a bowl. Drain the green vegetables, chop and scatter over the lettuce. Halve the potatoes and add these too. Slice and chop the salmon (skin removed) and add to the bowl. Scatter on the spring onions, parsley, cress and chives and drizzle with the vinaigrette. Season one more time, toss the salad and serve.

For more tasty recipe ideas to create on your self-catering holiday, see our blog post with Nigel Barden where he creates a Kentish Feast, Charlotte’s (The Needy Greedy) crowd-pleasing recipes or her Christmas Canapes.