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Cocktail hour might currently involve a concoction of whatever’s left in the liquor cabinet – and the move from makeshift home office to the sofa – but with summer well on its way, we’re daring to dream of aperitivos enjoyed beachside (even if we might have to wait until next summer to get there). Here, five of the best spots where you can drink with your toes (almost) in the sand.
The beaches of Cala Comte, on Ibiza’s western coastline, are some of the island’s most dazzling – which means plenty of day-trippers to match. Just a hundred-or-so metres walk down the coastline, though, is the tranquil rocky cove of Cala Escondida (translation: hidden beach) with its very own chiringuito, the Spanish name for the laid back beach bars which crop up each summer around the Spanish coastline, from Barcelona to the Balearics. Chiringuito Cala Escondida is one of the very best: an ecologically sound outpost right on the water, for day to night drinking, which feels like a new discovery every time.
Byron Bay was once the home of Australia’s hippie counterculture, who came to the beachside enclave for its supposed healing energies and stayed for its near-perfect, and now world-famous, surf. If it now attracts an altogether smarter crowd, the bay still retains a free spirited atmosphere, where visitors spend long lazy days on its beaches or hiking through the lush forests beyond. On Wategos Beach you will find Raes, an airy, recently renovated hotel with a bohemian feel – Salvador Dalí purportedly designed the gardens – and a tiny beachside bar, where each evening locals and visitors alike gather for pre-dinner drinks on the grassy bank which looks down onto the surf beyond.
It might be necessary to stay a little closer to home this summer: luckily, the British coastline can prove just as idyllic as its foreign counterparts. Not least the southernmost county of Cornwall, where you will find The Idle Rocks, a waterfront hotel and restaurant in the sleepy village of St Mawes. There are few more peaceful spots than its long harbour-side terrace – the perfect sanctuary for fraught city-dwellers after weeks spent cooped up indoors.
Founded by André Balazs – the hotelier behind London’s Chiltern Firehouse and Los Angeles’ Chateau Marmont, among others – Sunset Beach Hotel on New York’s Shelter Island has an altogether more sedate pace. Stay in one of the spare, ocean-facing rooms – each with their very own sundeck – or simply spend an afternoon on its yellow umbrella-lined terrace bar, which recalls the spirit of lazy days spent on the Italian riviera.
Nestled on the red-hued cliffs which surround Goa’s Vagator beach, Olive Bar & Kitchen captures the region’s laid-back state of mind. Drawing influence from local produce and seafood, the chefs Manu Chandra and Evan Gwynne strike a balance between Mediterranean café and their Goan surrounds with a colourful drinks menu to match. Spend long days in the sunshine – hammocks provided – or evenings under the stars, all just a short stroll downwards to the yellow sands and cerulean waters of Vagator beach below.
Three Classic SMR Days Cocktails
Three ingredients, one perfect ratio – the classic negroni is la bella vita in a glass.
One measure gin
One measure Carpano’s Antica or other sweet vermouth
One measure Campari
The margarita is a cocktail made for having a (very) good time.
Two measures silver tequila
One measure Cointreau
One measure lime juice
Salt for rim (optional)
More discerning than its cousin the mojito, find out why the caipirinha (kai-pee-reen-ya) is Brazil’s national cocktail.
Two measures cachaça
One lime, in wedges
Teaspoon caster sugar