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Weekends are always a delight, but they’d be even better if they lasted a bit longer. So, what a treat it is when a bank holiday weekend comes along, as manic Monday gives way to a blissful break. Like London buses, we’ve waited a while this year and then 2 come along at once! (well, a few weeks apart).

From picnics to parties, baking to barbecues or May bank holiday breaks, May is a great month to get together with friends and family – make the most of the Bank Holiday double header with our guide to making your May Bank Holidays marvellous.

May-k With The Family: Easy Baking Ideas

Why not have fun in the kitchen over the Bank Holiday weekend? You and your little helpers can cook up some delicious sweet treats or even a few picnic snacks to make use of later in the break.  

You won’t want to spend too much of the bank holiday weekend watching the oven or shopping for cake baking supplies, so how about some tropical rocky road? This classic just combines melted chocolate, marshmallows, biscuits and traditionally currants.

But for a tropical twist this Spring, add in some dried mango and pineapple in place of the currants, with a little desiccated coconut to give the flavour a Bank Holiday boost. Once chilled and set, these can be stored for up to 3 days – perfect easy picnic food or a post barbecue treat.

For a summery savoury favourite for all the family, how about a pastry-less pork pie? Replace the pastry casing with courgette slices – ideally prepared with a mandolin if you have one. Slice thinly lengthways and add to a griddle pan with a little oil until softened and grill marked. Line the base of a tin with overlapped slices, leaving enough excess to cover the sides and top of the pie and add a few breadcrumbs to the base. Add minced pork combined with the zest of a lemon, 1 egg, red peppers and parsley (which is fun for the little ones to mix together by hand) then fold the courgette over the top to complete the pie. Bake for 75 minutes, leave to cool and serve or pack.

May We Suggest Getting Active?

Make the Bank Holidays this year all about getting active. Chances are you and the family spend enough of your usual Mondays sitting, staring at screens. Make the most of the extra time to get out for a family hike, bike ride or a swim if weather doesn’t permit. This is a great addition to May Bank Holiday breaks at a holiday park or near the coast.

Whatever activities you choose, set yourselves up for a day of activity with a nutritious breakfast – mango and banana smoothies, porridge or scrambled egg on toast and make sure you pack some cereal bars too. If you’re going in the afternoon, there’s a whole host of delicious nutritious lunches you could try, such as a Mediterranean basil pasta.

Simply slice red peppers, red onions, chillies, garlic, tomatoes – toss in olive oil and a teaspoon of golden caster sugar. Roast until soft before combining with boiled fusilli pasta and sprinkle with parmesan. This takes just 15 minutes to make and is easily possible if you have limited kitchen space in your holiday home or caravan.

May-d For A Picnic

Whether you have spent some of the long weekend making the contents, or you are just going to buy your picnic snacks, Bank Holidays are perfect for a picnic. Grab your hamper, your plastic cutlery and all the family and head out for a day of fun spent playing on the grass and lounging on your blanket.

See our best advice for how to have the best Bank Holiday picnic possible, in our pick of picnics blog.

Spend It With May-ts: Barbecue Food

Nothing says Bank Holiday like a barbecue. The way this year started out weather wise, this could be the first opportunity you’ve had to throw the tarpaulin off, dig out the patio chairs and fire up the grill – so make sure you have a May Bank Holiday barbecue to remember.

There’s a whole host of barbecue food to choose from including hotdogs and burgers, but as it’s spring time, why not mark it with lamb?

Look no further than barbecued meatball kebabs. Take minced lamb mixed with mint, coriander, harissa and diced red onion before shaping them into balls. Add 3 to a skewer alternated with chunks of pepper and grilled potato pieces. Barbecue for 10 minutes, turning occasionally and serve with flatbread.

To go with it, how about a refreshing cooler of watermelon and orange blossom lemonade? You’ll just need golden caster sugar, ½ watermelon, the juice of 2-3 lemons, 2 teaspoons of orange blossom water and crushed ice. Blitz and strain before adding to a jug.

Or May-be A Party…

May Day Bank Holiday (May 7th 2018) is a day of celebration across the UK – a celebration of spring time fertility and traditionally marked with Morris dancing around a maypole. As it’s a day of celebration, why not throw a Bank Holiday party?

As a celebration of fertility of the soil, you should definitely hold your party outdoors – surrounded by flowers. Keep the table decorations bright and colourful and serve striking coloured food, marinated meats with Mediterranean vegetables and followed with fruit trifle and Pimms.


Opportunities like the May Bank Holiday double header only come along once a year, so make sure you take full advantage of the free time with friends and family, with fun activities and great food. All of the suggested ingredients above, along with more Bank Holiday inspiration is available at your nearest SPAR store.