You know the drill by now. Bank Holiday Weekend is fast approaching. It’s time to squeeze a weekend’s worth of canvas, clothes, food and booze into the boot of your car before heading off for a weekend under the stars.
On Friday morning, me and my rabble will head down the M5 – along with four other families – for our annual half-term pilgrimage to Dartmouth for a weekend of sunshine, relaxation, BBQ’s and al fresco drinkies. We’re even taking the kids out of school to avoid the traffic.
Some of us camp and a couple of families, ours included, will caravan it. We took the plunge and bought a second-hand van a few years ago. Bad curtains and carpets aside, I for one couldn’t wait to sleep soundly in a double bed. We love it so far.
Some things don’t change though. Jamming everything into the car (and now van) still stands.
But now, instead of stashing wine bottles inside wellies and sleeping bags – or giving them to the kids to hold – we pop a sturdy box of When in Rome (it’s Nero d’Avola or Falanghina for me) in the boot and stick a refillable bottle under the front seat. Job done.
On our first trip this year, I was delighted to discover that a When in Rome La Mezza (2.25L) box fits neatly inside our van’s fridge. Result. I was so excited I bought a box of Merlot for my Aunt and Uncle (it’s their favourite) who headed up to Scotland in their van last weekend. They were over the moon.
Camping-wise, the La Mezza (3 bottles) box also fits neatly into an electric-hook-up fridge. But if you’re short on space – or have scaled up to a La Grande box (5L / 6.5 bottles) – and need to chill a bottle of white, just decant it into a refillable bottle and pop it in the fridge.
For me, there’s nothing better than kicking back with a nice chilled glass of vino once you’re all set up and the kids have gone feral. In anticipation, I’ll pre-chill my box of Falanghina at home before popping it into the caravan fridge to keep it cold.
After all, don’t all the best things in life come in boxes? Caravans, chocolates, jewellery… and wine!