09 October 2015

Afternoon sunshine and tastes
of summer by the sea in Bray

Sunshine on Bray Head and the sea off the Promenade in Bray this afternoon (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2015)

Patrick Comerford

Despite all the predictions and the expectations, the bright autumn weather has continued for most of this week.

When he was managing the Hedgehog in Lichfield, Ron Brazier told me he knew when summer had arrived, because people naturally start to drift outdoors once the temperature had reached 16. It was as though they have a natural thermostat that makes them take their drinks out into the garden.

For the last few days the temperature in Dublin has managed to hover around 16, and although the mornings are getting darker and the evenings are beginning to close in much earlier, there have been warm, glowing – even dramatic – sunrises these mornings.

The temperature managed to rise above 17 in Bray, Co Wicklow, today when – ahead of a busy working weekend – I skipped out for a walk on the beach and around the harbour late this morning ahead of an early lunch in Carpe Diem.

The low but warm sun cast Bray Head into stark relief, with sparkling waters in the sea between Bray Head and Bray Harbour.

On the short sandy shore at the harbour, up to 20 swans were enjoying the mid-day sun, resting, preening themselves and sleeping. Two lone anglers were fishing off the north pier. But because it was a working day the harbour was quiet and no-one was sailing.

Abandoned red shoes on the pebbles in Bray (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2015)

Back on the beach, a newly-married couple were posing for their wedding photographs. She had slipped off her red shoes and abandoned them on the pebbles. It was almost as though they had wished for a summer wedding.

In Cape Diem, lunch was fine Italian fare, along with one glass of Tuscan Vernaccia and two double espressos.

A glass of Vernaccia di San Gimignano with lunch in Carpe Diem, Bray, this afternoon (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2015)

Vernaccia is a white wine most commonly associated with Vernaccia di San Gimignano from Tuscany. Wine historians argue about whether the grape’s origins are Eastern European, Greek or Roman.

The earliest recorded mention of the wine appears in the archives of record of San Gimignano from 1276. In the Middle Ages, a Vernaccia wine known as Vernage was popular in London.

Vernaccia di San Gimignano is a crisp wine with good acidity and citrus fruit. It was the first Italian wine to be awarded Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) status in 1966, and in 1993 it was upgraded to Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG).

It was good to head back to this working weekend with the warmth of sunshine and a taste of summer in Tuscany and Greece.

A typical sunrise one morning this week (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2015)

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