Summer is here!
If summer were a dinner, June would be the appetizer, piquing your hunger for the pleasures that are to follow: sipping wine on a piazza on a balmy evening, driving with the top down and, of course, eating al fresco. So allow us to serve you this particular selection of ideas as your amuse-bouche, so to speak, to tickle your appetite for the many joys of summer, which range from the best spots for outdoor dining to the top 10 convertibles.
Before we get to the main course, let's hop on Pop. On June 19, show the man who never stops to ask for directions that you care. And because we know that most Dads are notoriously difficult to gift (what with all that needing "nothing"), we have come up with an easy Top 10 Gifts list as well as a selection of Top 10 Father's Day Wines.
Or, if the old man's a foodie and enjoys some good feasting, treat him to a nice lunch at one of the best outdoor dining spots in the country. Peruse our carefully vetted selections to find great places in your neck of the woods. If you want to eat well for less dough, check out our choices of Cheap Eats, where you'll find fab meals that are also steals.
No matter your budget, the most important thing you can do on Father's Day is appreciate your Dad still being around. Oscar-winner Gwyneth Paltrow honors her late parent in her surprisingly good book, My Father's Daughter. (She acts! She sings! She cooks!) The actress, who has taken lessons from chef Jamie Oliver, has compiled kid-friendly, healthy (but not too healthy) fare, spiced with personal anecdotes that remind you that she's a star, but that are nevertheless charming. Equally delightful is Cristina Ferrare's Big Bowl of Love, a collection in which the popular Oprah Winfrey Network TV chef warmly shares her favorite unfussy, hearty dishes. Check out her recipe for Pasta with Prosciutto and Peas as well as this month's healthful featured recipe from the California Health & Longevity Institute for Grilled Grass-Fed Beef with Spicy Hoisin Sauce and Cucumber Relish.
If our summer feast is too bountiful, and you're trying to shed a few pounds, try Losing Weight with Tea. You'll look better exercising on the beach or putting green, like those found at the Tom Doak-designed course at New Zealand's The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, one of our Top 10 Golf Hotels in the World. Or perhaps you're tired of the usual suspects and ready for an adventure stay at one of our Top 10 Extreme Hotels, ranging from a Mongolian yurt in Spain to a tree house in India and cave in Italy.
For a palate cleanser, check into one of the Top 10 Spa Hotels Worldwide. From the French West Indies to South Africa, these luxe locales are so pampering and perfect, you'll never want to turn in your key. Ready for dessert? Then consider getting another set of keys for a sweet ride in one of the Top 10 Convertibles or Top 10 Fun-to-Drive Cars. And, for more practical folks, as every month, we present our car of the month, the sporty and handsome Kia Optima.
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See you in July for all things BBQ!
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