With four seasons in one day, your picnic in the park can never be assured. Whether it's strawberries and cream on Henman Hill at Wimbledon or fresh sandwiches on the heath, you can have a field day whatever the weather.
Get prepped for an afternoon of picnicking in the park, by the beach or at the bottom of your garden. There are a few key factors that go into a perfect picnic. Firstly, it should be ambitious. What is the point of meeting friends at a favourite, hard-to-get-to spot, if all you are going to share with them is a cheese sandwich and a packet of peanuts? Proper picnics should be complicated. They need ice, fire, boiling water, sharp knives. They require planning, irritation, hassle. But when they come together they are moments of magic. Imagine your friend produces oysters and ice, lemons and a shucking knife from their rucksack. And you have a perfectly chilled bottle of Fino in yours. Proper picnic perfection.
Chilly's x Emma Bridgewater - Metal Water Bottles & Coffee Cups
For drips and spills Shop Chilly's x Emma Bridgewater - Metal Water Bottles & Coffee Cups
Paper & Linen Napkins
Treats for the little ones Shop Paper & Linen Napkins
Tea (or prosecco) on-the-go Shop Children's Sets
Prepare a Picnic
Much of the picnic should be prepared at home. Tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, olive oil and salt will muddle along gently together in a tin and be much improved by the journey, sausages (unless you are planning to grill them) will do perfectly well in some tin foil and taste pretty good tepid. And better roast a chicken at home than attempt to spatchcock it with some tent pegs. Just remember to bring a light-weight chopping board, a sharp knife, and a decent amount of spoons and forks. Picnic plates would also be useful.
“Mum had a genius for picnics. She loved food in all circumstances- was very greedy, extremely generous and boundlessly hospitable- and many of her best feasts she served out of doors,” she remembers. “She once carried a whole roast Sunday lunch, complete with roasting pans and china bowls, down the cliff path to a Scottish beach, where the family ate after a refreshingly scary swim.”
- Emma Bridgewater
We love this time of year, when the extra light at the beginning and end of the day gives us the chance to eat and entertain outside, whether or not you have any outdoor space of your own. Our blog post on Alfresco Dining inspiration has plenty of ideas for long summer nightsRead More
There needs to be some element of heat. Ideally you will bring a grill, fuel, and a tin kettle, although this is not always practical, and invariably causes arguments when somebody forgets the fire lighters. Disposable grills are obviously problematic, but new eco versions are now available. Bring something quick and delicious to grill, like chorizos and mushrooms (to be chopped up and eaten in hunks of baguette). Be sure to at least bring a thermos or two of piping hot water, tea bags and coffee. And don’t forget some beakers, which can double up for hot and cold drinks.
Lastly, think about bringing something unexpected. Bring a large slab of cheese and a piece of quince membrillo, a whole salami and a jar of gherkins, a home-made cake in a beautiful tin, and a pack of pretty napkins to serve it on. Of course you could bring chocolate digestives and a bag of Kettle crisps, but nobody is going to remember that.
Why not whip up Emma's favourite lemon mayo recipe? It pairs nicely with any seafood dish and is delicious with crispy and garlic-y potatoes and salads. Make fresh at home and keep in a small container in your cooler box ready for a picnic or al fresco dining.Try Here