The weather is getting warmer, the sky is much brighter and days are considerably longer. It is the time of year where it feels strange to be stuck indoors and you just want to go for long summer walks, sip spritzers in beautiful pub gardens and stay up late into the night gazing at the starry sky.
Today marks the first day of National Picnic Week, like we even needed an excuse to get our wicker hampers out!
It’s time to shake out that rarely used picnic blanket, fill up a basket full of fine foods, fetch that Frisbee and find a fantastic spot to spend a lovely afternoon with your family and friends in the beautiful British outdoors.
Finding the perfect picnicking area should be easy, the hard part is deciding which delicious, picnic treats are worthy enough to be taken along. That’s where we can help!
Step 1 – Savoury staples
The most filling feature of your picnic
Sandwiches – The simple must have. From cheese and chutney to honey roast ham and mustard, egg mayonnaise to peanut butter and jam and BLT to smoked salmon and cream cheese. The combinations are endless, and who doesn’t love a good sandwich!
Pasta – pasta salads are a fabulous thing to pack for a picnic, they won’t fall apart in the hamper, they’re almost always a crowd pleaser, they’re so substantial and you can pretty much use whatever you can find in your kitchen. Why not try these combinations; chicken, spinach and pesto; tuna, sweetcorn and mayonnaise; bacon, halloumi and avocado.
Salads – definitely one to include, especially if you want a lighter picnic. Our absolute favourite salad is a simple tomato and mozzarella salad with a twist. We’ve given our recipe at the end of this blog.
Step 2 – Snack items
Crisps – Normally quite a tricky item to pack without crushing the crisps into tiny crumbs. Award-winning Yorkshire crisps have you covered with their sensational Henderson’s Yorkshire sauce flavour crisps sealed away in a hardy, sealable drum.
Olives – Looking for a posh picnic. Our Olives Et Al, Roasted Pepper Stuffed Olives are quite simply the best accompaniment and the jar is the perfect size for sharing.
Scotch eggs and sausage rolls – You won’t find these in any of our hampers, but they’re a picnic essential and are heartily welcomed.
Cheese and biscuits – A must have item for a superior picnic. Grate Britain’s All British Cheddar biscuits are ideal for a picnic with two ingredients incorporated into one! Perfect as you don’t have to worry about keeping cheese cold, they won’t make other items smell/taste of cheese, and it’s a complete space saver – meaning more room for other deliciousness!
Fresh Fruit – Gotta stay healthy! Make it interesting by creating a delicious summer fruit salad, with chopped strawberries, peaches, apples, kiwis, grapes and pineapple with a squeeze of lemon juice to keep the fruit from browning.
Step 3 – Sweet Items
Cake – the absolute go to. Perfect for all occasions and ideal for larger groups. Without a shadow of a doubt, we would take the Apricot and Ginger Cake from Simply Delicious Cake Company – it’s just so summery!
Biscuits – No picnic is complete without some sort of biscuit! Teoni’s Cookies melt in the mouth All Butter Shortbread are packaged in a sturdy box ensuring the safe arrival to a lovely picnic spot.
Popcorn – A great treat to take in your hamper, especially if there are children present. We are totally obsessed with the sweet and salty popcorn from Yorkshire Popcorn. Like the crisps, these come in a handy, sealable drum and the bonus feature – they are suitable for diabetics and coeliacs!
Step 4 – Drinks
You can make your picnic as grown up or as child friendly as you wish! However, does anything beat a refreshing glass of wine in the sun?!
White wine – try the delicate, crisp Sauvignon Blanc from Montgras. Be sure to take a wine cooler on those warm summer days!
Beer – something to wash down the crisps and olives. Why not branch out and try the delicious selection of beers from Wold Top, or Hollows and Fentimans alcoholic ginger beer, a very retro summer drink.
Pimms – The number one British summer drink. Fill a jug with ice, add one third Pimms and two thirds lemonade, chuck in slices of cucumber, strawberries, oranges and lemons and top with mint for the most delightful king of all drinks. For a slightly healthier version, substitute lemonade for Qcumber – a deliciously light drink made from a blend of cucumber and carbonated spring water – it makes the cocktail even more refreshing – trust us!
For kids you could make a delicious, fruity mocktail which is fun for them to make themselves too! Try this delicious strawberry lemonade mocktail – fill a jug with ice, pour equal parts non-alcoholic ginger beer and lemonade into a jug. Take a large handful of fresh strawberries and cut them into tiny pieces. Add to the jug and mix well. Garnish with a lemon slice and a straw. Cheers!
Romantic picnic for two? This calls for Moet! And Chocca Mocca’s picnic handy white chocolate covered strawberries. That combination must be the epitome of love.
So what are you waiting for! Forget expensive and fancy meals out this week, it’s all about the picnic and all these tips should make packing for it, a complete doddle…or should we say, a piece of cake! We now have an uncontrollable urge to play rounders, snack on scotch eggs and sip Sauvignon Blanc in the sun.
If you want to check out our wicker hampers for an almost complete picnic experience, please follow this link … and just add a blanket, some friends and maybe a sandwich or two!
Happy National Picnic Week!
Perfect tomato and mozzarella recipe (Serves2-4)
- 2 chicken breasts
- 2 mozzarella balls
- 1 spring onion, sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed and finely chopped
- 2 handfuls fresh basil, chopped
- 100g sundried tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 165g / 1 small jar peppadew peppers, diced
- 2 tbsp capers
- 50g cornichons, sliced
- 250g baby plum tomatoes, halved, then quartered
- 150g yellow or orange baby tomatoes, halved then quartered
- 40g rocket
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp runny honey
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- Salt & pepper
- Chop the chicken into bitesize chunks. Heat oil in a pan and add the chicken. Cook on medium heat and add the mustard and soy sauce. Stir well. Once the chicken is cooked (approx ten mins) add the honey and stir well. After a couple of minutes remove from the heat, transfer to a plate and leave to cool.
- Once cooled, tear the mozzarella into chunks, combine with the rest of the ingredients and the chicken, season to taste, add a few dashes of balsamic and enjoy!