No basket? No problem. Part of the picnic’s appeal is its ad hoc nature, so go with the flow and improvise with our top tips for perfect picnic accoutrements.
High summer. School’s out and the pavements are packed with hot office workers and gaggles of confused tourists. What you need to do is pack up the car, ditch the city and head for the hills: an afternoon spent amid fields and streams and under tree canopies and bright blue skies will restore your equilibrium. Lying on a picnic blanket with a glass of something cold in one hand, and a plateful of something delicious in the other, is a picture-perfect way to idle away the heady days of summer.
Take inspiration from Brideshead Revisited and feast on strawberries and champagne, or enjoy a boating picnic a la Rat and Mole in 'The Wind in the Willows': The Mole begged to be allowed to unpack it all by himself. He took out all the mysterious packets one by one and arranged their contents, gasping 'Oh my! Oh my!' at each fresh surprise.'
It may be a little optimistic to believe we’ll be picnicking all summer long, but if rain does stop play, you can always eat your picnic on your knees in the car. There are certain British traditions that will never die.
No British summer would be complete without a picnic. Pack the perfect picnic with our top tips.
1. A wine crate makes a great container for packaging and transporting your picnic. Sturdy sides keep it upright in the car and, upturned, it’s the perfect little table.
2. Use mason jars to transport salads, chutneys, and desserts. As well as looking the part, they are easy to fill, pack and can even be used as crockery in times of need. Plus, you can re-seal and take home any leftovers – from fridge to field and back again.
3. A robust bread board or tray at the centre of your picnic rug makes for a mini table, meaning no more spilled drinks or squashed sandwiches.
4. Want to keep mess and waste to a minimum? Pack each picnicker their own meal in a cardboard food box, then hand them round when you reach your destination.
5. Ice packs are a picnic essential for keeping cool. Not got any? They are easy to make using just two simple supplies. Squeeze washing up liquid into a ziplock bag, place it flat and push out any bubbles, before sealing and placing into the freezer. Once frozen, use to keep your chilled picnic items nice and cool.