The Perfect Summer Picnic

Picnics are so quintessentially a part of the British Summertime aren’t they. Think about things like Wimbledon, or a day at the races, or messing about on the river: they all seem to involve a wicker basket filled with all your favourite foods and a good bottle of wine. This Summer, as things begin to reopen in the wake of the biggest lockdown the UK has ever seen, picnics seem to be even more important and valued, a lovely way to reconnect with friends and family, and also to enjoy some tourist attractions that have reopened, but without any cafe or food outlets opened.

But what really makes a perfect picnic?

A picnic basket

I love the traditional wicker picnic baskets that make me come across all Brideshead Revisited. You can still pick these up from places like John Lewis and Wayfair for under £40 and they certainly help set the scene for a picnic beautifully. I am also a fan of the 1950’s vintage style picnic sets that often come with their own flasks and sandwich boxes. These are often kitsch and cute, but very practical too. You can stalk eBay for these.

The perfect wine

All the best picnics have wine that totally suits the season, and I use an independent wine shop to find wines that best match my picnic. In my opinion, Rose is the perfect Summer wine, being that touch lighter. I love Montecillo Rioja Rosé 2017 | Bronze Medal it is a delightful rosé with the aromas of flowers, strawberries and cream, a winner of Decanter Bronze Medal. This is actually perfect if, like me, strawberries and cream are a key part of your Summer picnic.

If your picnic is all about cheese though, I would actually opt for a Summer red as a more unusual option. The La Tourelle 2016 | Carignan Syrah Grenache | IGP Pays d’Oc is a bright, lively and delicious wine, it can be enjoyed lightly chilled. Pair this with a water cracker and a mature chedder and just luxuriate in the divine flavour.
My Summer picnic food choices are made at my local farm shop, Essington Farm. They have a brilliant range of high quality, Summer fare that is just perfect to add to your picnic basket. I choose a homemade cheese and tomato quiche, pots of mixed salads including apple,mint and onion and Waldorf Salad, and the amazing baked ham and fresh bread that is still often warm. Fresh strawberries and their little jars of clotted cream are another treat, and they also have delicious Summer tarts that are literally to die for.
This week is promising to be a scorcher, so grab that sunscreen and a picnic basket and find a nice spot for a picnic, even if it is just in the garden. Just don’t forget your corkscrew…

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