It’s National Picnic Week! And with the amazing weather we’ve been having recently, it’s the perfect time for it too! Picnics are one of my favourite ways to spend a summer’s afternoon because everyone, old and young, friends and family, can enjoy it. So here, I wanted to give you the Picnic 411 – where to picnic in London, what to take with you and, most importantly, the best food for a picnic!
- Primrose Hill – the view over London never gets old, which is why this is a popular (and my favourite) picnic spot.
- Hyde Park – find somewhere near the Serpentine Lake where it’s so tranquil.
- St James Park – a smaller park just next to Green Park, but watch out for the Pelicans!
- Lincoln’s Inn Fields – the largest public square in the city and probably the most picturesque too.
- Holland Park – explore the beautiful Japanese Kyoto Garden with its own waterfall, as well as picnic benches if you’re not into sitting on the floor.
- Hampstead Heath – an old favourite of mine. There’s so much room to spread out, it feels as though you’re miles out of London.
- A big picnic blanket – of course, a necessity!
- Cups, plates and cutlery – preferably lightweight ones, to make the picnic hamper that bit easier to carry.
- Hand wipes, napkins and bin bags – to minimise the picnic mess!
- A cooler bag – for drinks and anything else they needs to be kept cold.
- Something to do – to spend all afternoon picnicking, there needs to be entertainment. Whether that’s something active, like rounders, or to be played on the picnic blanket, like boggle. Either way, they both get very competitive with me!
- Lots of delicious food!! But crucially, that’s transportable and not messy to eat.
Sandwiches – the essential base for any good picnic. I like to use oat bread for my sandwiches, but there are so many different bread options out there. It’s the same for sandwich fillings too. At the moment, I’m loving homemade basil and sun-dried tomato pesto or tahini and cucumber.
Savoury Scones – Even I admit that savoury scones can be amazing too. I love this Tomato, Courgette and Olive recipe from the blog because it tastes like a pizza! It’s a good alternative to a quiche or something similar if, like me, you can’t enjoy that kind of thing.
Salad – You can absolutely make a delicious salad that can be taken on-the-go. For me, the most important thing would be to make a dressing separately in a jam jar or tupperware, so your salad isn’t soggy before you sit down to eat it. Salads can be made completely to your own preferences, but my standard is always similar to this Rainbow Salad on the blog made with red cabbage, kale and carrots. I also love to add seeds on top for that extra crunch.
Hummus, Guac and Crudités – dips and veggie batons are one of my favourite things, and they always go down well in our cream-free cream teas too. Hummus and Guacamole are my go-tos, not least because they can be easily homemade the night before. For the veggies, I find a mix of carrots, peppers and cucumber is perfect.
Scones with Jam – A slightly messy option, but so worth it! I always take scones with me on a picnic. As long as you bring a decent knife and the jam in a separate pot, they’re relatively easy to eat. For summer, these Lemon Scones are fresh, zesty and most importantly, delicious – they’ll definitely be the star of the picnic!
Cookies – The perfect option for a picnic! Cookies are easy to transport and so quick to make you could do them in the morning so they stay fresh. I’d recommend these Blueberry and Coconut Cookies from the blog. If you’re after a classic cookie, I’ll always go for either my trusted Chocolate Cookies or Oat and Raisin Cookies, where the recipe is in the book.
Flapjacks – Another mess-free option, making flapjacks ideal for a picnic. My favourite would have to be Peanut Butter and Raspberry Flapjacks, as they seem to get yummier each time I make them! For something less traditional, these Matcha Granola Bars don’t need to be baked and are unbelievably delicious, even if you aren’t a matcha fan.
Bites – Little bite-sized sweet treats are great for picnics, as you can graze on them throughout the afternoon. They might sound slightly out of season, but these Raw Ginger Bread Balls could not be better for a picnic. The same goes for the Salted Tahini and Coconut Fudge from the book. Finally, I’d definitely recommend making your own fruit crisps – the Pear and Apple option can also be found in the book.