The perfect Picnic Checklist including food & activities

Summer is almost upon us and with it comes the joy of eating al fresco. Take the stress out of your picnic planning by making sure you have the important items and food to fully enjoy the experience.

Preparing for a great picnic doesn’t mean you need spend a fortune on tableware essentials. If you’re in a hurry, items already in your home may hold the key.

 

Essentials items

Waterproof blanket – big enough for everybody to sit comfortably on any surface (even bumpy grass)

PACMAT outdoor blanket DSC_3640(1)

Kitchen paper – Compact, absorbent kitchen paper towels that doubles up as both kitchen towel and a napkin, it’s the must-have picnic basket essential.

Snack holders

Small and light cutting board – Save yourself a potential injury by making sure a cutting board is on your packing list. This need not be fancy or large but foods always need a small chop or cut here and there, so it’s essential when faced with the great outdoors.

Shower cap – You will now wonder why I am suggesting shower caps for a pic nic. Bugs can be a nasty nuisance but prevent the little critters getting in your food by using a shower cap to fit over snacks and dishes. Less fiddly and more durable than cling film they are inexpensive to buy and reusable. Plus they are available in a variety of colours and patterns if you’re planning a theme.

Cooling – To keep things cool there’s NO need for ice packs. This does take a little forethought but if time is on your side freeze a few drinking bottles with water. These can act as ice packs to keep all your goodies fresh and then later when you realise you’ve forgotten to bring enough water they’ll be ready to drink to quench your thirst.

Rubbish bags – Last but not least remembering some rubbish bags will make cleaning up after yourselves much easier. A black bag is great for groups or failing that keep hold of your carrier bags from your trolley dash shop.

 

Food and Drinks

Here’s a list of practical and delicious finger food and typical pic nic drinks to include in your perfect picnic:

Smoked salmon – Nothing says grown up picnic like smoked salmon, cream cheese, delicious brown bread and a fresh lemon. These easy to eat items can make the basis of your luxury hamper; simply layer the smoked salmon onto the brown bread, slather on some cream cheese and, if you have some, add some dill before squeezing fresh lemon juice all over. Perfection!
Cheese and crackers – Cheese is an excellent addition to a picnic hamper. Cheese can be used as main, enjoyed with crackers, celery and grapes. Pack a range of cheeses which offer different flavours and textures; Brie, Stilton, Cheddar, Camembert and Manchego all have varying different flavours and textures which means you can mix and match to your heart’s content. Pack some salted crackers and pile on the cheese!

Caviar – Not just for royalty and the elite, caviar is available is most supermarkets and adds a hint of sophistication to your picnic hamper. Eaten in small doses, caviar can be used as an appetiser for your picnic. Simply layer small amounts of caviar on salted crackers or on blinis, small thin pancakes, and add a little cream cheese and dill for the perfect pre-picnic appetiser!

French stick – A crusty French baton provides the basis for a picnic. Ideal for placing cheese and meats on, a freshly baked crusty French stick is fantastically flavoursome and has an aroma to die for.

Cold cured meats – Meats such as salami, Parma ham and prosciutto are great sandwich fillers and make the ideal filling for fresh French bread. Fine and salty, add some salad and dill flavoured mayonnaise to your sandwich for a taste sensation.

Salad – Salad is the ideal accompaniment to any picnic. It can be used to accompany other mains, used as a side dish or added to other picnic items. Tossed leaves, tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, peppers, celery and spring onions drizzled with balsamic vinegar creates the perfect salad. One of my favourite pic nic food is Italian insalata di riso (rice salad) including tuna, boiled eggs, sweetcorn, green peas, fontina cheese.

Cake – There’s nothing more British that a Victoria sponge cake, so get yours hand on one for the perfect British picnic. Cake can be easily transported and can be sliced and eaten out of napkins by hand or placed on a place and accompanied by berries and cream.

Lemon Drizzle Cake waitrose recipe

Lemon Drizzle Cake made with a recipe provided by Waitrose card – Recipe here https://londonmumsmagazine.com/2014/recipe-lemon-drizzle-cake

Strawberries – Strawberries and cream are another brilliantly traditional British plate to be enjoyed anywhere. Include some fresh British organic strawberries in your picnic and serve with fresh full cream for a delicious and easy picnic desert.

Strawberries and cream wimbledon
Champagne – No traditional British picnic is complete without a bottle of bubbly. To be enjoyed chilled, champagne is the perfect addition to any picnic!

 

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About Monica Costa

Monica Costa founded London Mums in September 2006 after her son Diego’s birth together with a group of mothers who felt the need of meeting up regularly to share the challenges and joys of motherhood in metropolitan and multicultural London. London Mums is the FREE and independent peer support group for mums and mumpreneurs based in London https://londonmumsmagazine.com and you can connect on Twitter @londonmums

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