Love eating al fresco? Then here are my top tips for planning a memorable picnic
One of the most memorable picnics I ever had involved a beach, a storm, and some cold sausages. An unexpected weather front had moved in off the sea, but rather than run off the beach with all the other tourists, we huddled under a parasol, wrapped the picnic blanket round our legs and watched the black clouds approach.
Sure enough it poured down for a while, but some chilled prosecco soon took the edge off and we were rewarded with one of the most spectacular rainbows I have ever seen. Only a handful of surfers and us were left to enjoy it, which made it even more special.
This I believe is the secret to British picnicking. If you wait for the perfect weather, then you’ll be waiting all summer. But if you have a picnic kit waiting in the car or by the door for whenever the mood strikes, and are prepared to stick it out come rain or shine, then you’ll be guaranteed some fantastic memories.
What to pack?
-Have a decent cool bag and some ice packs already in the freezer which can be popped in at a moment’s notice.
-Packing proper crockery and cutlery allows you to concentrate on enjoying the food, rather than trying to figure out how to balance a pork pie on your knee.
-Other essentials are a corkscrew for unforeseen celebrations and toasts, and a couple of tea lights in jam jars to create an instant romantic atmosphere.
-A simple groundsheet (available from any outdoor or camping shop) is fantastically versatile, either as extra ground cover or can be slung up as a tarp with some bungee cords to provide you with an instant ‘roof’.
What to eat?
All food just seems to taste better outdoors but be imaginative with your picnic. Local ingredients can add something special, whether its eggs from the local farmer, veg from the honesty box in the village you passed through, or even some freshly caught fish (possibly caught by your own fair hand?).
Whatever your feast consists of, eating outdoors is one of those summer pleasures that is all the sweeter for being fleeting. A memory to sustain you on a wind lashed January day…
This tip comes from The Fresh Air Fix Survival Guide, which is packed with seasonal ideas for reconnecting with the great outdoors. Now available in paperback or as an ebook from Lulu.com