Outdoors: How to plan the perfect picnic

Having a picnic is one of our Great British summer pastimes and who can blame us? Fresh air, good food, great company and lazy hot afternoons. Okay well perhaps less of the hot. But before you reach for the hamper and start heading to the park, take a look at our top 10 tips on how to plan the perfect picnic... 

1. You may remember the bread and beer, but will you remember the brolly (we are in the UK after all) and bottle opener? Plan ahead and make a picnic packing list and don’t forget to include things like napkins, sunscreen and a rubbish bag.

2. Put those phones away and bring some good old-fashioned games that everyone can get involved in like football, frisbee or your favourite board games.

3. Pack food in light weight, resealable and if possible, disposable containers so you spend less time cleaning up after you've finished.

4. Keep non-perishable foods in a separate basket away from perishable food. This way you'll save cooler space and ice for items that really need it. Try not to overfill the cool bag as the more stuff you pack in, the less cold it will be.

5. Pack your cool bag in reverse order so put your dessert in first at the bottom, then the main course and last to go in will be your starters. This way there is no frantic rummaging around and what you eat last will remain the coolest.

6. Wicker hampers are practical and stylish. This one from Epicurean is designed with a snazzy blue and white interior lining. Inside you’ll find a set off two plastic plates, cutlery sets, plastic wine glasses, salt and pepper shakers and two matching napkins. A jolly good idea for an intimate rendezvous don't you think?

7. Where possible freeze drinks the night before. Take them out and wrap them up in foil to prevent them from dripping or getting other things wet. Not only will this keep them cooler for longer but will help other food packed close by stay cool.

8. For an all-in-one cool bag and hamper try the Picnic Sling Back from LeisureGrow. It’s strong, sturdy, spacious and comes with aluminium foil lined compartments and a large stay-cool storage compartment. If that wasn’t enough, they also throw in plates, cutlery and a drinkware set so all you need now is to fill it with your favourite foodie delights.

9. When it comes to food, rather than soggy sandwiches why not buy fresh baguettes and prepare them on arrival. Fill them with chicken, coleslaw, cheese and ham. Quiche is quick and easy to cool, pack and eat and then savoury bits like pasta salads, bread sticks, fruit, crisps and dips are a great to share. However, be sure to avoid ice cream or anything too sickly sweet – wasps will love them!

10. Pick seating suitable to your setting - so if you're picnicking at the beach, make sure your blanket is big enough to keep the sand at bay, and that any chairs or cushions are waterproof. At the park you'll need a nice soft blanket, but also consider adding a waterproof tarp underneath in case the grass is wet. And don't forget cushions are always a nice addition for lounging and relaxing.

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Keya Modessa, ACHICA Features Writer

View all posts by Keya Modessa, ACHICA Features Writer