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The classic British picnic is a tradition favoured by many and is one that is enjoyed regularly throughout the (rather short) British summertime. Whether it’s a day out with the family, an afternoon spent with friends or a date for you and your partner, a picnic provides the perfect setting for good company and even better cuisine.

With the average UK-resident picnicking at least three times a year (National Picnic Week, 2018), we wanted to share a few tips for creating the ultimate al fresco dining experience

Take more than one blanket

No matter where you choose to go, sitting directly on grass or sand isn’t the most comfortable and we’ve made the mistake of taking too small a blanket a few too many times. For this reason, we recommend always taking more blankets than required – there’s nothing worse than scratchy legs or bugs crawling on you while you tuck into your homemade goodies!

Use a cool bag

While a trendy basket looks divine in a picnic setting, it’s only functional to hold cupboard goods such as breads and crackers. Although both are crucial for the ultimate picnic feast, a cool bag is of far greater importance. On sunny days, keeping picnic food cool is the most important part of ensuring your meal isn’t ruined, so use a cool bag to keep all of your fridge foods fresh.

Enjoy a nice glass of fizz

If you’re planning an adult picnic, why not crack open a bottle of the finest fizz to add a little zing to the occasion? Our sister company, Cadman Fine Wines offers an extensive selection of wines and champagnes and its knowledgeable team would be more than happy to recommend the best bottle to complement your choice of picnic nibbles.

Write a shopping list

Shopping for picnic foods without a strategic list can lead to disaster. You’re likely to end up with far too much food, or not enough food, so planning ahead is essential. To make it easier for you, we’ve put together our go-to list of picnic must-haves, including our favourite picnic preserves from Heartisan Fine Foods, of course!

Shopping list

Sausage rolls
Pork pies
Scotch eggs
Boiled eggs
Fresh bread
Cold meats
Cold pizza
Crackers (why not try our range from Highland Crackers or Most Marvellous Baking?)
Potato salad
Pasta salad
Sliced pepper
Sliced cucumber
Posh Piccalilli by Newton & Pott
Carrot and Coriander Relish by What A Pickle!
Chilli & Tomato Chutney by Green Kitchen Preserves
Hot Chilli & Garlic Pickle by Springfield Kitchen
Mango Salsa Chutney by Newton & Pott
Smoky Tomato Relish by Clare’s Preserves
Sweet Pickled Cucumbers by Clare’s Preserves

Don’t forget to also pack plenty of tasty drinks and a lot of water! Other essentials we always take along are napkins, plates, tumblers, cutlery, wet wipes, a bin liner, a tray (for standing drinks on) and a chopping board – that way you’re prepped for anything!

Until next time,

The Heartisan Fine Foods team

P.S. If you’re from Northamptonshire and are planning a picnic, be sure to visit The Deli @ Castle Ashby to grab some of the tastiest homemade picnic treats. Pork pies, scotch eggs, potato salad, sausage rolls and quiche are just some of the many things on offer, and all come highly recommended!