London is one of the greenest big cities in the world. It is hard to walk more than a few minutes and not reach a park or leafy garden- particularly in the centre of the city. And the summer is the best time to enjoy those parks.
Last weekend, the Pal and I were itching to get outside. The thermometer was edging towards 30, and the sun was shining. We picked Green Park simply because of it’s convenient proximity to Fortnum & Mason, purveyors of the finest picnics goods in all the land since 1707.
All you really need for a picnic is a hamper and a big blanket. Our hamper was my favourite Matt & Nat backback, because of it’s square shape it kept all the foods upright, and it looks great too.
We filled it with: champagne, cherries, smoked trout pate (with grissini), and a typical English pork pie. There have been more sophisticated picnics out there- the recent surge of the #OttolenghiPicnic hashtag on instagram certainly proves that- but it was delicious. Completely perfect for a late Saturday afternoon tipple.
I had a great time, and I want you to have a great time too if you are picnicking this weekend (and I urge you to because it’s great). So, here are my top Picnic Tips:
-Bring Ice. The Pal and I had champagne, which we could mercifully keep cool with our icebucket, but any drink will warm far too fast in the sunshine so come prepared.
-If drinking fizz, bring proper glasses. Nothing kills a great champgne as much as a complimentary plastic cup you picked up from the salad bar at M&S.
—Bring the biggest blanket you can find. The one in the picture is a simple beach throw acquired in Rio de Janeiro last year, it’s roughly the size of a kingsize bed, and perfect for park adventures.
-Think about your food. Cheese will sweat in the sun, cold things will spoil (unless you have an icebucket), and overly complicated things like salads, cold pastas and certain sandwiches can be too complicated for outside. I mean, if you are eating without plates, things that drip can be your WORST ENEMY.
-Don’t forget the napkins.
-Pitch up in the shade of a tree- but right at the edge. This will allow you to keep your foods and cameras in the shade but to lie back in the sunshine.
And what about you? What are your top Picnic Tips?