With the bars and restaurants closed for the foreseeable future, we’re having to embrace outdoor socialising; while the South Africans are masters of the barbecue, it’s the British who have perfected the art of the picnic. The soggy sandwiches, thermos flasks and crushed crisps of the 90s are long gone; the modern picnic has taken on a deeply nostalgic tone: we have entered the era of scotch eggs, cooked meats and a glass of something sparkling. And, since we can’t eat out, it’s the perfect time to splash out on the contents of our hampers instead:
Dukeshill has to be the first port of call for anyone in search of luxury picnic items. Cuts of smoked salmon, ham and chicken can be ordered directly to your door, along with perfectly gooey scotch eggs, artisan cheeses, chocolate tiffin and bottles of rosé. It has a royal warrant of approval for good reason. Order individual items or a ready-made picnic hamper. From £56.
Forman & Field
Forman & Field are known for their fine cuts of meat but their deli offerings are also mouth-wateringly superb: they will happily furnish you with freshly made flamiches, tartlets and patés – all available for delivery.
The Marks and Spencer tea in Kensington hamper is bound to lift the spirits of those long-lost family members you’ve been missing during lockdown. It’s hard to go wrong with viennese whirls and Victoria sponge. £40.
Fortnum & Mason’s
You don’t have to splash out on a full hamper to incorporate some Fortnum’s magic into your picnic. An impressive range of Rillettes, patés, smoked fish and pork pies are available to order online.
Waitrose and M&S have done a fine job of refining our picnic tastes over the years – together they’ve turned food-to-go into something rather appetising. These Bakewell inspired cupcakes are just the sort of retro throwback that will make your picnic memorable.
The Little Picnic Company
This is as close to eating out as it’s going get in these strange times. The Front Lawn Picnic from the Little Picnic Company will ensure you don’t have to lift a finger. It includes everything from olives, crusty rolls, humous and potato salad to chocolate mousse, Grenache, Tyrells crisps and frittata. No one will go hungry, that’s for sure. £79.
Miel bakery in Fitzrovia are delivering across London postcodes. Their offerings include: sourdough loaves, savoury pastries, cookies, loaf cakes, as well as tartes tatin and mini madeleines. Fresh bread is always a crowd pleaser and lockdown has prompted a surge in the number of high quality bakeries offering delivery. You can read our round up of the best ones here.
Farmison & Co
British butcher Farmison & Co has launched the Great British Reunion box which, as the name suggests, will liven up any gathering of family and friends. Not strictly a picnic but too tantalising to exclude. The hamper includes sirloin steak, luxury chips (if that’s not an oxymoron), truffle and parmesan butter, wine and fine chocolate bars. In short, everything you need for a feast. £100.