24 June 2020

How To Have The Perfect Picnic

picnic, food blogger, lifestyle, flatlay, sol, london
With the weather getting hotter in the UK this week, a picnic is the perfect way to spend time outdoors. Whether you are eating al fresco with your household or having a socially-distanced lunch, here is my guide to creating the perfect picnic...

Set the scene
Pick a nice spot. For a lunchtime picnic, I like half shade half sun location, so you and your fellow picnickers can choose where they want to sit. In the evenings, it is nice to find the last sunlight spot of grass to sit in. Picnic blankets or something to sit on is necessary. I like my waterproof picnic blanket (featured in the picture above) as it is thick and comfortable so works on various surfaces. If you are having a picnic in your garden, I'd add cushions for extra comfort.

Music is a nice addition to the picnic, so take a portable speaker with you. However, if you are in a park or public space, look around to make sure that your music isn't disturbing others.

Food
When it comes to the food, variety is key. My essentials at any picnic are:
- My quinoa salad (recipe here) which is fresh, light but still satisfying
- Chopped pineapple (chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours before packing up)
- M&S Salt & Black Pepper Combo Mix a.k.a. the best crisps in the world. Waitrose & Partners do a similar mix but they are not as good as the M&S ones. Try them and thank me later.
- Yakisoba is my speciality, a Japanese stir-fry noodle dish. Tasty even when it's cold and I pack it with lots of cabbage and cauliflower.

Other nice picnic food options: cold homemade pizza, my three bean salad, crudité with dips, halloumi, houmous and salad wraps

Most importantly, don't forget cutlery! Nothing is more annoying than getting to the park and realising that you have forgotten forks for the salad. I wrap silverware in a tea-towel and slot it into a tote bag alongside the tupperware.

Drinks
An essential at any picnic is water. I take my Chilly's bottle* with me to stay hydrated, which is great as it keeps liquids cold for 24 hours - even when sitting in the sun. If I'm lucky, my boyfriend brings freshly-squeezed orange juice from home which is an excellent picnic addition.

In terms of alcoholic beverages, my favourite picnic option is bottled lager - Sol and Asahi are perfect in the summer (just remember to bring a bottle opener). Prosecco is a good option for a celebration as you don't need a corkscrew. If you're in the mood for draught beer, check out this handy map, which shows the location of pubs serving takeaway pints across the UK. Some also serve Aperol Spritz and Pimms, which are great summer drinks. It goes without saying to drink responsibly and take all rubbish home or back to the pub to recycle.

Let me know what your picnic essentials are in the comments below and stay safe in the sun! Getting sunburn, just once every 2 years, can triple your risk of melanoma skin cancer. See my SPF Guide here.

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