Ultimate 10 Quintessentially British Picnic Essentials
The roadmap to new "normal" has seen dining alfresco back on the menu since Monday 29th March, and we could not be happier to get together with our friends and enjoy refreshingly cold drinks, snack on the best picnic food and soak up much needed vitamin D, is the weather finally decides if its coming or going with those frosty spells and April snow...
What is a Picnic?
The concept of eating outdoors is, of course as old as time, but when did the idea of a ‘picnic’ first appear? The word itself, is believed to have come from the French pique un niche, literally ‘pick a place’ which could be heard with growing popularity after the French Revolution when it became popular to dally a while and enjoy a bite to eat when exploring the newly open-to-all Royal Parks.
But does this apparently Gallic origin mean we have to give up on our British claim to the picnic? Not so fast. Even if we didn’t have a fancy name for it, we have a long tradition tracing back to medieval times of eating a feast outdoors before a hunt, when pasties, hams and baked meats were served. Who doesn't love a good pasty?!
We also know that, in the early 19th century, a frightfully fashionable set of London dandies formed the Picnic Society and would meet for alfresco high jinks and food in the gardens around Oxford Street.
A quintessentially British picnic doesn't happen without some must-haves. We have put together the ultimate guide to packing the best picnic this summer, full of essentials for any occasion.
It all starts with a picnic basket.
The Perfect Basket
You won't find a more quintessentially British makers of hampers than Fortnum & Mason. A British institution in its own right. Their hampers will become family's cherished and loved pride possession.
The Perfect Blanket
Our Cornish friends, Atlantic Blankets are your go-to for British 100% wool beautifully crafted picnic blankets. Lined with waterproof belly and attractive leather handle, these herringbone wool picnic blankets are your essential picnic accessory. Available in a range of colours.
And if your alfresco dining turns into a late one, it is always good to have a roll up mattress in the boot, ready to spend the night star-gazing but without a broken back the next morning. Our friends at @belltentuk have partnered with our sister company @naturalmatuk to create this perfect outdoor portable, rollup mattress, which is natural, sustainable and supremely comfortable.
The Perfect Picnic Food
The Perfect Picnic Tipple(s)
Must-Have Picnic Accessories
Another British institution of quality is Falcon Enamelware. Founded in 1920 by Joe Kleiner & Sons, Falcon Enamelware was originally manufactured in the Black Country area near Birmingham, England. Their distinctively ice-white with the blue rim design is still instantly recognisable to this day and is an essential addition to your picnic gear.
Keeping that wine chilled during balmy summer days is no mean feat, but British brand Greenfield Collection will keep the bubbles cold and crisp with their insulated wine carriers. Perfect to sling on one shoulder on your walk to that perfect picnic spot (which we know might take you a few tries before you find that "perfect" spot).
And the essential of modern days is of course a hand sanitiser that is gentle to your skin. Bramley have created a mini section of hand sanitisers, perfect to hand out to your picnic party guests.