I declare picnic season officially open! Get ready for a summer of meals on the move with these stylish and practical picnic must-haves. including brilliant eco-friendly and local buys.
Call of the Wild
Ditch the uninspiring tableware and go wild with these cool safari print plates by illustrator Yvonne Ellen. Your opportunity to spot the big five, while eating your five a day.
It’s not a great picnic without a healthy measure of Muddy Award-winning gin to whet the appetite, right? This Rhubarb gin from Warks-based Shakespeare Distillery is the perfect summery tipple. Great served with lime and Ginger Ale, or alternatively try with Aromatic Tonic.
£34 (59cl) or £17.50 (20cl)
Hop to it
Table for six? This super-sized British-made Kissing Rabbits blanket is the perfect impromptu picnic perch – waterproof bottom to prevent damp derrieres and big enough for the whole family plus a couple of strays.
Are You Being Served?
Serve your sarnies in style on this cool, colourful tray with graphic leaf design. It’s made from eco-friendly bamboo, plus you can whack it in the dishwasher once you’re done – result! Available from Dobbies Garden Centre, Rugby or online.
Mind your own beeswax
Instead of cling film, wrap your butties or cakes in a reusable beeswax wrap or a vegan food plastic-free food wrap like this best-selling pack of three from Bee Bee – a great all rounder with three different sizes available at Leamington’s Zero store. A large BeeBee covers a decent sized bowl or a large sandwich, while medium is perfect for a small sandwich, a chunk of cheese or a piece of butternut squash. A mini BeeBee will happily house half an avocado or lemon or seal a bottle of wine (if you have leftovers…ahem!). Available for click & collect.
Pack of three, £15
Now we all work from home, briefcases are redundant. Not this portable one from Oliver Bonas (found in Leamington Spa). Like a James Bond gadget it goes from bag to barbecue. Perfect for grilling on the go.
No need to raid the kitchen for utensils, this handy crab can lend a claw. It comes with mini scissors, bottle opener, can opener, mini knife, and more. Available from Berks-based The Corner Shop.
The must-have picnic accessory? Hand sanitiser, of course! Bucks-based brand Purdy & Figg is just the ticket – a 70% alcohol, no-nasties sanitiser with a heavenly blend of sweet orange, pink grapefruit and niaouli essential oils, naturally. Each glass bottle (eco creds? Tick!) delivers over 300 spritzes.
£5.99 for 50ml
Stack the adventure
Collect memories on picnics during a cup of coffee with this handy stackable environmentally-friendly, durable Dutch design by Amstersdam-based company Zuperzozial made from bamboo and corn. Plates, big bowls, snack plates, boxes and kids sets are available in a range of lovely colours in plain and patterned designs.
A stack of six multi-colour cups from £19.99
These Keep Leaf Pouch reusable cotton bags are the perfect alternative to disposable plastic bags and cling film. Ideal for sandwiches, snacks, travel and lunch boxes, they come in a choice of fun prints and feature a water resistant polyester liner and secure velcro closure. Made through a women’s co-operative in India and sold by Warks-based Bumbles Coffee Shop and Lifestyle, Studley (& also Zero, Leamington Spa).
Keep your cool
Breeze towards your picnic spot with your spread gliding behind you. This brilliant 30L cool bag from John Lewis makes lugging all the kit practically effortless.
Table for four?
Picnicking just got serious – and we’re here for it. A foldaway table and benches is the future of al fresco on the go dining. It’s not exactly lightweight, but who cares when you don’t have to try and drag yourself off the floor.
Bambootique has some quirky designs in eco-friendly outdoor picnicwear including plates, mugs, lunchboxes and kids’ sets. including this fab feline cup and plate set on Etsy.
There is nothing worse than tepid wine. Before you hunt for the ice packs decant your sauv blanc into a 1.8L Chilly’s bottle and your good to go. It keeps liquids cold for 24 hours and hot for 12 hours.
This natural old-school Rattan basket with handles and a lid from Zara Home is perfect for a picnic. It also comes in white in a larger size for £39.99.
Keep it outdoors
Say goodbye to squashed sarnies and hard-boiled eggs with over 100 mouth-watering recipes in Laura Manson’s The Picnic Cookbook: Outdoor Feasts for Every Occasion, in partnership with the National Trust. These meals-on-the-move range from picnics to barbecues and campfire food, plus NT picnic spot suggestions peppered throughout.