Picnic season is almost here!

With summer just around the corner and azure blue skies making a more permanent appearance, it’s time to get your picnic hampers out from hibernation! Here are some of our top picnic essentials for 2016.

1. Happy hydration

Water is an essential, but, to add a little zest, infuse your still or sparkling water with slices of fresh fruit and vegetables, such as lime, cucumber and orange for a summer tang. An added bonus is that the flavoured water can be used as a spritzer for any alcoholic beverages.

2. Play with tradition

Eating al fresco means you can afford to have a lot of room for culinary experimentation; why not try and focus on enhancing flavours for cold food dishes? Or mix sweet and savoury elements together, such as “baking” a pistachio, chorizo and tomato ‘cake’? Or having meringue and strawberry crisps?

3. Ice to see you

Ice is your best friend, as without it, warm food presents itself as a breeding ground for lots of bacteria. Make sure to keep everything cool with refreezable ice packs, or alternatively fill a few resealable bags with ice cubes. Not only will this keep food chilled but the ice cubes can be added to drinks once you’re all settled in.

4. Compact condiments

To save on picnic hamper space, some condiments such as tomato ketchup, salad cream and mustard come in miniature jars that are small enough to put into a handbag. The jars are also refillable so can be used when your next picnic rolls around. You could alternatively pack condiment sachets to further save on space.

5. Butter fingers

As there doesn’t tend to be any sinks handy when in the great outdoors, pack some hand wipes to not only clean up any mucky hands, but to help clean all the cutlery and tableware after the picnic.

6. Plastic fantastic

Invest in some durable, sturdy reusable plastic cutlery – there’s nothing worse than tucking into your pasta salad and having your fork snap in two right before your very eyes! The same goes for plastic cups/wine glasses, with any accidental tumbles not being a problem as the plastic cup will most definitely survive!

7. Oh crumbs!

Don’t forget to pack napkins; you can either use lightweight cloth ones, or colourful recycled paper ones to match perfectly with your chosen cutlery or picnic hamper.

8. Are you sitting comfortably?

The most key picnic item of them all… the picnic blanket! It should both be large and light-weight: large enough to hold all your picnic bits and pieces, and light enough that it easily folds away and isn’t a hassle to carry around.

9. Optional extra: Radio Ga-Ga

Add some audio summer vibes by packing a portable radio to jam along to when you’re tucking into your quiche!

We have our own range of Picnic Hampers that you may want to get stuck into!

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