What’s Your Perfect Picnic?

June 21, 2013 by The Co-operative Food picnic loaf

Do you go for the big spread? A lovely colourful blanket, proper crockery and a meal fit for royalty with every kind of food, and maybe even some cooking in the open.
Or do you prefer something a whole lot more simple? Just a couple of filled rolls stuffed into your pocket and eaten on a rock part way through a long walk, ideally with a stunning view.

British Picnic Week 2014
I don’t think we need much of an excuse to have a picnic, eating in the open air is just too good to be missed, but in case you needed encouragement it’s British Picnic Week from 17- 23 June. This is the 9th year that the event has happened and you’ll see more offers to just make eating out even more tempting.

The simple picnic:

At the weekend we had a simple picnic in the middle of a great walk.

We weren’t that prepared but when we woke to a sunny day we knew we shouldn’t miss the opportunity for a trip to the hills, and some al fresco dining. I did a quick trip to The Co-operative and bought a garlic and herb spatchcock chicken, a pack of cherry tomatoes, a couple of pots of pasta salad and a couple of bottles of water. Once the chicken was cooked we simply wrapped it in foil and off we went with everything in a rucksack.

It wasn’t our most luxurious picnic ever, but with amazing views across the Peak District towards Leek we weren’t complaining, and talk soon turned to picnics gone by.

The lavish affair. The picnic as a feast!

The lavish picnic with a huge variety of fine foods to savour is not something for a long walk. It’s probably best coordinated across a few people too. I’m thinking here of a dozen people at the beach, blankets marking out a big territory, and envious glances from everyone else on the sand.
Boxes of wine in cool sacks, beers on ice, healthy bowls of salads and fruits, and cooked meats – maybe even a barbecue. After a day running around in the sun this is the perfect celebration of a Great British day out! Who’ll get the prize for the last to leave the beach?

What should you take on your picnic?

What you take is down to the sort of picnic you’re aiming for. If you’re on a long walk then weight will be important and you’ll take the bare minimum, with the venue taking precedent.
But if you can eat near home, or near the car then it’s certainly nicer to eat off plates, and ideally with cutlery. If mobility is a problem for anyone then take a light chair rather than letting them struggle down to the ground, but for the rest of you, have a few rugs to stretch out on.

Here’s a simple list of things to consider for a decent picnic that’s just a few minutes walk from the car:

  • Blankets or rugs,
  • Cutlery and serving spoons
  • Glasses – wine’s not the same from a paper cup
  • Folding chairs
  • Cool boxes and something to keep the wine chilled
  • Tupperware for the salads
  • Barbecue – a disposable one is fine to feed a few people
  • Cork screw!
  • Sun cream
  • Depending where you are – insect repellent
  • Newspapers and books for those who just want to drift

Phew – that sounds like a car full already, and that’s without the food! But if it’s an all day, or afternoon affair then it’s worth it.

I was fortunate enough to grow up by the beach and often a pasty and a flask of tea was the full extent of our meal outdoors – but they remain treasured memories. And even the weather wasn’t allowed to spoil our plans. Unless it was tipping down rain we’d enjoy it just the same.

Simple, or grand. The picnic takes some beating.

Casey’s Kitchen

Need to stock up for your perfect picnic? Take a look at our latest deals: http://www.co-operativefood.co.uk/deals/

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