There is something positively old-school about picnicking (well, it did become popular from the 1800s) which is why I was drawn to the retro vibe of this clam shell basket with tartan fabric lining as well as the ceramic plates, cups and steel cutlery. Also, I've never been a fan of plastic glasses or paper plates and don't enjoy anything with plastic cutlery. I can't imagine what utter landfill loving heathen invented all of that. I've always been like it, the guys at work have always ribbed me about needing my tea in one particular cup and my coffee in another, it's my thang.
My main problem with picnicking is I always pack too much. It's like I'm going on a freaking desert island for a month, not over the road to the park or beach. As well as the above, the Cairnsmhor Parmesan & Pepper Oatcakes were dipped in the Karyatis Red Pepper & Feta Meze and we munched on the Olives Et Al kiln roasted rosemary and chilli nuts. Pretty much everything that was in this hamper was really good quality and delicious which is unusual. The only thing I took out for our picnic was the packaged petrol station flapjacks, which I'm not a fan of, and the Sicilian lemon oil biscuits (biscuits serve no purpose in a picnic at all but these were divine with a cuppa later on). The only other thing I would change about this hamper is that they supplied two mugs but no tea bags or coffee. A little flask for hot water may have been handy too and kept it relevant. We ditched the cups and popped in two (real glass) glasses though as handily there were straps to protect them.
We packed everything up and headed over to Queens Park to bask in the sun and gloat at the well jel looks we were getting by others transporting their lunch in tuppawear or *gasp* plastic bags straight from the supermarket. The horror.
Anyway, here are some tips we always use for a successful picnic:
As we have troughed through the supplies in this now, next time I'll have to come up with some recipe ideas. The Guardian did a great piece recently including pistachio, chorizo and tomato 'cake', stuffed picnic cob loaf and baked saffron falafel all washed down with honey lemonade with grapefruit and fresh mint. Now THAT is a picnic!
With hampers starting from £20 odd and filled with food, wine, sweets, booze, new baby stuff (give 'em the booze - trust me) then most people would appreciate one of these as a gift. Beats the heck out of flowers.