We all have visions of travelling somewhere on a sunny day and impressing people with a luxurious lunch hamper that we whipped up earlier. The reality however, is usually quite different. You’ve left some of the food in the fridge, you’ve forgotten to pack any cutlery and you’ve neglected to cater for the gluten free vegetarian and the child who will only eat orange food!
Well don’t panic! We have put together a checklist of essentials that you should always pack, some top tips for a hassle free picnic and some food and drink ideas that you will just love.
Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
As with most things in life, the most successful events are all in the preparation. When starting to plan the ultimate picnic you should always think about these key things;
Food, Glorious Food
The best thing about a picnic is of course, the food! An alfresco buffet, where you can just dig in and nobody will judge you for having a sweet treat before you’ve eaten something savoury. But what are the best hassle-free options and how can you refresh some old favourites?
The reliable sandwich...it’s, well, a little boring! Try making wraps instead, full of a delicious fresh filling. Or perhaps focaccia or pitta bread, to add variety and flavour. Avoid messy foods that are difficult to eat and will give people sticky hands. Potato salad, pasta, chicken bites, pies and homemade scotch eggs are fresh, filling and are great crowd pleasers. Salad is a great accompaniment, but leave out the lettuce that will go limp in the heat and stick with root vegetables such as carrots and beetroot.
Dips with bread-sticks and crisps are perfect for adults and kids to nibble on while you organise your spread. Some tasty Mackie’s Haggis Crisps will do just the trick! To keep food fresh and protected from the heat, invest in some Tupperware of various sizes. This will also ensure that your food isn’t squashed during transit! Stay clear of desserts that will melt or that will attract creepy crawlies. Cookies are perfect, as are cheese boards, apple pies and fruit salad. A Brodies of Edinburgh Dundee Cake will be a real show-stopper and will ensure that your picnic is remembered for all the right reasons.
Don’t forget to pack plenty of drinks too. Try serving them in mason jars with lids and straws, to help avoid spillage and keep insects at bay. Fill up water bottles before you leave home, adding in plenty of ice cubes to ensure your drink is still cool and refreshing by lunchtime. If you’re looking for a relaxing tipple try a bottle of Highlands Wineries Elderflower Wine, just perfect for a summer picnic.
If you would rather sit back and enjoy your picnic without any of the worry, then look no further than a pre-made hamper, such as A Picnic Made in Scotland Hamper. It contains all of the delicious food you could wish for, without any fuss!
Make sure you pack cutlery, including a serrated knife for slicing cake. Take a couple of bags for packing up rubbish, so you can keep it separate to food that you may put back in your basket. Napkins, bite/sting spray, travel stools for those who can’t sit on the ground and muslin cloth to cover your food, are all things that will make your life a little easier and leave you more time to concentrate on presentation and hosting.
But most of all, remember to have fun! As long as your family and friends are fed, watered and entertained, they will enjoy your picnic for being a fun, relaxed affair where everyone could be themselves. That’s the real key to the perfect picnic!