Nothing beats a day soaking up the sun with a few tasty treats and a bottle of vino – especially during a scorching summer that almost insists you spend all weekend in the park. The only problem is that by the time you’ve packed up your perfect picnic, you’ll have missed out on some serious outdoor action. Well, either that or you’ll dash out the house and grab a disappointing supermarket meal deal en route.
If you don’t fancy doing it yourself and are looking for something a tad more opulent than a sweaty old ham sandwich, there are plenty of places that’ll pack you up a hassle-free feast. Here’s a few of our favourites…
Melrose and Morgan, Primrose Hill and Hampstead, Hamper from £39.95
Located a stone’s throw from prime picnicking real estate, Melrose and Morgan offers a tasty selection of British snacks all packed up in an easy to carry canvas bag. Highlights include meaty or veggie scotch eggs, Isle of Wight tomatoes, fresh seasonal salad and a big chunk of Montgomery Cheddar. You’ll also get a couple of sweet treats, a thirst-quenching bottle of Luscombe’s lemonade and disposable plates, cutlery and napkins.
The Bull and Last, 168 Highgate Road, NW5 1QS, Hamper for £40
Alright, so you they may not be able to squeeze you in for that elusive Sunday lunch reservation – but why stay stuck inside when you can head out onto the Heath? The pub's hearty hamper for two includes quiche, cheese, sausage rolls and other traditional British fare. And, you can even upgrade with a whole host of extras including their famous scotch eggs or treats for your pooch.
Carluccio's, Different locations across London, Hamper for £45
Carluccio's offers a great range of Italian treats – perfect for a bit of authentic al fresco dining. Choose from the classic and vegetarian (or a cheaper kid’s option) and add a bottle of carefully paired plonk for an extra touch of class. All picnics are served in a re-useable cool bag so you can be sure your foccacia’s fresh all day long.
Chicken Shop, Downstairs at 76 Highgate Road, NW5 1TL, Hamper for £26
If a few light bites aren’t going to cut it, head over to Chicken Shop in Kentish Town for something seriously more substantial. There you’ll get an entire rotisserie chicken complete with hot sauces and a choice of three sides. You’ll also get a few wipes thrown in if you don’t fancy spending all day licking your fingers clean.
Corrigan’s, 28 Upper Grosvenor Street, W1K 7EH, Hamper from £45
For something a bit more swish, Mayfair’s Corrigan’s offers a luxurious hamper packed to the brim with high-end foodie favourites. Hamper-lovers can enjoy a selection of seasonal dishes including strawberries with a lush lavender cream. You’ll also get crockery, cutlery, a blanket and half a bottle of bubbly, too. Oh, and those feeling flush can pay a premium for their very own butler.
Albion, 2-4 Boundary Road, E2 7DD, Hamper for £160 (including hamper and canvas bag)
One of the premium picnics out there, Albion’s hearty hamper is packed to the brim with their signature British fare including smoked salmon, scotch eggs, charcuterie and a crisp rose wine. There’s also the option to hire cutlery and add in a few cheeky little extras from the shop if the offering isn’t enough (we can assure you, it is).
The Mount Street Deli, 100 Mount Street, W1K 2TG, Hamper from £25
There’s a neat little selection on offer at this top Mayfair spot whether you’re after something small or a hamper made bespoke for you. The Champagne, Strawberries and Cream makes a smart choice if you’re after a bit of summer lovin’, and there’s the more expensive Scott’s Picnic Lunch option if you want more of a meal.
Bea’s of Bloomsbury, Bloomsbury and St Paul's, Hamper for £19 pp.
Ditch all the deli stuff and take tea in the park with this alternative little number from Bea’s. A dessert lovers dream, it comes with scones, brownies, cakes and meringues with a savoury option thrown in, too. You’ll also get a picnic blanket to help avoid those pesky grass stains and a little map to the nearest bit of greenery.
Fortnum and Mason, Hamper from £55
If you’re out to impress, consider forking out for a fresh picnic hamper courtesy of Fortnum and Mason. There’s a good choice available from £125 feasts to something a bit smaller if you’re on a budget. We also loved the little wicker ‘Cheese Box’ devoted entirely to all things, well, cheese.
By Emma Brooke