With summer holidays fast approaching and many of us facing the prospect of another summer at home, we thought we’d celebrate the great British institution that is the picnic.

Forget soggy sandwiches and limp lettuce. Follow our top tips to eat al fresco in style:

  1. Pick the perfect spot. Think lovely scenery, plenty of shade to avoid the heat, and space for children to run around and play games. You could even try and find a spot on a beach or by a river for hours of outside fun
  2. Take a cool bag or box to keep your salad crunchy and your drinks cold. Cool boxes will also make sure your food doesn’t get squashed on route and make it easy to transport your picnic to your choice of spot
  3. Forget limp salad and get your veg intake through crunchy crudites such as carrot, pepper and celery sticks. Not only will they make sure you get your five-a-day, but they’re delicious with dips such as homemade houmous or ranch dip
  4. Make sure your guests bring a blanket or cushion so that they avoid damp bottoms and can move around to chat in comfort
  5. Use baguettes in place of sliced bread to keep sandwiches fresh and delicious. Try fillings such as tuna and sweetcorn, pesto and mozzarella or ham and cucumber; you can even create multiple fillings in one baguette to make sure there’s something for everyone
  6. Freeze fruit juice in ice cube trays to make sure that it stays cold all day and then top up with water or soda for a refreshing drink
  7. Don’t forget to take utensils – cutlery, a bottle opener and reusable plastic plates and cups are a must, and you can even bring plastic wine glasses if you fancy a tipple
  8. Transport your food in mason jars or clip top boxes to make sure it’s easy to transport and doesn’t spill
  9. Don’t forget dessert! There are some great recipe options for pudding in a jar, or pack a traditional favourite such as Victoria Sponge or lemon drizzle cake, which are both easy to transport. To avoid having to bring a sharp knife, slice them before you leave home
  10. Finally, get creative with your choice of picnic food. There are some great recipes online, including healthy scotch eggs, coronation chicken and vegetarian mini frittatas, so think outside the sandwich box

For more picnic inspiration to keep things fresh, check out the following links:

https://www.jamieoliver.com/features/picnic-tips/

https://picniclifestyle.com/tips-for-a-picnic/

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/picnic-recipes

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