Five Simple Steps for Preparing the Perfect Picnic Hamper

There’s no alfresco feast more delightful than a good old fashioned summer picnic.  With National Picnic Day (16 – 25 June 2017) fast approaching, UK’s parks will soon be populated by quilted blankets and overflowing wicker baskets.  Nevertheless, picnic preparation is not to be underestimated! 

If the thought of soggy sandwiches and leaky Tupperware sends your snack senses spiraling, Women UK says get yourself to five-star hotel The Arch London who will be offering its critically acclaimed Best of British menu in picnic form.  With the hotel sitting just a stone’s throw from Hyde Park, simply wander across the road and settle into a shady spot, before indulging in the take-away hampers packed full of adorable miniature snacks.

Alternatively, for those wishing to create their own seasonal summer spread, Women UK ask Gary Durrant, Head Chef at The Arch London’s in-house restaurant Hunter 486, to lend us his top tips to ensure your own al fresco feast goes down a treat. Here is what he said

Tip Number One: Mix it up

Ensure a combination of sweet and savoury options are included in your picnic spread. Avoid sticky puddings and instead opt for easy to eat cakes or desserts. We send our guests off with slices of Battenberg and miniature Raspberry & pistachio trifles complete with the appropriate cutlery.

Tip Number Two: Quality not quantity

There’s a tendency to overpack when it comes to picnics, but the trick is to focus on quality not quantity. For example, crisps are a picnic staple but why not ditch the unhealthy shop-bought bags and instead bake some potato slices yourself? Not only are the baked variety healthier, your fellow picnic-ers will value the effort you’ve put in.  

Tip Number Three: Seasonal specials

Just because picnic hampers are typically packed with finger food, this doesn’t mean your spread needs to be simple. Do some research into seasonal summer recipe ideas featuring ingredients such as tomatoes and potatoes and prepare accordingly. For example, go for a delicious potato salad with apple and mustard dressing.

Tip Number Four: Add some sparkle

It’s easy to solely focus on food, but the choice of beverage is just as key for a successful picnic. English sparkling wine is wonderfully refreshing on a hot day and complements a wide variety of snacks. We offer Camel Valley, Brut, 2012, a lovely English sparkling wine.

Tip Number Five: Avoid mess

There’s nothing worse than discovering a smashed salad dressing bottle inside your hamper on arrival at your sunny spot. Ensure all components are individually wrapped and securely fastened. There’s no harm in double-bagging! It helps if your hamper is easy to carry, as this way the contents will not be disturbed.

Now if all of the above feel like too much hard work, for a great price of £95 per hamper for two people, you can collect and return to The Arch London on the same day unless otherwise agreed in advance and include a picnic blanket. Women UK love this idea and will be sure to enjoy a parkland picnic. Now we just need the weather!

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