Perfect picnics: Top ten picnic essentials

Now the solstice is past, it looks like summer’s finally arrived, and here at Cosy Home, we’re getting giddy about the prospect of picnics. While we can do simple, and pack sandwiches and drinks into our bicycle baskets, Enid Blyton style, we do love a posh picnic sometimes – we’re thinking more Glyndebourne than Glastonbury. Here’s our pick of the top ten essentials for outdoor eating.

1.Picnic blanket

We love these beautiful rugs from the aptly named Delightful Living. Made in Wales from 100% recycled wool, they’re large enough to give plenty of space for your picnic, and warm enough to act as an impromptu shawl if the weather catches you out. Available from Delightful Living, priced at £22.

2. Picnic hamper

It’s not a proper picnic without a proper picnic hamper, and this one from Strawberry Hills looks like a prop from the set of Brideshead Revisited. Strong, stable and sturdy, there’s plenty of room for food, cutlery and bottles – you could even squeeze in a flask of Pimms and some strawberries. £65 from Strawberry Hills at Not on the High Street.

3. Corkscrew

Picture the scene. You’ve found the perfect picnic spot, and spread out your rug. You’re lying back with the evening sun on your face, listening to the distant sounds of the river, when…disaster! You’ve forgotten the corkscrew, and your bottle of sparkling fizz is getting warmer by the second. Avert the wrath of your fellow picnickers by investing in this vintage corkscrew with integral bottle opener, and keeping it in your hamper. £25 from The Orchard Home and Gifts.

4. Mugs

Even in summertime, the experienced picnicker takes along a flask of hot drink in the evenings. China mugs, though, are heavy and prone to accidents. Instead, pack these stunning enamel ‘Eva’ mugs – bright, fresh and almost unbreakable. £7.95, available from Nkuku.

5. Bread board

Cutting boards are easily forgotten and sorely missed. Trying to slice onto a plate with a dining knife isn’t easy, so pack this neat little baguette board from Drift Living. There’s even a knife rest to keep your bread knife out of the buttercups. £19.99 from Drift Living.

6. Glasses

Plastic glasses are all very well, but drinks taste better from ‘proper’ glasses. These chunky ‘cow milk’ glasses from Freshly Forked are sturdy enough to withstand the odd knock, and stable enough not to upend your Pimms onto the rug. Made from recycled glass, they’re available singly or in packs of six. Prices start from £4.95 from Freshly Forked.

7. Wine sleeve

While we’d all secretly love a huge silver ice bucket, filled with ice cubes and champagne, for our picnic, most of us lack both the budget and the footmen. We’ll settle, though, for this cute thermal bottle bag to slip over our cold fizz – it’s lightweight and printed with bright, summery blooms. £19.99 from Sassy Gifts on Not on the High Street.

8. Plate

This lovely plate from Kate Samuels Design really makes us smile – and, knowing the British weather, it’s not a bad idea to bring your own sunshine with you. Available from Not on the High Street, priced at £14.

9. Napkins

For that proper decadent feel, napkins should be linen not paper, and these rose printed napkins from Sophie Allport have a cheerful feel about them. With French grey stripes and tiny printed rosebuds, they’ll make you think of summer even when the weather’s not co-operating. £11 for four, from Sophie Allport.

10. Cutlery

These bright spoons from famous French manufacturer Laguiole are decorated with the wellknown bee motif. With each spoon boasting a different coloured handle, there’ll be less chance of mix-ups if one gets dropped. Also in the same range: forks, knives and table spoons. Teaspoons: £23 for a set of six, from John Lewis.

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