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PERFECT PICNIC; Spread out your rug and enjoy the sun.

I'M sure it didn't escape your attention that we had a heatwave recently. If you were one of the lucky ones who managed to get a week away in the gorgeous British countryside and enjoy the sunshine, then you were very fortunate indeed.

For those who didn't get to camp under the clear blue skies, their sweaty journeys into work and sticky days in the office were only made bearable by dreaming of the great outdoors once the work day was done.

I'm sure I wasn't alone in dusting off my garden cushions and settling down for some very welcome sunbathing - you've got to grab these days while you can.

One of the best bits about the sunshine and late evenings is the chance to do a little alfresco dining. Even if it is something as unimpressive as crunching on some crisps while sat on the grass in the park, food just tastes better outside.

So, this week I thought I'd give you a look at some of my favourite picnic accessories. Make the most of them because you never know how long you'll get to give them an airing!

YOU can't have a picnic without a proper rug. Blankets end up covered in grass which you can never quite shake off, and your towels won't thank you either. It's worth going the extra mile for the real deal, especially if the ground is still a little damp underfoot. This one has a plastic backing to help protect it from the messy ground and carry straps for ease.

Orla Kiely picnic rug, PS25, Halfords ADD colour to your picnic.

Set of four butterfly melamine plates, PS21, Bonnie and Bell KEEP all your sandwiches in order with this stacking set. It will cleverly allow you to offer a selection of three different fillings.

Hankie rose set of three snack boxes, PS8, Cath Kidston KEEP the bugs at bay with a netted food cover - one of the best inventions ever when it comes to picnics. You'll never be bothered by pesky flies again.

Daisy food cover, PS7, John Lewis THIS sweet tealight holder has a neat handle for hanging off branches while you dine under the stars.

Blue Mason jar tealight holder, PS8.95, Dotcomgiftshop THIS is a must have for every home. It's great for everything, from juice for kids' parties to punch for the grown-ups - and works brilliantly whether you're inside or out.

Kilner 8-litre drinks dispenser, PS19.99, drinking jar set, from PS17.99, Lakeland NO camping trip is complete without a Thermos flask. It's not just for tea and coffee either - there's nothing to stop you using it to keep your white wine chilled on a hot day out.

Corkcicle canteen triple insulated vacuum flask turquoise, PS17, Cuckooland SPREAD your blanket on the ground, pour yourself a cuppa from the flask and carry on chatting long after the sun goes down with this lovely lamp.

Blue LED battery-powered hurricane lamp, PS12.95, La Petite rose flask with cup, PS12.95, all Dotcomgiftshop THIS useful range won't break the bank and provides all you need for a fun day out - just add grub.

Paper plates, pack of 20, PS1, floral napkins (20) PS1, cutlery set (18) PS1, serving fork and spoon PS1, acrylic bowl PS1, paper cups (20) PS1, food cover PS1, mat PS1, frisbee PS1, skipping rope PS1, silver bucket PS1, acrylic tumbler PS1, water dispenser PS1, all from Poundland Stripe printed blanket, PS14.99, patterned cool bag, PS12.99, candle lanterns from PS12.99, patterned seat cushions, PS7.99, cushion cover with tassels, PS12, print cushions, from PS3.99, cotton cushion covers from PS3.99, all H&M
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Aug 11, 2016
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