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TOP PICNIC PICKS; Whether it's the park or your garden, summer means eating al fresco, so we take a look at the essentials that'll make eating outside fun and hassle-free.

A picnic can be a grand event where you pack the family into a car or train and head for somewhere stunning. It can also be in your back garden or loca

park with hastily made cheese sandwiches. The venue isn't the important part, it's the chance to spend quality time together that counts. If you do venture further afield, it's worth grabbing a Garmin Drive 501m, now PS79 (save PS10), which has lifetime map updates included, as wel

as traffic alerts, so you don't get stuck in jams.

LET POOCH TAG ALONG

If you're heading out with your four-legged friend in the car then make sure they're safe. Get a Dog Guard to keep them in the boot and ensure they're secure on the journey to your picnic. Try the Halfords Mesh Headrest Dog Guard for PS39.99, and perhaps add the Halfords Complete Boot and Bumper Protector, PS29.99, to keep your boot clean and undamaged. Never leave dogs in cars in hot weather.

BE READY, WHATEVER THE WEATHER

This is Britain - you've got to have a Plan B in case it rains, so consider investing in a gazebo. The Halfords 300 Gazebo now PS69 (save PS21) is fully waterproof to protect you in a downpour - even heavy rain won't penetrate this one. And if the sun is out, it protects those underneath with its UV50+ rating. Just be aware that some picnic places, like privately owned gardens, might not want these erected, so make sure you check first.

TAKE SOMETHING TO SIT ON

Don't let picnics be hampered by wet grass - the Halfords XL Waterproof Picnic Blanket is now just PS10 (half price). If you or your guests don't want to sit on the floor, the Halfords Folding Picnic Table with stools for just PS30 (save PS10) wil

seat four yet is easy to carry, thanks to lightweight materials and the fact it folds up and has carry handles. If you need larger chairs, go for the Halfords Camping Arm Chair for PS7 (half price), or two for PS12. Kids can enjoy a Halfords Folding Chair of their own for PS5 (half price) - and everyone gets cupholders in their seats too. If you're planning a lengthy picnic you'l

want to make the most of your comfy seating with a side table. That way drinks, snacks and plates can be kept off the ground. The Halfords Camping Side Table is now PS8 (half price). In fact, there's half price on a range of camping essentials at Halfords.

BRING CUTE CUTLERY

Just because you're outside doesn't mean you need to neglect the tableware. Take tough plastic plates such as Halfords 6 Rainbow Plates for PS3 (half price) and Rainbow Bowls for PS3 (half price) too.

Cutlery, such as the Halfords Plastic 18-Piece Set now PS6 (save PS3), means you'l

be able to enjoy even more ambitious food like pasta, quiche and even kid-favourite puddings including cake and jelly.

If you're looking to share wine with friends, then don't forget to include Halfords Acrylic Wine Glasses at just PS5 (half price).

KEEP FOOD CHILLED OUT

Stop the ants feasting on your food and keep it coo

in the Halfords 40 Litre Coo

Box, PS85 (down from PS110), to store your grub. This clever cooler can be used with mains power before you set off to chil

your supplies to 160C lower than the ambient temperature. If you're heading out in the car it can also be run from a 12-volt supply. Wheels and a handle mean getting your heavy lunch to your picnic spot wil

be nice and easy.

A barbecue a great way a summer's take the BBQ with a fun day

GET READY, STEADY, COOK

Many picnic places allow a barbecue - this is a great way to spend a summer afternoon. The Halfords Briefcase BBQ now PS10 (save PS5) is compact and can cook up a few sausages for you, your kids and perhaps that hungry-looking hound. Just make sure you dea

with the ashes in a responsible manner before heading home.

BRING THE CREATURE COMFORTS

Enjoying the great outdoors doesn't mean you have to leave your creature comforts at home, so if you're worried about your phone dying while you is spend day - Briefcase for out capture magica

moments, pack a Juice Power Station for just PS30. This battery has enough power to charge up to six phones, so it'l

make sure you have enough juice to get the whole family's phones through the day. The pack even has LED indicators that show how much charge is left in its battery.

TAKE SOMETHING TO PLAY WITH

Once the food has gone down and everyone is fully recharged, it's time to break out the Aerobie Pro Ring, PS10, for some madcap action. If you're near trees then the Aerobie Rocket Ball, PS7, might make for a better bet, as it shouldn't attach itself to a branch. If you have a dog, prepare for some fierce competition.

Happy picnicking!

PICNIC FACTS

The average Brit picnics at least three times a year - that's 94m picnics per year.

July. In Italy it's Easter Monday. In France, it's Bastille Day. In the UK, it's Nationa

Picnic Week, which ends today.

The French started the modern fashion for picnics when they opened their roya

parks to the public after the revolution of 1789.

The use of the phrase 'no picnic' to describe something difficult

The most popular picnic snack 50 years ago was the cheese sandwich. Now it's a bag of crisps.

The most popular day for picnics in the US is the 4th of

According to research, the average family spends PS26 on every picnic.

Fortnum & Mason claims to have invented the Scotch egg in 1738.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 24, 2018
Words:954
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