WHITSUN DAYS OUT WHITSUN The perfect picnic... From food to drink and everything in between, Adam Hurrell's perfect picnic tips should see you through the summer.
IMAGINE the dappled sunlight shining through the branches of the tree you are leaning against, the children playing with the dog, your partner pouring out another glass of something cool and refreshing, the birds singing... all is well with the world.
What an idyllic picnic image that is. The problem with such a stereotypical picture is that it so rarely comes to fruition. Picnics are so often full of much promise and then when it comes to it they are just a bit, well, rubbish.
But fear not fellow al fresco diners, because with this guide your picnics will go from a perennial let down to a perennial promise of midday munchies that are sure to delight. With my help your picnics will be the envy of those around you.
To begin with you need a basket. This is an easy item to arrange as it can be ordered online and most firms deliver. The thing with a picnic basket is that you are not buying it for you. You are buying it for your family to enjoy for the next generation and the one after them. You are buying happy summer memories. For longevity and for an added sense of occasion go for a wicker basket that has everything you will need, such as bone china plates and mugs, stainless steel cutlery, wine glasses, a stainless steel insulated flask, food boxes, salt and pepper mills, a bottle opener and napkins and a tablecloth neatly strapped inside. Buy a nice large woollen rug to complete the ensemble and you're all set. Now let's turn our attention to the food and drink.
Starting with the drink - hurrah!
No picnic would be complete without Pimms No1 mixed with plenty of fresh fruit, mint and cucumber, and if you are feeling daring a large slug of a half-decent gin. Other excellent picnic drinks include champagne, and for the drivers in the group how about the Famous Five favourite - ginger beer.
Now it's time for food and our first stop is cheese. Cheese is a great thing for a picnic because it lasts, it's relatively robust and water biscuits weigh almost nothing so can be carried long distances. Carrs make the best water biscuits and in terms of cheese, well, that's up to you but a well ripened Brie, a strong cheddar and perhaps a slice of Stilton would be my choice.
No picnic would be complete without a good pork pie and a Scotch egg.
The traditional, and still the best pork pies come from Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire and only pies made there can be labelled a Melton Mowbray pork pie. So make sure you are buying the real deal. Scotch eggs don't have such protection but are still a picnic staple.
Sandwiches are tricky because they get squashed and go soggy, so best forget them. Instead get some lovely fresh bread and pair it with salads, cold meat and pates.
For pudding, the best bet is to choose between a wide variety of seasonal fruits including strawberries and plums. If you are lucky enough to be equipped with a good cool box you may want to risk taking ice creams but that is a risk too far for me.
Finally and most importantly of all, remember to take your leftovers and rubbish home with you. No picnicker should ever leave any evidence of their meal behind.
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|Publication:||Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)|
|Date:||May 27, 2018|
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