With lockdown rules slowly lifting but travel still somewhat restricted, picnics have never been more popular than now.
In fact, Waitrose and John Lewis last week reported a huge spike in sales of cool bags and hampers, as well as picnic foods like sausage rolls and pork pies. Picnic foods are up by 46% compared to the same time last year, while picnic hamper sales are up 39% compared to the same time last year.
With national picnic week coming up too (22nd– 28th June), and everyone wanting to make the most of the British summer, we thought it was about time that we shared some of our office's picnic faves.
We love the look of a hamper and we've seen plenty of stylish options out there, but at the end of the day it's not the most practical thing to be lugging around – especially once it's packed to the brim with heavy bottles of booze or piles of crockery and quiche.
Step in the picnic backpack (opens in new tab). A small rucksack that comes with a blanket, bottle holder, 4 sets of plates, cutlery, wine glasses and napkins, as well as a cutting board, cheese knife, corkscrew and bottle opener, and salt & pepper shakers. We only wish we'd spotted these sooner.
CampFeuer picnic backpack, £59.95, manomano.co.uk (opens in new tab)
2. BOTTOMS UP
Sales of rosé wine have risen by a huge 407% since last year, according to Waitrose. Keep your Cote de Provence chilled to perfection in this stylish rattan ice bucket (opens in new tab). It promises to keep wine ice-cold for 12 hours. The design also comes in mint, mustard, white, pink, dark blue and green.
Insulated Ice Bucket, £68, kalinko.com (opens in new tab)
Sip your wine – or sparkling – in style, with unbreakable wine glasses that look like the real deal despite being made from plastic.
Aside from wine glasses and champagne flutes, there's a crystal-look jug with lid (opens in new tab), too. Perfect for Pimms.
Grill up a storm wherever you go with a cool portable barbecue. This easy to set up stainless steel barbecue (opens in new tab) is lightweight and shaped like a little suitcase. Open it up and there's a grill and coal tray, all ready to go.
Gentlemen's Hardware Suitcase BBQ, £80, johnlewis.com (opens in new tab)
There's no shortage of stylish, colourful and durable serveware out there.
For all-out, cheerful colour, the 28 piece picnic set (opens in new tab) from wearesmidge.com features plates, bowls, cups and cutlery for four in chalky neon hues. What's more, they're 100% natural, made from plant materials derived from corn, and they're 100% biodegradable.
Picnic Set, 28 piece, £79.99, wearesmidge.com (opens in new tab)
Prefer pastels? How about the 'Colour Pop (opens in new tab)' range from souschef, which features splatter patterned enamel bowls and plates with a pastel colour edge.
For a timeless, classic look, Falcon Enamelware (opens in new tab) has that recognisable look, and reminds us of the happy, carefree summers of our childhood. The classic white enamelware with blue rim is perhaps the most classic of them all, but we also rather love their new colours, including coal black, pigeon grey and mustard yellow. Classics for future years and generations to come, we're sure of it.
Falcon enamelware (opens in new tab), from £7 for a tumbler.
Avoid a chaos of loose knives and forks and update your picnicware with cool new picnic cutlery sets (opens in new tab) from Primus, that come tightly and securely bunched in bright, colourful holders.
Primus Leisure Cutlery, £12, Primus.eu (opens in new tab)
Have everything you need at arm's reach with the Primus Campfire Prep Set (opens in new tab) which includes a chef’s knife, grater, spatula and salad servers, and has a pocket to also store extra accessories like bottle openers.
Primus Campfire Prep Set, £65, Primus.eu (opens in new tab)
This Oxford Stripe Garden Throw (opens in new tab) tops our picnic blanket list as it's made entirely from (around 300!) recycled plastic bottles. Pretty cool – plus we love a classic blue and white stripe.
Recycled Plastic Oxford Stripe Garden Throw, £45, Weaver Green at barkerandstonehouse.co.uk (opens in new tab)
7. FLOOR CUSHION
Elevate your comfort level with an outdoor floor cushion.
Sahara Floor Cushion, £35, argos.co.uk (opens in new tab)
8. HOT DRINKS
This is no ordinary tea or coffee flask. The Ember Travel Mug (opens in new tab) will keep your drink hot all day, and it features a hidden-until-lit touch display that can be used to adjust the temperature.
Ember Travel Mug², £179.95, ember.com (opens in new tab)
9. FOOD STORAGE
If you haven't yet heard, cellophane and clingfilm and similar disposable single-use plastics are out. In it's place are reusable wraps made with natural beeswax (opens in new tab), keeping food fresh and protected without the plastic waste.
Beeswax and Vegan wraps, from £4.50, talacooking.com (opens in new tab)
Take all the faff out of planning and preparing a picnic, and order a ready-made hamper that's ready to go. Pique (opens in new tab) offer a variety of different picnics ready to go. The Champagne Brunch for two (opens in new tab) has our vote; a bottle of Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut Champagne plus two pretty champagne flutes, hot-smoked salmon & lemon rillettes, buttermilk blueberry pancakes with maple syrup, crispy pancetta mini bagels with avocado, courgette & feta frittata with broad bean, basil & mint salsa, greek yoghurt with rose marinated strawberries & salted crushed shortbread, dark chocolate rocky road brownies, and freshly pressed juices – all for just £115. Not too shabby.
Champagne Brunch, £115, piquefood.co.uk (opens in new tab)