How to Have the Perfect Summer Picnic

July is also ‘National Picnic Month’, so what better time than now to treat yourself to a little al fresco dining in the summer weather?

A quintessential British picnic is a great way to make the most of the warmer weather without necessarily having to travel far. Even though a trip to the countryside or the coast is a lovely way to enjoy the occasion, you can have an equally great time from the comfort of your local parks.

With this in mind, we’ve provided some helpful picnicking advice.

Our Top Picnic Locations

Luckily, throughout the UK we’re surrounded by parks, in fact, we have some of the best parks in Europe.

Also, if you fancy a staycation and would like to explore the country while picnicking, like Sylvie Morgan did with McCarthy Stone, we’ve picked some of the best picnic spots in the country that all happen to be close to our developments. Like Sylvie, and if you are a homeowner or homeowner family member, you could also enjoy an easier vacation by holidaying in our guest suites.

Roundhay Park, Leeds

Roundhay Park is one of the biggest city parks in Europe, with over 700 acres of lakes, parkland and gardens, all owned by the local council. Known for its charming ‘Monet Garden’, inspired by the French artist, it also boasts the wildlife and botanical attraction ‘Tropical World’.

Our Devonshire Grange development is situated right on the outskirts of the park, close to Tropical World and the famous ‘The Mansion’ restaurant.

St James’s Park, London

Ideal for city lovers in need of some peace, St James’s Park is a vibrant picnicking spot on the doorstep of Buckingham Palace. Its large lake provides a home for diverse wildlife, which includes resident pelicans – which create quite a show at feeding time.

For anyone wanting to visit, we recommend an overnight stay at our Lewis House development.

Ashton Court Estate, Bristol

Ashton Court Estate boasts 850 acres of woodland, grassland and gardens, making it the biggest location on our list. A stunning natural attraction, it gives plenty of choice for picnicking and a family could easily spend a day here. A miniature railway, mountain biking and plenty of other activities add to its appeal.

Our Cheswick Court development is closest to Ashton Court Estate.

Tips for Creating the Perfect Picnic Spread

Picnic food should be easy to make, even easier to eat and be perfect for sharing. Eating al fresco adds a lovely element to a good meal, and matching your outdoor surroundings with fresh flavours, healthy ingredients and lots of fruit and veg is one part of creating a perfect picnic.

Our Top Picnic Recipes

If you still need a little inspiration for what to prepare – and to impress your guests – why not give some of these top picnic food options a try?

#1 Asparagus and cheese tart

This bitesize recipe is a sure way to impress, and packs in plenty of healthy vegetables in an indulgent manner.

#2 Strawberries and cream cupcakes

Every picnic needs something to satisfy that sweet tooth. These cupcakes are perfect for hot British summers and are a fun take on a traditional dish.

#3 Courgette falafels with tzatziki

A Mediterranean twist to a picnic helps emphasise a sense of summer and these healthy falafels can be enjoyed by every age.

More Picnic Tips to Impress your Guests

Keep the Mess to a Minimum

Instead of using paper plates, use enamel or reusable plastic plates and cups and bring your own cutlery that you can then pack away again when guests have finished with them. This saves on the mess that non-reusable items can create and it’s much better for the environment.

Put your Salad in a Jar

By compiling your salad in layers in a jar, you can keep each element of it nice and fresh. The dressing will sit at the bottom with other heavy components, while things like croutons will stay fresh and crisp at the top. Simply pour your salad into a bowl at your picnic and mix it together. It’s a little trick that your guests will all want to use again and again.

Invest in Quality Seating Options

Sitting on the grass at your chosen location can be a pleasant experience when picnicking, but it isn’t for everyone. We suggest buying some good quality folding chairs or stools as not only will they provide additional options for guests, they can be a perfect place for reading or simply enjoying the sunshine.

So, make the most of our advice and make any picnics you might have this summer ones to remember. Finally, if you have any other great tips and advice explaining how to have the perfect summer picnic, then be sure to let us know on Facebook and Twitter.