British summertime often conjures up thoughts of picnics and Pimms, indeed, with the ever looming threat of rain, us Brits will jump at the chance to dine al fresco. As of last week, Britain has been celebrating National Picnic Week…but if you don’t want to be lugging warm soggy sandwiches around from home (trust us, you really don’t), take your pick from our favourite hampers below:
London St Pancras (0.1 miles)
What: Berlin Cool
Why: Everyone knows Berlin is the mecca for cool. German Gymnasium are taking that cool and putting it in a hamper, to be enjoyed in the British outdoors, or on the restaurants terrace – because let’s face it, British weather can’t be trusted. The three hampers to choose from have been created in partnership with German wines, with each highlighting a different sort of wine including Sekt, their answer to Cava and Prosecco. Besides that, the steel hamper (see, maximum cool), is packed with all sorts of German goodies, like Bavarian Giga rolls, which comes with fillings like Black Forest ham with Obatzda (a Bavarian cheese delicacy), and cornichons; and Nussecken – shortbread with apricot jam, hazelnuts and chocolate-dipped corners.
Where: 1 King’s Boulevard, London, N1C 4BU
What: A cross between a French summer and a British picnic
Why: If you want all of the fun of a picnic, but none of the fuss, this is for you. Blanchette East are offering either their ham, egg and cheese crepe or their chocolate and praline crepe to take away and enjoy in Allen Gardens – which is just a five minute stroll from the restaurant, and also conveniently just behind Spitalfields farm – if you wanted a post-picnic activity.
Where: 204 Brick Lane, Shoreditch, E1 6SA
What: Pink Lemonade and Iced Lattes
Why: The award -winning hole in the wall at Great Northern Hotel have put their touch on picnics by offering sandwiches like Italian turkey sandwich, with salami, mozzarella and pesto; and BBQ pork belly with jalapeno, Emmental and coleslaw. To drink, how about a pink lemonade, iced lattes or an iced peppermint tea? Fair to say you’ll be feeling refreshed after this.
Where: King's Cross, Euston Rd, Kings Cross, N1C 4TB
The De Beauvoir Deli
What: Celebrating London's Parks
Why: As soon as the sun comes out in London, we all find ourselves flocking to our favourite parks – and we all have our favourites. The picnic hampers created by The De Beauvoir Deli each celebrate some of London’s favourite green spaces – Hyde Park, Regent’s Park, London Fields and Victoria Park. Of course, each hamper has been created accordingly, so for example, the Hyde Park hamper comes with champagne, smoked salmon pate and sourdough; the Regent’s Park hamper comes with prosecco, comte cheese and Natoora radishes; the London Field’s hamper comes with pale ale, guacamole and burgers; and finally the Victoria Park hamper comes with apple juice, finger sandwiches and choc chip biscuits. Take your pick. We know which we’d go for.
Where: 98 Southgate Road, N1 3JD
The Arch London
Marble Arch (0.3 miles)
What: Hyde Park Picnic
Why: The ideal spot, just minutes from Hyde Park and a short stroll to Regent’s Park, The Arch’s picnic hampers offer a taste of their famed, classic British restaurant, Hunter 486. Imbibe on chilled sparkling wine while you feast on homemade sea salt, lemon and sage crisps; English Cheddar with apple and raisin chutney on sun blushed tomato bread; Coronation chicken salad; and raspberry and pistachio trifle, among other things. And if you want, you can even keep the picnic basket.
Where: 50 Great Cumberland Place, Marble Arch, London, W1H 7FD
Bulgari Hotel, London
Knightsbridge (0.2 miles)
What: Gourmet on the Go
Why: Rivea London’s (at The Bulgari Hotel) Executive Chef Alexandre Nicolas for the first time has designed a ‘to go’ menu – perfect for catering to all your picnic needs. Choose from salads inspired by the street markets of Provence, like buffalo mozzarella, tomato datterino and basil; or Rivea London’s salad with socca crisps, soft boiled egg with Provence-style vegetable caponata. The sandwiches on offer, which are all made with traditional Tigelle bread, include parma ham; and pesto, rocket and parmesan. To end, maybe a chocolate tart or lemon shortbread will take your fancy. All to be enjoyed in Hyde Park, of course.
Where: Bulgari Hotel London, 171 Knightsbridge, London SW7 1DW
Why: Would you have guessed picnics originated in France? Us neither. But they did, so why not honour the French this National Picnic Week with a French picnic. Sandwiches to choose from include roast beef, grilled carrot, spinach and mustard mayonnaise in potato and rosemary bread; or grilled peppers, carrots, onions, carrot hummus and spinach in a beetroot studded baguette. Perhaps you’re ditching the carbs for summer, in which case try the Lyonnaise Salad, composed of poached egg, lardons, lambs lettuce, mixed leaves, croutons and wholegrain mustard dressing. No French meal is complete without a macaron, and you’ll want to save room because the pique-nique macarons are big. To top it all off, you receive a Sac á Pique-nique’ – a re-usable bag, which comes with a disposable chequered paper tablecloth.