Home British Picnic

Published on July 27th, 2017 | by Michelle Roper-Shaw

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Perk up your Picnic

We Brits love a picnic. No matter what the British weather throws at us, in the summer months we stop at nothing to enjoy eating al fresco.

According to a recent survey seven in ten of us believe picnics are an essential part of the British summer. 44% say a picnic is a must do activity on a summer day out.

The word “picnic” has its origins in the French word “pique-nique”. It was used described a group of people dining in a restaurant who brought their own wine.

Britain’s Favourite Picnic Food

Until Victorian times, enjoying a picnic in Britain was a pursuit of only the wealthy. The aristocracy would bring their servants along to serve food on fine china plates, crystal glasses and fine linen. No paper plates and plastic cups for them.

Even the food was elaborate. In fact, the domestic goddess of the Victorian age, Mrs Beeton suggested this feat for a picnic to feed forty people!

  • Four roast chickens
  • Two roast ducks
  • Four dozen cheesecakes
  • One large cold plum pudding
  • Three dozen quart bottles of beer
  • Plus: claret, sherry and brandy.

And, not a scotch egg in sight. Incidentally, did you know, luxury retailer Fortnum & Mason claim to have invented the scotch egg in 1738?

Today, our picnic baskets are unlikely to include Mrs Beeton’s suggestions. Instead, our favourite picnic food includes:

  • Sandwiches (65% of us see the humble sandwich as the perfect picnic food)
  • Pork pies
  • Sausage rolls
  • Crisps

How to Pack a Picnic

picnic on the beach

As soon as there is a break in the clouds we prepare ourselves to go out in the great outdoors and enjoy a picnic. The wind may blow and the rain may fall, but our resilience is exemplary.

Who out there doesn’t think a picnic on a beach is made even more tasty as the wind puts the sand in our sandwiches?

However, to make sure your picnic arrives at its destination in one piece, here is some advice.

  • Ensure all your food items are wrapped well. If you are using plastic containers, make sure the lids fit tightly, otherwise wrap well in kitchen foil. If you are taking items such as pork pies or quiches, cut them into portions before you leave so you don’t need to mess around cutting them when you get to your picnic spot.
  • Food safety is key, particularly on a warm day. Keep all items refrigerated until you are ready to travel. In order to keep everything cool in your picnic box or hamper, include ice packs or freeze small bottles of water (these can then be drunk as part of your picnic). Check out our Water Supplies which includes a handy pack of Vittel Still Spring Water. These compact 330ml bottles will fit snugly in your hamper.
  • Don’t forget your plates, napkins and cutlery. There is nothing more frustrating than to open your picnic basket, see all the delicious food and drink and realise you have forgotten the knifes, napkins, or even worse, the corkscrew. Get set for a summer of outdoor dining with our Plates and Cutlery and Cups, Mugs and Glasses
  • Keep Britain Tidy. Make sure to leave your picnic spot as you found it. Dispose of your rubbish responsibly, either at your destination or take it home with you.

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