How to pack the perfect picnic

walking on the beach

With lockdown measures easing and a new, socially distanced normal, more people are leaving their homes and celebrating the blissful summer weather outdoors.

Whether you’re heading to the beach for a day out or escaping to the country from the city for a spot of hiking, packing an alfresco feast is a must. But stocking up on some transportable treats does require some planning. Here we reveal how to pack the perfect picnic so you can dine outdoors in style.

Invest in a sturdy picnic basket

Nothing dampens the soul and ruins the picnic vibe more than reaching your destination for the day only to discover that your cool box has leaked or your sandwiches have been crushed beyond recognition.

Invest in a strong and sturdy picnic basket to ensure everything remains intact and delicious, whatever the length of your journey.

Not just any old picnic basket will do. Whilst traditional wicker baskets look the part and offer a great way to go green for your picnic, opting for a design that incorporates cool storage is recommended. Here Country Living details more about the dangers of a traditional wicker picnic basket:

“According to the FSA, the traditional picnic basket is actually a laboratory for bacteria. Perishables kept inside them can go off within an hour, if in a car boot. They name soft cheeses, dips, mousse and mayonnaise as the foods we should be most careful about eating from a picnic basket if they have been in there a while.  They could have the potential to upset our stomachs. In addition, the FSA reminds us that wicker baskets are hard to clean and it’s likely that the one we’ve had for many years is harbouring some unwelcome bacteria.”

With the latest picnic basket designs, you can have the best of both worlds. Many sport the traditional wicker look while having all the modern convenience of a cool box inside.

Put picnic food safety first

As well as investing in a picnic basket that’ll keep your food and drinks nice and cool, even in the summer sun, there are many steps you can take to ensure freshness when you tuck in.

Pack your basket with extra ice packs to ensure perishables like meat, fish, and dairy are kept cool.

When laying out your picnic, only remove the dishes that you’re eating there and then to avoid leaving them out in the baking sun for too long.

Storing items in separate, airtight Tupperware containers will also keep food fresher for longer, make it easier to serve, and avoid the all too common reality of soggy salads and sandwiches.

Now more than ever it’s important that you clean your hands before and after eating so don’t forget to pack antibacterial hand wipes or gel too.

Get creative with your picnic

These days picnic spreads don’t have to be restricted to sandwiches and crisps. In fact, the possibilities are endless when it comes to the contents of your picnic baskets. Why not make a picnic centrepiece to cement your status as picnic king or queen? This rainbow picnic pie recipe is a winner and is full of delicious vegetables and crumbly, rich and utterly indulgent feta cheese.

If variety is more your thing, prepare a mixture of portable snacks like sandwiches, scotch eggs, sausage or vegan sausage rolls, and other picnic classics to ensure there’s something for everyone. Accompany your pick and mix dishes with a tasty pasta or potato salad.

A beach picnic with rollup and folding picnic blankets by So Cosy

Don’t forget the picnic blanket!

Make sure your picnic experience is extra comfortable by packing a good quality picnic blanket. Our picnic blankets provide somewhere cosy to sit, and fold away or roll up neatly for ultimate convenience.

The inner shells of our picnic baskets are made from 100% pure new wool to ensure a durable and super soft sitting area. The outer shell, which sits on the ground, is British made, completely waterproof waxed cotton and is super easy to maintain and clean. The entire blanket is machine washable, so you can picnic to your heart’s content all summer long.

Our picnic blankets are available in a selection of colours and designs. Each features a carry strap and some designs even sport pockets to transport other essentials for a laid back lunch such as books and drinks.

View our range of picnic blankets