The most luscious picnic hampers for an unforgettable al fresco feast
The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming and everyone is ready and raring to get out and socialise. What better way to catch up then with a good old-fashioned picnic? But we’re not talking your standard sandwich fare; we’re talking about the kind of artisan spreads that will spill off the sides of your picnic blanket and make you the envy of every park-goer. Many of London’s top restaurants and producers have put together delightful hampers full of treats and tipples and we have compiled some of our favourite options – along with the best gear on the market to up your hamper game.
The quality kit: Red Hamper
As fancy as your al fresco feast may become, you can never truly reach picnic perfection until you have the right gear. Red Hamper have you covered for any occasion, whether you’re out for a family gathering, on a romantic date in the park or simply looking for a classy way to transport your favourite drinks. Their wicker baskets are crafted with the best materials for a luxury finish, and kitted out with everything you could possibly need. We recommend the Badminton 2 Person Green Tweed Fitted Wicker Picnic Basket, which brings the whole dining table outside, providing everything from essential crockery and cutlery to the crucial bottle opener and even salt and pepper shakers. The cooler compartment will keep your food chilled whatever the weather and leather straps ensure everything stays secure. For a bigger gathering, try the Lancaster Green Tweed Fitted Wicker Picnic Basket with Blanket, which will cover a party of four, providing additional glasses and even somewhere to sit. Be sure to order quickly as these top-quality hampers are selling out fast.
The Spanish spread: Ibérica and Estrella Galicia
There’s nowhere most of us want to be more this summer than the Mediterranean, and while that might not be possible, we can have the next best thing: all of the flavours of Spain in one magical box, ready to be devoured al fresco. Ibérica and Estrella Galicia can’t promise you sun, however the restaurant group and iconic brewery have collaborated to bring you some of the best of Spanish produce. Celebrate the return of your social life by diving into a range of deli delights expertly curated by Michelin starred Nacho Manzano of Ibérica, from multi-award winning 42-month-cured Jamon Domecq and a trio of chorizos – one smoky, one spicy and one 100% Ibérico – to five artisan cheeses – buttery Manchego Reserva, woody San Simon, creamy Massimo Rey Silo, powerful Perazola and organic Sujaira – alongside reganas wafers. The picnic box is £40 and comes complete with four refreshingly smooth bottles of Estrella Galicia beer and even a couple of branded glasses, a bottle opener, bottle coolers and Ibérica’s reusable picnic jute bag. Order here for nationwide delivery.
The Pimm’s party: Hampers.com
No British garden gathering is really complete without a glass of Pimm’s in hand, which is why Hampers.com have put together a luxurious package centred around this summer classic. Their Pimm’s Sharing Hamper is the epitome of indulgence: crammed with your favourite tipple alongside a host of luxury teatime treats sourced from over the UK, from biscuits and chocolate to popcorn and scones, it’s guaranteed to satisfy any sweet cravings. After opening a bottle of Pimm’s No.1 and some Franklin & Sons lemonade for the perfect refreshment, tuck into some sharing snacks including Ace Tea Lemon Curd Tea Dunkers, perfect alongside a cuppa, or and Joe & Seph’s Eton Mess Gourmet Popcorn. Then spread your clotted cream over two giant luxury fruit scones with strawberry and champagne jam. Finally, finish with a classy confectionary selection including a Strawberry and Pistachio White Chocolate Bar and a White Chocolate & Raspberry Fudge Slider. Order the ten-piece hamper, complete with a wicker basket, for £95 via Hampers.com.
The Mediterranean mezzes: Arabica
Who said that vegetables and salads have to be boring? From the Levant culture, we have learnt there are innumerable ways to spice up your typical plant-based picnic foods. Arabica has proven this by preparing a proper mezze feast to bring to the park or spread out on a sunny terrace. Their Deluxe Picnic Kit is a box of delicious Middle Eastern wonders. The snacking begins with a selection of crudités, crunchy pickles and pita crisps to soak in three different dips, including the classic and essential hummus. Though very different in style, the feta salad and summer freekeh salad equally awaken hidden vegetarian desires. Inside each box, the vibrant greens are just waiting to be bathed in flavoursome dressings. But it’s the Feta and Spinach Boregi that deserves a riotous round of applause: this luscious filo pastry snake requires only a short time in the oven before it comes out golden and steaming. Last but certainly not least, the sweetly bewitching baklava is truly the seventh wonder. A celebration of fresh (prepared on the day of delivery) and tasty mezze to share, Arabica meal kits are the perfect foodie addition to any picnic or outdoor gathering. Order online here.
The Italian indulgence: Bocca di Lupo
Regional Italian restaurant Bocca di Lupo’s new range of picnic boxes were created by founder Jacob Kennedy to help elevate the London park experience. Mission accomplished. Delivered nicely chilled, their picnic Macellaio has everything you need to take Al fresco dining to the next level. It includes a freshly baked focaccia, caponata, bread sticks, creamy buffalo mozzarella with datterini tomatoes and basil, a freshly baked tiella di scarola (an escarole and olive pie), cured meats – prosciutto di San Daniele and Tuscan salami – and a light rocket and lemon salad. And if you’ve got room after all of that, there’s even a delicious tiramisu to end the feast on a sweet note. The boxes arrive ready to go, complete with a tote bag and eco-friendly cutlery, glasses and napkins. Picnics feasts are priced at £86 (including delivery) and are currently available for postcodes across London. Order online here before 3pm for next day delivery before midday.
The Great British banquet: Melrose & Morgan
Melrose & Morgan, the North London modern grocer and kitchen, have launched their new summer picnic hampers, showcasing the very best produce from some of the finest small-scale, artisan producers. Melrose and Morgan’s hampers are filled with seasonal essentials to satisfy every appetite and available in different sizes designed to be easily shared between two, four or six people. Among a variety of options, there’s the Traditional British (£20 per person or £17.50 for the vegetarian option), an ode to the classic picnic filled with pork sausage rolls, scotch eggs, bacon and cheddar tarts, crisps, a punnet of fresh strawberries and rich chocolate brownies, available for London delivery. For those looking to bring a sense of occasion to their picnic feast, the deluxe Great British Picnic (£145) is available for nationwide delivery and arrives brimming with carefully chosen products, many of which are grown and reared in the British Isles, including the finest cheese, charcuterie and chutneys. Melrose & Morgan’s Hampers are available to order here until the end of September.
The continental buffet: Borough Market
If you prefer your picnic to take you on a trip across the entire continent, there’s no need to narrow down your options. London’s iconic Borough Market is launching a comprehensive range of fresh produce and special occasion meal boxes available nationwide on subscription, offering up specially selected, high-welfare free-range fresh meat, fish, dairy and top-quality seasonal fruit and vegetables, along with baked goods and drinks from some of the Market’s best loved traders. Their Picnic Box comes stocked with all your favourite deli delights, turning a picnic in the park into an al fresco dining experience. It includes the iconic mushroom pate from Pate Moi, charcuterie from Parma Ham and Mozzarella Stand, Bath Soft Cheese gift box and Noix de Jambon and Emmental from Une Normande A Londres. If you want to elevate the experience further, there is also the option to add craft beer from Utobeer or celebrate with the finest champagne from Cartwright Brothers. Order online here.
The French-style feast: Provisions Wine & Cheese
Just in time for summer, Provisions Wine & Cheese in North London have launched new Picnic Hampers brimming with artisan produce and organic and natural wines, all expertly selected from some of Europe’s hidden gem producers. The unique Provisions Picnic Hamper includes a range of delights to create an extra-special day in the park or at home in your garden. Priced at £49 and available for 3-4 people, the hamper includes organic houmous from Variette in South West France, organic black olive tapenade from Puglia, crottin de chavignol goats cheese, comte 150g cheese, Jose Gourmet tuna pate, smoked ham from Trentino, pate de champagne from South West France, a tin of gordal olives, salted Catalan almonds, bread or crackers. Those who want to order the vegetarian option will receive the same but with a green bell pepper spread from South West France and sun-dried tomato paste from Puglia. A Picnic Hamper for 4-6 people is also be available for £75. Order online here.
The boozy basket: The Umbrella Project
The team at The Umbrella Project (masterminds behind East London bars, The Sun Tavern and Discount Suit Company) have also teamed up with Provisions Wine & Cheese in North London to launch the ultimate Garden Picnic cocktail hamper, championing independent and local food and drink producers. With warmer weather on the horizon and parties in parks and gardens being top of everyone’s socialising agendas, The Garden Picnic Hamper, which is available for nationwide delivery, is the perfect al fresco set-up for any summer affair or gift experience. Each hamper includes crockery, glassware, cutlery and coasters as well as a stellar drinks selection including: prosecco, rosé, a Strawberry Kir cocktail and two cans of Umbrella London Rhubarb Cider, more than enough for two. Also included is a selection of fine picnic foods such as gordal olives, sardines, camembert, crottin de chavignol goats cheese, Ship Biscuits, Coli & Sumz Chutney, Halen Môn Anglesey Sea Salt and lemons. The Garden Hamper is available to purchase online here for £90.
The Indian experience: Bombay Bustle
Bombay Bustle, the Indian restaurant in Mayfair co-founded by Samyukta Nair and inspired by the Dabbawalas, the institution of men who use Mumbai’s famed local railway and bicycles to deliver home cooked meals across the city, have just launched picnic baskets in keeping with this ethos. Traditionally towering boxes brimming with lunches made in the homes of the working community, dabbas are transported to their intended recipient through a complex route of local trains, hand carts and bicycles. Aiming to recreate this, every woven basket will reveal a feast of small eats, biryanis, sides and desserts. To support the Dabbawalas whose livelihoods have been decimated due to Covid, Bombay Bustle are donating £1 from every basket and restaurant bill to The Nutan Mumbai Tiffinbox Suppliers Charity Trust. Paying homage to the flavours and culture of Mumbai, executive chef Surender Mohan has created two different baskets: The Bustle, for one, and The Bombay, designed to be shared. Order online here for collection or delivery.
The editorial unit