Save yourself the horrors of the soggy sandwich with one of these ready-made picnic hampers
Words Helen Brown
The sun is out and London’s parks await. You’ve got the Pimm’s and the picnic blanket, the strawberries are hulled and you spent the morning slavishly spreading Lurpak over half a loaf of bread. You dive in, only to find that your sandwiches have gone soggy and something has leaked. Save yourself the efforts and splash out on one of these ready-made picnic hampers. They seriously take the humble packed-lunch to new gastronomic heights. Here are a few of our favourites…
THE DE BEAUVOIR DELI
The De Beauvoir Deli’s picnic hampers celebrate London’s green spaces – Hyde Park, Regent’s Park, Victoria Park, London Fields. Each Hamper is a tribute to one of these famous London parks and comes filled with hand picked treats. For a banquet fit for royalty go for the Hyde Park option – it includes smoked salmon pate, mixed olives, Tunworth cheese and more. Alternatively, the Victoria Park hamper takes on a High Tea theme with finger sandwiches, scotch eggs and brownies.
From £35, thedebeauvoirdeli.co.uk
When in Rome, dine like the Roman’s do. Although you’re probably not in Rome, but in Victoria Park. Nevertheless you can still get that Italian feast with the ready-made picnic hamper from Carluccio’s. This antipasti offering includes olive focaccia, a pearl-barley salad with grilled aubergine and pancetta and taleggio tarts. Chicken supreme and courgette, mint and ricotta frittata follows, and the meal ends on a dolce note with strawberry shortcrust tarts.
£45 for two people, carluccios.com
The hamper from Corrigan’s certainly makes al fresco easy. It includes seasonal dishes from the Irish and British menu, which can be tailored to your group size. A hamper for four contains seven dishes, homemade breads and hand churned butter. You’ll also enjoy a bottle of champagne, two mineral waters and two blankets. It includes disposable crockery, cutlery and glassware all wrapped up in cute and convenient hamper boxes.
£200 for four people, corrigansmayfair.co.uk
COWORTH PARK PICNIC HAMPER
Dine al fresco with a delicious hamper from Coworth Park Mansion House. They offer a number of picnic varieties, including afternoon tea and a light lunch. Our favourite is the deluxe option. It makes a heavenly spread complete with dressed crab and beef bresaola with Parmesan and rocket salad. Next comes the salads – potato and duck egg with bacon and chives and a heritage beetroot number with truffle honey and hazelnuts. End on a high with English strawberries and cream, chocolate tart and homemade Coworth choux buns. Each ready-made picnic hamper can be enjoyed on Coworth’s grounds or out in the wider Berkshire countryside.
£80 per person for the Deluxe Hamper, dorchestercollection.com
Due to popular demand The Arch London has brought back its very own take-away picnic hampers for the summer. Centrally located a stone’s throw from Hyde Park, it’s the perfect spot for an al fresco feast in the sun. This luxurious lunch features smoked salmon sandwiches and a coronation chicken salad. You’ll also be treated to homemade crisps and a selection of freshly made macaroons.
£95 for two people, thearchlondon.com
Get the Royal treatment in one of the nearby Royal Parks with a picnic feast from Duke’s. Along with exceptional cuisine, this hamper comes with a butler. Yes, a butler. He’ll meet you on arrival, set up the rug, serve your treats and then leave you to enjoy the outdoors.
£39.50 per person, dukeshotel.com
THE MOUNT STREET DELI
For a day out with good food and good company, there are two to choose from. The Scott’s Picnic Lunch includes lobster, smoked salmon, soda bread and a bottle of Pulenta La Flor Sauvignon Blanc. Alternatively, The Mount Street Deli Picnic Lunch features beef with watercress, beetroot and horseradish dressing, herb roast salmon and a selection of salads
£60 for Scott’s Picnic Lunch for Two or £45 for the Mount Street Deli Picnic Lunch for two people, themountstreetdeli.co.uk
Paul’s picnic includes sandwiches, salads, quiches, macarons and crisps. As a front-runner in London’s bakery race, you know this is going to be good. They even supply a complimentary bag and tablecloth, so all you need to do is pick your sunny park spot.
£20 for two people, paul-uk.com