There’s nothing like eating out alfresco and enjoying nature
YOU MAY BE stay-cationing or possibly on holiday and you decide that you would like to spend a day away from the hustle and bustle of the city, and enjoy a picnic in a park. A picnic is a perfect place to relax, unwind and have some tasty alfresco treats in beautiful wildlife surroundings.
Scenic beauty spots
Every picnic you take will have different scenic beauty spots to take in. You could picnic in a forest, by the lake, river, historic castle, the list is endless. And once you’ve had your picnic, no doubt there will be plenty of other amenities within touching distance to take in. But before you leave, don’t forget to take your rubbish – so rubbish bags may not sound like being on the top of your list, but they are a priority.
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Hamper full of very tasty goodies
However, you can’t go on a picnic without a hamper full of tasty goodies. Hopefully your one will have all the cutlery and utensils you need. But, there’s no harm in bringing some extra knifes, forks, plates and cups, if extra friends want to tag along. One thing I once forgot was a corkscrew and it meant that the nice red I had stashed away in my hamper had to wait until I got home.
Bread, salami, cheeses are top of my list
Go shopping the night before so that your food is nice and fresh. I don’t know if you are a vegetarian or a meat eater, so I will leave it up to you to decide what you want to get. I always like to buy bread, salami, cheeses and the like to make sandwiches. Then come the nibbles. It will be a beer or two, or a couple of glasses of wine and not necessarily red, if I’m not driving. If I am behind the wheel, then I wash all that good food down with sparkling water or fruit juice.
Cool as an ice box dude
If you are bringing drinks then it might be worth getting an ice box to keep things cool, particularly if it’s a hot summer day. Another option if you are having cake or chocolate biscuits as a dessert, is to bring a thermoflask with tea or coffee.
Fresh alcoholic drinks can be vegan-friendly and gluten-free
Otherwise you could put in your cool box something stronger. There are lots of healthy drinks around that you may want to bring with you including fruit juices with little sugar in them, or even alcoholic beverages like cider which are made with 100 per cent freshly-pressed juice, are vegan-friendly and gluten-free.
Let’s sit down and enjoy
If you have plenty of space in the boot of your car, bring some foldable chairs. Otherwise a nice big blanket that everyone can sit down on, though like me, you’ll get edged off onto the grass by family members and may have to to sit on your jacket.
Don’t forget to clean up
If you are having a potato salad or something messy to eat, it’s useful to bring kitchen towels to keep things clean, not to mention a bin bag to clean up after your mess.
Baby wipes essential if you have small children
There’s nothing more distressing than someone having a picnic and leaving soda and beer cans on the grass after they have gone. You may find like me that you have to dispose of a sausage after a friendly dog comes looking for food and if it’s a big dog you may drop the sausage in fear. If you have young children, then add baby wipes to your list.
Sunglasses and suntan cream a must on a scorching day
If it’s hot don’t forget the sunglasses and suntan cream to protect yourself from UV rays and getting sunburnt. A bug spray may be needed if you get attacked by flies or wasps. I usually give them a big whack with my hand and hope I don’t get stung. A good tip is to avoid perfumed soaps, shampoos, and deodorants which attract them. But if you do suffer an accident then it’s good to have a First Aid Kit with you.
Once you have eaten it might be time for photographs. Get one of the kids to take some nice photos of you kicking a football, grandad having a game of chess with older sister, grandma and mum on their puzzle books and novels. So don’t forget those items!
If you are having a picnic in England then you must bring a brolly with you. You need one that’s big enough to keep you dry and that doesn’t get blown away.
Back garden picnic is just a few steps away
If you know your destination well then it will be easy to set up camp. You might be surprised to find a grassy area just up the road to have a picnic. Otherwise, if you’re lucky enough to have a back garden, then the journey might be just a few footsteps past your back garden door. Whatever you do, enjoy your day out. And if you are doing it on June 18, it’s International Picnic Day.
If you live in the UK, the top eight destinations in the South East are: Thames Chase, Essex; Alice Holt Forest, Hampshire; Friston Forest, East Sussex; Bedgebury Pinetum, Kent; Wendover Woods, Buckinghamshire; Jeskyns Community Woodland, Kent; Abbots Wood, East Sussex; and Birchden Wood, Kent.
Venture out further afield
Outside of the UK, you may want to venture out to the following: Angara Mara, Kenya; Nihiwatu Indonesia; Vestmannaeyjar Archipel, Iceland; Krupa Canyon, Croatia; The Sacred Valley, Peru; and Mt Aspiring National Park, New Zealand.