A perfect picnic - Chutneys, oils and pre-mixed tipples to enjoy during your next al fresco escape...
With temperatures set to give Spain a run for its money this week, there's never been a better time to dust off your picnic blanket and head to your park (or back garden) for a glorious picnic.
While packet sandwiches, salads, juice boxes and easy to eat fruits are the norm, it doesn't mean that you shouldn't put any thought into your picnic fare. With a few additions, such as lovely oils, chutneys and a cheeky, ready-to-drink tipple, you can take you picnic to another level.
We've rounded up some of our favourite items for you to enjoy this summer. Clockwise from left to right:
Greenall's pre-mixed cocktails - Made with Greenall's London Dry Gin and mixed with either Tonic Water or Pink Grapefruit. The Great British Cocktail that's a summer staple...
Vivo Bio Organic Red Wine Vinegar and Organic Olive Oil - Great with summer salads and full of organic goodness for health mavens.
BLOOM Gin & Fentimans Rose Lemonade and Gin & Tonic - Sophisticated ready-to-drink cocktails made with BLOOM London Dry Gin and Fentiman's Rose Lemonade or Tonic Water. Classic cocktails that are sure to be a hit...
Butler's Grove Apple Chutney
A Great Taste Award winning, gourmet apple chutney made with love in Hampshire. A thick apple chutney with spices and raisins. Serve with pork or cheeses.
The Blueberry Brothers Blueberry Chutney
A spicy, blueberry chutney with cardamon, mustard and fennel, hand made in Devon. Enjoy with cheeses or charcuterie.
If you'd like to be a bit more adventurous and would like to whip up some unique savoury sandwich fillings or make some delicious desserts, ensure you check out the Picnic Cookbook for inspiration.
Pre-made picnic baskets
If the thought of compiling your own picnic is too much like hard work, then you'll love the picnic baskets from Arch London. Gourmet picnic delights include half a bottle of Champagne; smoked salmon sandwiches; homemade crisps with sea salt lemon and sage; poached chicken cooked in the stone oven; potato salad; and a selection of freshly made macaroons.
The picnics are priced at £75 per person and come packaged in a posh hamper.
See you in the park with my picnic basket in tow!
Le Pain Quotidien
The Le Pain Quotidien picnic hamper can be purchased from 24 branches across London and is priced £40 or with wine, £48.
Wine options include Malbec, Domaine Bousquet, Argentina or Pinot Grigio, Mont’ Albano, Friuli Grave, Italy.
Best friends Ross Taylor and Rod Garnham founded Corkers in 2010, diversifying the family farm from potatoes to hand-cooked crisps. Drawing on years of family experience and with their unique Naturalo potato, they set about creating the ultimate, non-greasy crisp with a natural crunch. Today, the crisps are stocked in prestigious UK landmarks such as the Tate and National Trust properties, as well as delis, farm shops and selected Waitrose stores.
Made with potatoes unearthed from the rich soil of the fenlands, twice cooked for double enjoyment and naturally flavoured with flair, these quintessentially British crisps are true Corkers.
Ross Taylor, Director of Corkers Crisps, says:
“Our family has been farming potatoes since the 1800s, but it was actually on the ski slopes four years ago, alongside my best friend Rod, that the idea for Corkers was born. For us, Corkers is a celebration of the quirks, tastes and traditions that make Britain so great.”
Corkers crisps are made from Naturalo potatoes, grown in the black, peaty fenland soil of Cambridgeshire, where they are hand-cooked to perfection. Available seven flavours including:
● Sea Salt – A classic crisp and a Great Taste Gold Award Winner
● Pork Sausage and English Mustard – Barbecued British bangers finished with a hint of Old English Mustard
● Red Leicester and Caramelised Onion – Slow roasted onion and rich creamy red Leicester cheese
● Sea Salt and Cider Vinegar – Made using the finest English cider, which is sweet in taste with a hint of zest
● Sweet Thai Chilli – Savoury flavours of chilli and herbs
● Sea Salt and Black Pepper – Gold Taste Award winning crisps made from sweet and hot peppers
● Gressingham Duck and Hoisin Sauce - A partnership of the Gressingham Duck and the Naturalo potato, both hailing from the Corkers family farm
So, what's the verdict on taste? My personal favourites were the Gressingham Duck and Hoisin Sauce (a bit like a delicious Chinese takeaway in one bite) and the Sweet Thai Chilli (just enough spice to pack a punch, but not so hot that it's overpowering).
Corkers Crisps are available from selected Waitrose stores, Waitrose.com and online at http://www.corkerscrisps.co.uk. Corkers crisps are available in pack sizes of 20g and 40g, with sharing packs of 150g. RRP starts from 50p for a 20g bag.
Ditch the dairy and discover the tasty goodness of Snowconut Frozen Coconut Milk Yoghurt from the Coconut Collaborative
I'm always looking for tasty dairy-free alternatives, so I was thrilled to discover this tasty new range of coconut milk frozen yoghurt from The Coconut Collaborative.
The Coconut Collaborative was founded in 2014 by nutritionist Steve Bessant and James Averdieck, Founder of Gu, both believers in fuelling the body with good foods as part of a healthy lifestyle.
Snowconut Frozen Coconut Milk Yoghurt is free from dairy, soya, and gluten, making it the perfect treat for those who suffer from food intolerances, but still want to indulge in a frozen treat on a hot summer's day. Coconut milk contains essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that supply a host of benefits to the human body.
The 500ml tubs come in four tempting flavours:
● Vanilla and Coconut Snowconut - creamy frozen coconut yoghurt with a hint of vanilla
● Raspberry Snowconut - creamy frozen coconut yoghurt with the added tang of raspberries
● Chocolate Snowconut - creamy frozen coconut yoghurt with the added joy of chocolate
● Mango Snowconut - creamy frozen coconut yoghurt with the refreshing juiciness of mangos
I sampled the Chocolate Snowconut, which was sweet without being too sickly and the Mango Snowconut, which was light and tropical and made me wish as though I were on a beach soaking up some rays!
Steve Bessant, Co-Founder of The Coconut Collaborative, says:
“Finding a sweet treat that’s good for you, but still feels and tastes indulgent, is normally a real challenge. That’s why we’re such fans of the coconut. We’ve harnessed the flavour, as well as the nutritional benefits of the holy drupe, and packed it into one pot, offering people a healthy alternative to everyday ice creams and yoghurts.”
Snowconut Frozen Coconut Milk Yoghurt (RRP £4.00-£4.99) is available nationwide from Ocado, Waitrose, Tesco, Sainsbury’s Local and Whole Foods as well as independent retailers. For more information, visit: www.coconutco.co.uk or follow @coconutcollab.
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