Nothing says British Summer like a picnic. We love to imagine long, sun-drenched afternoons stretched out on blankets atop the nearest patch of green. In reality, the British weather usually has other ideas…
No matter. Whatever the weather’s doing, you can have a fantastic outdoor soiree this summer. Here are my essential (and floral) ways to make the most of the occasion.
The key to picnic food is convenience. Whilst a three-bird roast followed by a trifle might sound like a wonderful idea, in reality you won’t even want to look at it, let alone eat it once you’re outside and having fun.
Sandwiches are great, but when it comes to a picnic, I’m a sweet-toothed person. My favourites are fairy cakes made with elderflower, lavender or rosewater or a good old Victoria sandwich, decorated with edible flowers. Now, that’s a floral spin on a classic.
Despite best intentions, mixing drinks at a picnic never really works. So make sure you pre-mix anything you wish to sup on. On the alcoholic side of things, a blood orange negroni (equal parts gin, Campari, red vermouth and blood orange juice) is easy to make at home & travels well. Finish with a sprig of rosemary for a floral note.
If you’re thinking non-alcoholic, rosehip or rhubarb syrup with some sparkling water always goes down a treat. Oh, and there’s always trusty elderflower cordial. Whatever you’re serving, make sure you’ve got some plastic glasses, plenty of ice… and some flowers to garnish!
A babbling brook, a sleepy hedgerow, a secret glade… wherever you choose to unfurl your blanket, just make sure it is wonderfully flowery. In this country we’re blessed with wonderful summer plants and flowers. Just make sure you know where the nearest doc leaf is, in case of nettles.
I’m flower mad, so I don’t think any occasion is complete without a few flowers. Simply take a clean jam jar or a plastic picnic cup, pop a few trimmed down flowers inside and position on your rug. One in the middle is lovely, one on each corner works just as well. Don’t worry about putting water in the jar… you’re not going to be there long enough for it to matter too much! You can then take your flowers home and rearrange in some water.
So, those are my tips for a fabulous, floral picnic in the great outdoors. Fingers crossed the rain holds off long enough for you to try them all!
To help give every occasion some floral flair, start regular deliveries of Freddie’s Flowers – you’ll never be without flowers!