Plan the perfect picnic this summerBy Domino's on 07-07-14 in
It’s time to make the most of the summer, get some pals together, and enjoy the great outdoors with a perfect picnic. We’ve put together a guide to help you pack some delicious fare (including pizza – naturally), find a great location and take along everything you’ll need for the day. What are your picnic essentials? Let us know in the comments section below, or send us an Instagram of your picnicking experience using the hashtag #perfectpicnic.
The perfect spot
Here are some of the most beautiful public parks around the UK where you can set up camp for the afternoon:
London: Hampstead Heath
One of London’s largest parks, it boasts a view from Parliament Hill that’s protected by law. It’s the perfect place to chill out in the long grass while admiring that famous skyline – and there are even lakes for you to take a dip in once your lunch has gone down.
Wales: Bute Park, Cardiff
At 56 hectares, Bute Park is one of the largest urban parks in Wales. As it’s accessible from Cardiff city centre, it’s a popular choice with everyone from cyclists, runners and dog-walkers, to office workers on their lunch break.
Source: Visit Wales
South West: Queens Square, Bristol
Not a giant space, but Queens Square in Bristol is a beautiful place to spend a sunny day. Its elegant paths divide up the grass, and it’s surrounded by historic regency houses on all sides.
Source: Bristol University
South East: Port Meadow, Oxford
A big old common by the Thames in west Oxford, you’ll be dining next to the river (and more than a few cows and horses). It’s ideal if you’re looking for a beautiful area to explore while you walk off your picnic.
Midlands: Abington Park, Northampton
Abington Park has all sorts to recommend it – a museum, a cafe, a lake, and lots of gardens for the little ones to run around in.
North West: Fletcher Moss Park and Gardens, Manchester
Part botanical garden, part normal park to amble around, Fletcher Moss is the perfect place to discover wildlife and unusual plants.
North East: Alnwick Gardens, Northumberland
Alnwick Gardens has huge water features, rose gardens, a cherry orchard, and all sorts of other lovely things to stare at while you chow down on some delicious food and accidentally fall asleep.
Source: Annie’s Guest House
Scotland: Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh
Nestled in the shadows of Edinburgh Castle, Princes Street Gardens are surrounded by impressive ancient buildings, and are full of open green spaces where you can perch and watch the world go by.
Northern Ireland: Mussenden Temple, Coleraine, County Derry
Part of the National Trust, Mussenden Temple sits dramatically on a cliff top, and was recently featured in the HBO series Game of Thrones as part of the Dragonstone exterior. Pick your spot and channel Stannis Baratheon, or just take in the incredible sea views, eat some food and be careful when you’re playing frisbee – it’s a long way down.
Source: The Guardian
Pizza is the perfect picnic partner – particularly when leftover from the night before – complete with dipping sauces, of course. Other excellent picnic fare includes sandwiches, salads, shareable bites such as chicken wings, potato wedges and dough balls, and brownies or flapjacks for a sweet treat at the end. No quintessentially British picnic would be complete without some in-season strawberries and a good old-fashioned bottle of pop to wash it all down. And don’t forget a bag of ice to keep your drinks cool while the sun’s out.
For your grazing needs, cups, plates, napkins and a knife to cut any bigger food into bitesize chunks, should be everything you need. Other items you don’t want to leave behind are a corkscrew or bottle opener, a few blankets (or foldable chairs if you’re feeling fancy), an umbrella in case the weather takes a turn for the worse, and bin bags to clear up after yourselves.
You’re going to need some sweet tunes to bop to while you enjoy your feast and catch some rays, so take along a portable Bluetooth speaker that you can connect to your smartphone. You’ll find some great value options online – some are as little as £10, so there’s no excuse for silent picnicking. If a member of your group is a budding musician, ask them to bring their guitar along to serenade you.
Take some reading material along that you can browse – weekend papers usually have a supplement to suit everyone, or indulge in some gossip magazines for celeb news fans. And for those of you who enjoy the competitive spirit, take along a frisbee, rounders equipment or a set of boules.
Don’t forget to leave your suggestions for the ultimate picnic in the comments section, and send in your Instagram snaps of your #perfectpicnic.