Everything You Need to Pack for the Perfect Picnic

Dann Ball
Dann BallJul 7, 2022
Everything You Need to Pack for the Perfect Picnic

We don’t want to say it too loudly in case it scares it away, but it looks like summer might have FINALLY arrived in the UK. Yes, temperatures are rising, there’s a big ball of heat in the sky, and we can hear the ‌jingle of ice cream trucks up and down the country.

Plus, Wimbledon has started – the peak of British summer with tennis, strawberries and cream, and picnic delights. So, what better way to enjoy the blue skies, sunshine, and the call of ‘Deuce’ than with a good old-fashioned summer picnic?

We get it, though. Sometimes, packing for a picnic is as daunting as packing for a holiday. Do you go with a blanket or take a table? Is rosé still popular, or is there another trendy tipple of choice? To help, we’ve pulled together everything you need to pack for the perfect picnic.

Picnic Baskets and Cooler Bags

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Image source: OnBuy

Let’s start with arguably one of the most essential items on your picnic checklist: the basket. This is what you’ll use to carry your best picnic foods and drinks – and it doesn’t hurt if it looks good, right? Our favorite is the Autumn Red Tartan 4-Person Fitted Picnic Basket from OnBuy (£122).

This willow picnic basket features the complete works:

  • 4 x porcelain plates
  • 4 x wine glasses
  • 4 x knives
  • Forks and spoons
  • 4 x napkins
  • Bottle opener
  • Picnic blanket
  • Salt and pepper shaker
  • A cooler pouch

Image source: Beautify (BTFY)

However, if you’re looking for one to fill with your own essentials (see our top picks below), then the 4 Person Folding Picnic Basket from Beautify (BTFY, £59.99) has our vote. It comes with removable fold-down handles and an insulated section for keeping food and drink cooler for longer. Think of it as a contemporary take on the classic picnic basket design.

Image source: LightInTheBox

Alternatively, we’re loving the Wooden Outdoor Folding Picnic Basket Table from LightInTheBox (£30.95). It’s roomy enough to carry our picnic faves AND folds out as a table. Cover it with fresh fruit, bubbles, cheese, and charcuterie – it’s practical, and an Instagram prop all at once.

Image source: The Hut

Not into the cottage-core basket aesthetic? No problem. Pack your stuff in the Sunnylife Luxe Picnic Backpack instead (The Hut, £150). We love the colorway (anyone else getting Aperol Spritz vibes?) and the fact it comes with:

  • 2 x cutlery sets
  • 2 x tumblers
  • 2 x plates
  • 1 x bottle opener
  • 1 x picnic blanket

There’s also an insulated interior with a freezable gel divider – handy for keeping your matching bottle of Aperol Spritz fresh.

Image source: Bombinate

Level up your picnic style with the Aqua Picnic Cooler Bag from Bombinate (£275). It’s crafted by Cap d’Arsène, a Parisian artisan label that knows how to add a touch of chic to any outdoor scenario. Expect leather, hand-finished details, a washable lining, and plenty of style.

The Seating Arrangement

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Once you’ve found that ideal spot (a fine art in itself), it’s time to prepare the Pinterest-perfect picnic. Whether you’re planning to have a sit-on-the-ground picnic or use a chair, we have options to ramp up the relaxation.

Image source: Beautify (BTFY)

Bring the boho vibes with this Boho Nomad Print Picnic Blanket from Beautify (BTFY, £19.99). It’s a comfy polyester fleece with a waterproof backing and a detachable carrier. It’s stylish enough to use throughout the year, too; not just for picnics.

Image source: The Range

Image source: M&S

Take the comfort (and boho vibes) even further with this Indian Mandala Outdoor Floor Cushion from The Range (£24.99) or the Striped Outdoor Cushion from M&S (£22.50). Both are water-resistant, just in case the weather changes. Well, we are in the UK…

Image source: Banggood

Everyone has that dreamy picnic set up in mind. But, in reality, you sometimes spend most of the time stopping ants from getting on the food and trying not to knock over wine bottles. Enter the Wooden Outdoor Wine Table from Banggood (£24.98).

It’s collapsable, portable, and can hold a bottle of wine, two glasses, and a plate of your favorite wine pairings or bowl of strawberries and cream for Wimbledon. Just stick the rod into the grass, dirt, or sand and elevate your picnicking (both metaphorically and literally).

Image source: DrinkWell

Alternatively, choose the Outside Gange Drinks Cooler Table from DrinkWell (£119). This is the ultimate ice bucket and cooler table, and top of the list for picnic ideas for adults. Simply add ice and chill up to 25 bottles of beer all evening.

It also doubles up as the perfect prep area. When not used, the hand-finished, mineral-oiled bamboo chopping board acts as a tabletop! Okay, it’s not the most portable accessory on our list. However, it’s ideal for putting in the back of the car and leveling up any beach, countryside, or campsite picnic.

Image source: The Range

If you’re not one for sitting in the grass, check out this Outdoor Camping Foldable Table Chairs Combine Set from The Range (£57.99). It tops our list of picnic ideas for the family. The whole thing is super easy to transport in a briefcase-like box.

And once you arrive at your picnic spot, it can quickly unfold to reveal a durable, lightweight bench and table with enough room for the whole family. There’s even a parasol hole if you want protection from those UV rays.

Picnicware and Cooking Utensils

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Image source: M&S

Let’s add some luxury to your picnic with the Lustre Picnic Jug (£12), Set of 4 Lustre Picnic Highballs (£12), and Set of 4 Lustre Picnic Wine Glasses (£15) from M&S. The set’s textured finish captures the light and mimics cut glass. However, each piece is, in fact, made from durable plastic – handy for transporting to your favorite outdoor spot.

Image source: The Hut

Regarding plates, we’ve loving these Yvonne Ellen Bamboo Plates from The Hut (£25). They’re perfect for bringing jungle vibes to the countryside.

Image source: The Range

For cutlery, we'd choose The Auklett Reusable Bamboo Cutlery Set with Bamboo Plates from The Range (£27.99). This set is eco-friendly and a sustainable, plastic-free solution to single-use cutlery. It can be washed and reused multiple times and comes with a handy pouch to keep your set clean and separate between uses.

Image source: JoyBuy

For serving salads or cooking on a portable BBQ, you’ll need this 33 Pieces Home or Picnic Silicone Custom Kitchen Set from JoyBuy (£8.14). It comes with all the classics – including spatulas, whisks, and tongs – and a wide range of colors to match your picnic basket or plates.

Image source: Bombinate

Now that you have your cooking utensils, you’ll also want a chopping board. Bring the rustic vibes with the Oak Wings – Set of 2 Cutting Boards from Bombinate (£80). Designed by Polish brand Tu Las, these chopping boards resemble delicate butterfly wings. They also feature a lovingly hand-finish with the highest-quality food-safe oil.

Image source: I Want One Of Those

Little touches are often the most effective. Take this Corkscrew Tropical Topaz from I Want One Of Those (IWOOT) (£4.29), for example. It’s small in size, but you’d be pretty stuffed without it; it’s a corkscrew and bottle opener for opening your drinks of choice.

Drinks and Alcohol

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It’d be pretty useless to have a bottle opener without any bottles to open. So, we’ve included our favorite alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks below.

Image source: Whittard Chelsea

Things don’t get much more British than Afternoon Tea. So, go big this summer with The Earl Grey Afternoon Tea for Two Hamper from Whittard Chelsea (£100). Made for two, this chic hamper is filled with Earl Grey loose leaf tea, delicate cups and saucers, a Pimlico Glass Teapot – and scrummy Earl Grey biscuits.

Image source: DrinkWell

2021 was the year of rosé wine. 2022? Hard Seltzer is marking its mark. Well, we Brits have always had a thing for ‘tinnies’ – there’s something about Pimms in a can at Wimbledon or a G&T at a beach BBQ that’s hard to beat. So, what better way to jump on the trend than with this White Claw Black Cherry & Mango Mixed Case Hard Seltzers from DrinkWell (£23.99)?

Image source: TheDrinkShop

Of course, if you can’t quite let go of the rosé trend, check out this Rosé Champagne Gift Box from TheDrinkShop (£53.05). It comes with a bottle of Taittinger Brut Prestige Rosé and two glasses – made for adding to #rosewine on Insta (or our personal favorite: #brosé).

Image source: M&S

M&S, a British staple, are also selling their Cocktail Party Picnic Bag (£35). It comes with a cool-bag and a range of cocktails, such as:

  • Gin and diet tonic
  • Mojito
  • Cosmopolitan
  • Pina colada
  • Blackberry bramble
  • Platinum Jubilee ale
  • Napkins
  • Paper straws

You’ll also find a bottle of their limited edition summer Conte Priuli Oro Prosecco and a non-alcoholic strawberry and elderflower pressé.

Image source: Pentire

If you want to go alcohol-free this summer, there are plenty of delicious options to earn Crypto Cashback with. Our favorites are the Healthy Drinking Bundle from Pentire (£48.60). This plant-based, non-alcoholic spirit is perfect for rivaling a refreshing G&T.

Image source: Mockingbird Spirit

Alternatively, there’s the alcohol-free, tequila-inspired Mockingbird Spirit (£22.99). It’s ideal for making mocktail margaritas and features pure Ashwagandha to help relieve stress and balance the mind. A pretty perfect picnic recipe, we say.

Food and Snacks

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Image source: Iceland

For the perfect picnic spread, head to Iceland and Ocado. Here you’ll find all the British picnic classics like sausage rolls, quiches, sandwich fillers, salads, and crisps and dips (or chips and dips if you’re American).

Image source: M&S

For fantastic pre-made selections, it doesn’t get much better than M&S. Discover their Classic Sandwich Selection (30 Pieces, £20) and their Classic Mini Roll Platter (15 Pieces, £17.50). Both are available for collection in-store.

Image source: Irvins

For something a bit different, pack Irvins – dangerously addictive egg snacks shaking up the picnic scene. Choose from Fish Skin (trust us), Salmon, Potato, and Japanese Spicy Ebi. Can’t decide? Us too. Luckily there’s their Best of Both Worlds Bundle (£37.95).

Image source: Lola’s

Have more of a sweet tooth? Then, you’ve just GOT to try The Lola’s Deluxe Hamper from Lola’s Cupcakes (£74.99). It’s packed with Lola’s bestsellers – a hand-baked lemon loaf and four scrummy cupcakes. It’s also bursting with fresh fruit and a flower bouquet. Is there anything more fitting for a picnic date?

Image source: Lola’s

Of course, there are also their cupcake tins for dessert. Our top pick is the Red Velvet Cupcake Gift Tin (£28.99). These won a coveted star at the Great Taste Awards 2021 and come in a cupcake gift tin – ideal for transporting from your house to your favorite picnic spot.

So there we have it: all you need to pack for the perfect picnic. Have a friend over the pond? Point them toward our Party Essentials for the 4th of July weekend. Then compare notes – and snacks!