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Picnics – heaven or hell? In my experience the word picnic either makes folk jump for joy or run for the hills.
If you’re in the second camp, I do get it. Why subject yourself to ants/grass/sand in your pants, soggy sandwiches and warm white wine?
It really, truly doesn’t have to be that way, though. Whether you’re out in the countryside, at the beach or down the road in your local park, there are lots of ways to make picnics infinitely more pleasure than purgatory.
And to help me prove it, I’ve teamed up with John Lewis. They’ve got absolutely everything you need for perfect picnics, and the most comfortable and stylish outdoor eating this summer.
Picnic in style & comfort this summer with John Lewis
Let’s start with the food and drink (vitally important – it is a picnic, after all). The right cool bag will keep food deliciously fresh and drinks refreshingly cold. Find the perfect one for you from the John Lewis selection, which ranges from individual lunch bags to handy backpacks, family totes to party size boxes on wheels.
My top style picks for the summer are the Fusion Cooler Tote Bag above, and the understated Croft Collection Picnic Tote Cooler Bag below. Browse all John Lewis Cooler Bags and boxes here.
Colourful, practical picnicware
Next, the ideal picnicware. Which means lightweight and unbreakable, but also stylish and a pleasure to eat off and drink from.
Here are my contemporary favourites from the current John Lewis picnicware range. I particularly like the on point dark blue and white patterns of the Pacific range from Royal Doulton. I’m sure you’ll find your own favourites too – see the whole range of John Lewis picnicware here.
1. Teal Fusion Plastic Jug | 2. Poolside Stacking Glasses | 3. Leon Bamboo Dinner Plates | 4. Orla Kiely Bamboo Bowl | 5. Joseph Joseph GoEat Portable Cutlery Set | 6. Poolside Bubble Plastic Tumbler | 7. Royal Doulton Pacific Melamine Tumblers
Alternatively, the classic picnic hamper comes fully stocked with everything you need. For a quick, convenient way to be picnic-ready this summer, here’s the Croft Collection 2-Person Luxury Wicker Picnic Hamper above. See all Picnic Hampers here.
The most stylish alternative to plastic bottles around, I couldn’t love these sleek, chic, vacuum sealed S’well Drinking Bottles more. Made from lightweight, high-grade stainless steel, they keep drinks hot for 12 hours and cold for 24 hours.
And thanks to their special, triple walled ThermaS’well™ technology the outsides of the bottles stay condensation-free. So everything else in your bag doesn’t get all wet – bonus. Also please note, the largest size will hold a full bottle of wine – double bonus!
Another eco-friendly picnic must-have are these Bee’s Wrap Honeycomb Reusable Sandwich Wraps from Eddington. The natural antibacterial properties of beeswax help keep food fresh and they can be used again and again. They’re fully biodegradable and compostable and even used several times a week will last roughly a year.
Picnic blankets, rugs & portable chairs
Comfort is king at picnics. It doesn’t matter how delicious the food or convivial the company, it’s hard to enjoy either if your buttocks are numb and/or damp. Ditto if your calf muscles are about to go into spasm.
Having to sit on the ground is usually the deal breaker for picnic-phobes. So here are some practical picnic blankets, outdoor cushions and portable chairs for everyone’s picnicking comfort and pleasure this summer.
And the pick of the bunch? The Fiam Fiesta Outdoor Soft Armchair is adjustable, lightweight and foldable. Plus it’s the most comfortable outdoor chair I’ve ever sat in. And I mean ever.
1. Lafuma R Clip Sunlounger | 2. Fusion Outdoor Picnic Festival Rug | 3. Wild Garden Outdoor Cushion | 4. Joules Quilted Starfish Picnic Rug | 5. Birds and Palms Deckchair | 6. Reversible Showerproof Outdoor Cushion | 7. Joules Woven Check Picnic Rug | 8. Fiam Fiesta Soft Outdoor Armchair
So there we have it. I hope you found some useful ideas and that you have some absolutely brilliant picnics this summer – wherever you may be.