How To Plan The Perfect Picnic

Food always tastes better when enjoyed outside. Whether you’re enjoying a lazy afternoon lounging on the lush grass of your favourite park or stretched out on a blanket on the beach, there’s nothing quite like planning a picnic to gather friends and family together to enjoy fresh air and exceptional food.

In this guide, we'll explore everything you need to know if you’re wondering how to plan the perfect picnic. From selecting the finest fare to finding the ideal spot, our guide will ensure your outdoor dining experience is nothing short of exceptional.

Picnic food ideas

If you’re wondering how to plan the perfect picnic, remember that a fine spread of food is at the heart of every memorable picnic. To get you started, we’ve gathered up a selection of the finest British food and drink to elevate your picnic, from succulent glazed hams and traditionally smoked salmon to artisanal cheeses, charcuterie and gourmet condiments. Each hamper is a treasure trove of delights and a surefire way to put together a picnic spread with something for everyone.

DukesHill's commitment to quality shines through in every bite, ensuring that your outdoor dining is nothing short of extraordinary. Whether you're planning a romantic adventure for two or a family outing, our luxury picnic hampers are guaranteed to impress.

Artisan Charcuterie and Cheese Platter

Our exquisite Artisan Charcuterie and Cheese Platter is a perfectly curated selection of cured meat and speciality cheese along with fig chutney and fruit cheese to complete the platter. Each ingredient has been chosen to be the finest example of its type.

Shropshire Picnic Selection

Named after DukesHill’s home county, the Shropshire Picnic Selection contains a dazzling assortment of treats for an impressive picnic spread. Alongside sliced Porchetta, sliced Pastrami, sliced Bresola and sliced Lomo, there’s also luxury smoked Salmon Pâté, two Cumberland Scotch Eggs, cracked Black Pepper Crackers, Scottish Oatcakes, Colston Bassett Quarter Baby Stilton Cheese, a sweet and sticky Fig Chutney, zesty Almond Lemon Drizzle Cake and a bottle of Rose Vino Frizzante.

Classic Picnic Selection

It’s called classic for a reason - everything you could ever want in a picnic selection: sliced Wiltshire Ham, a delicious Family Pork Pie, sliced Oak Smoked Salmon, Mackerel Pâté, well-rounded and tasty Isle of Mull Cheddar, Scottish Oatcakes, Gran Moravia & Pistachio Sablés, sweet and tangy Proper Piccalilli, squidgy Luxury Chocolate Brownies and a handmade Scottish Shortbread Box.

The all-important picnic condiments and accompaniments

The perfect picnic isn’t complete without the all important condiments and sides. Our vibrant Proper Piccalilli elevates ham with its tangy piquancy to cut through the ham. You could also try serving Damson Fruit Cheese with your cheese board. This slightly tart, velvety smooth preserve is made from ripe damson plums, offering a luscious counterpoint to creamy, rich cheese.

Picnic sweet treats

Make sure that you round off your picnic in style with exceptional patisserie. We’re proud to stock authentic Bakewell Tarts from Royal Warrant holder, Montmartre Patisserie, made in the town of Bakewell in Derbyshire. Almond frangipane and raspberry jam are baked in a sweet pastry case and topped with flaked almonds. Simply add sunshine and a moment of calm to enjoy this pastry in peace.

The portability of a pie makes it an ideal dessert for picnics. Try our Monmartre Patisserie Apple and Cinnamon Pie for a quintessentially English treat. The buttery pastry, sweet apples and fragrant cinnamon offer a nostalgic taste of home.

Picnic drinks

Classic picnic foods call for cider for good reason - apples complement ham and cheese beautifully. On a warm day, we love sipping on our refreshing Berry & Elderflower Cider - a gently sparkling cider infused with juicy berries and delicate elderflower for an aromatic twist.

For celebrations, whether a special occasion or just the joy of getting together - look no further than the Baron de Beaupré Champagne. This truly exceptional and mature champagne is crafted with utmost care and expertise by the highly respected House of Ellner. Expect clean, elegant fruit notes with a creamy texture and soft finish.

Finding the perfect picnic spot

Now that you've secured your gourmet provisions, it's time to find the ultimate picnic hollow. The key is to seek out a location that offers a slice of calm, be it a secluded meadow, a spot by a lake or a corner within an urban park. 

Start by considering the logistics – is the spot easily accessible? Some of your guests might need a picnic table with toilet facilities nearby. Once you've narrowed down your options, it's time to scout out the scenery.

In the height of summer you’ll need some dappled shade to keep you cool, but with enough open space to spread out your picnic blanket. 

If you're feeling adventurous, consider venturing off the beaten path to discover hidden gems off the tourist trail. Whether it's a secret garden tucked away in the heart of the city or a secluded cove along the coastline where you can snooze to the lulling waves of the shoreline, the thrill of exploration adds an extra layer of excitement to your picnic adventure. There’s something magical about knowing that our ancestors have been picnicking on these open spaces for centuries.

Tips for a perfect picnic experience

With your gourmet goodies and idyllic setting in place, here are some additional tips to ensure your picnic is nothing short of perfect:

Make it beautiful - Bring your picturesque vision to life and create a setting that’s as beautiful as it is unforgettable. When you order a DukesHill hamper, you’ll receive a practical reusable wicker hamper with sturdy leather straps. Its woven texture exudes timeless elegance, whimsy and romance. Create a cosy backdrop with colourful picnic rugs and soft scatter cushions. The relaxed, inviting set-up will encourage guests to relax and enjoy the slow pace of al fresco dining.

The utensils - Opt for lightweight, portable containers to transport your picnic fare, and be sure to pack essentials such as plates, cups, utensils, napkins, a corkscrew for opening wine and beer bottles. Sealable, reusable vessels like Tupperware are handy to take any leftovers home too!

Keep it fresh - Invest in insulated containers or cooler bags to keep perishable items cool during transit, and be sure to pack plenty of ice packs for chilled drinks.

Embrace simplicity - While it's tempting to go overboard with elaborate dishes, sometimes less is more. Focus on a few key items that showcase the quality of your ingredients, allowing their natural flavours to shine.

Leave no trace - Be sure to clean up after yourself, leaving your chosen picnic spot pristine for future visitors to enjoy. Don’t forget to take a bin liner or bag for your rubbish. 

Piccalilli Potato Salad Recipe

For a quick and easy picnic dish, prepare our delicious Proper Piccalilli Potatoes. They’re as simple to prepare as opening a jar, but no one would know you haven’t spent half an hour preparing ingredients.

Read recipe