There’s nothing quite like a British picnic – homemade sandwiches, pretty plates and cutlery with a slice of cake or two shared between friends and family. With the new lockdown rules in place, our list of people we can picnic with (from a distance) has widened slightly, but we believe picnics are for everybody to enjoy no matter where you lay your mat.
Have a scroll to discover three ways you can still celebrate Nation Picnic Week from the 21st June, along with a delicious picnic loaf recipe that’s simply irresistible!
Want to get everything prepared for you? We’ve partnered with our friends at Warner’s Gin to give away the ultimate picnic bundle, with one for you and one for a friend to have your very own socially-distanced picnic!* Head to our Instagram page to enter.
*T&Cs apply, UK only
The Family Picnic:
This picnic can be as traditional as you like, and can be enjoyed together with everyone in your household. Make a list of all your favourite finger food and try to make it yourself. You could spend the morning baking in the kitchen and the afternoon out in the sunshine enjoying all your creations! The garden is a great place to have a picnic, but do remember to respect social distancing if you choose to go to a park and make sure you bring all your rubbish home with you.
The Socially-Distanced Picnic:
If you have a friend or a loved one in the area, you’re now allowed to meet in one of your gardens as long as you keep at least two meters apart. Each of you can pack a picnic mat, a hamper, and some food and drinks to enjoy, and make sure to cheers each other from afar! It can turn a normal catch up into a memorable day that you’ll always cherish, so don’t forget to snap a few photos.
The Virtual Picnic:
Got loved ones that are just too far away to travel to? Set up a virtual picnic! Set your laptop up on a mat and organise a video call – the best bit is you can invite as many people as you like! Make sure to go around the virtual room so everyone has a chance to show off what picnic goodies they’ve brought for the occasion, and you could even make a special summer playlist for everyone to groove to.
This picnic loaf is one you’ll want to have in your repertoire; the term crowd pleaser could have been created for it (even if your crowd is only a small gathering from afar!). A take on the traditional southern French filled sandwich Pan Bagat, filled to the gunnels with all manner of good things and left to rest overnight for the flavours to work together.
1 large round sturdy loaf
1 aubergine, sliced thinly lengthways
2 courgettes, sliced thinly lengthways
2 red peppers, 2 yellow peppers, sliced
200g mozzarella cheese, drained and sliced
1 small jar of pesto
Handful each of olives and sundried tomatoes
Small bunch of fresh basil
1 clove garlic
Good glug of olive oil
Salt and pepper
Put the sliced vegetables in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil, mixing to make sure they’re all coated. Cook in batches on a griddle or under a medium grill until softened and charred slightly at the edges on both sides. Season and set aside to cool.
Carefully cut the top off the loaf, set it aside. Hollow the loaf out (use the bread for breadcrumbs to stash in the freezer) don’t make the walls and base too thin – you want it to hold its own.
Rub the clove of garlic around the inside of the loaf and then using a spoon spread pesto all over the inside walls and lid.
Build layers of veg, lettuce, cheese, sundried tomatoes and olives, press them down gently to make sure the loaf is really well packed. Finish with fresh basil. Put the lid back on.
Wrap the loaf tightly in clingfilm, place on a plate and put another plate on top, add something weighty to the top plate and leave overnight (or at least for a few hours) in the fridge. This will allow the layers to form tightly and the flavours to mix together.
Use a bread knife to cut into thick slices.
Don’t forget to enter our competition with Warner’s Gin to win the ultimate picnic bundle for you and a loved one! It includes everything you need for a perfect National Picnic Week (yes, and a bottle of gin!).*
*T&Cs apply, UK only