It doesn’t take much to encourage us to picnic, does it? The sun only needs to pop out from behind the clouds and we’ve packed our wicker basket, filled the coolbox and are heading for pastures new! Picnics have moved on quite a bit from the days of soggy sandwiches and flat lemonade, though. There are so many prepared salads and ready-made dishes available, that you can put on quite a feast with very little effort. There is, though, something special about stepping alfresco dining up a gear by filling your basket with hot, buttery potatoes (served from a flask), chilled soup served in shot glasses and ‘squashies’ (recipe below). Don’t have everyone huddled around a tartan rug either: supermarket shelves are brimming with cheap and cheerful picnic plates, cutlery and glasses, that you can pack into fantastic outdoor dining bags like these (below) from Roman At Home.

The Floral Family Cool Bag will ensure you carry your picnic in style with its brightly coloured floral design, so it’s perfect for the summer months. It’s also collapsible so, when not in use, it can be folded and stored away! www.romanathome.com

With our summers, the chances are the grass will be a little damp, so this Stripe Picnic Blanket in Duffle Bat means that, however humid it is outside, you can still picnic in style! www.romanathome.com

The brightly coloured heart design pattern of the Summer Love Family Cool Bag will certainly brighten up your summer days! it will also keep your food and drink cool until you reach your picnic destination! www.romanathome.com

Squashies

Slice a panini in half lengthwise and fill with a selection of continental fillings such as Chicken, Brie, Avocado and Chilli Jam; Tuna Niçoise, Chicken with Provençale Pesto, Salami and Brie cheese, or Mozzarella and Pesto. Then ‘flatten’ the sandwich by either placing in a panini machine or by flattening by hand and wrapping very tightly in cling film. Delicious!

Whatever you have on the ‘menu’ and regardless of the weather, make sure you remember to bring the most important ingredient of any successful picnic – great company! Bon appétit!

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