Eating outdoors on a sunny day is one of the best things about the British summer, whether you’re at a country-house opera or simply in your garden. But if you’d rather skip the preparation and packing, why not a ready-made picnic from one of these gourmet hamper providers?
The Hampstead Butcher & Providore
56 Rosslyn Hill
This neighbourhood favourite is the place to get in touch with if you’re planning to picnic before Holland Park Opera, or anywhere else in the capital – they’ll deliver everything to your chosen spot. The Premium Picnic (£22.95 per person, plus delivery outside NW3) includes a freshly baked baguette, a platter of cheeses, cold meats and roast vegetables, dips, smoked salmon, salads, yoghurts, strawberries and shortbread, plus disposable plates and cutlery.
Leith’s at Glyndebourne
If you’d rather not haul a hamper all the way to Glyndebourne, leave it to Leith’s. They’ll put together a three-course picnic for you on site, which will then be carried to your chosen patch of grass, along with furniture. The food is restaurant-standard: think slow-cooked pulled-pork Scotch eggs with piccalilli, dressed crab with samphire and asparagus and passion fruit and raspberry pannacotta, followed by coffee and chocolate, and all washed down with half a bottle of Champagne.
01730 815 401
Perfectly placed for Goodwood, Glyndebourne and Grange Park Opera, Crumble will put together a seriously indulgent picnic for your day out. Their Gold Hamper (£55 per person) is groaning with scones, sandwiches (including lobster with caviar mayonnaise), summer berry tarts, éclairs, meringues, brownies and cakes, plus traditional lemonade, ginger beer and a bottle of Pol Roger Champagne. They also do bespoke hampers on request.
Fortnum & Mason
0845 300 1707
Piccadilly’s grand dame has been synonymous with perfect picnic hampers for decades. They can deliver to your home address, but if you pick yours up in store you can easily stroll to Green Park or Hyde Park with it. The Mayfair Hamper (£250) is guaranteed to impress a discerning crowd – it includes organic Cropwell Bishop Stilton, venison terrine, smoked salmon, chocolates and Turkish Delight, plus teas, coffees, wines, rosé Champagne, and a bottle of Tokaji Aszu. There’s even a corkscrew.
For a holiday beach feast with a difference, ask these harbourside chefs to rustle you up a three-course picnic (from £35 per person). It’ll be delivered to you within 48 hours, complete with biodegradable crockery and cutlery. The focus is on fish and seafood – the crab and lobster are landed metres from the kitchen door – and there are all kinds of fun extras, from wood-fired bread to chocolate-dipped strawberries.