Grab your checkered blanket and get out there to celebrate National Picnic Week (15 - 24 June), make the most of it with our ultimate SW1 picnic guide
Where to go:
London is blessed with a plethora of parks and outdoor spaces, including eight Royal Parks, the oldest of which is St James’s; flanked by regal landmarks and some of the city’s most Instagrammable scenery. Another popular SW1 hotspot is Victoria Tower Gardens, which enjoys an enviable position in the shade of the Houses of Parliament and adjacent to the River Thames. The petite Pimlico Garden and Shrubbery is a riverside gem – home to some pretty spectacular views and unusual artwork. Just up the road from the garden is the iconic Tate Britain, whose Rex Whistler Restaurant offers a special picnic package combining fine cuisine with a spot of culture.
What to pack:
Every picnic needs a blanket, cool bag and disposable cutlery and cups – and you can’t beat good old M&S for these alfresco essentials. Hema, at Victoria Train Station stocks loads of fun affordable games and cute party props for more special occasions. And when the temperatures rise, head to Space NK or Boots for sunblock and insect repellant. Well, someone has to be the responsible adult…
What to eat:
Whether you’re planning a few simple snacks or blowing the budget on a feast fit for royalty, there are plenty of local options. Head to M Wine Store for a lovely bottle of chilled rosé or fizz if you’re feeling flash, while essentials and posh picnic bits can be found at M&S and Little Waitrose. If that still sounds like too much work, treat yourself to a luxury hamper by Virginia Hayward from House of Fraser.
For sumptuous salads and classic snacks like scotch eggs, tortillas, pies and quiche, we recommend Sourced Market at Nova Food, which also stocks a fantastic range of soft drinks, prosecco, wine and craft beers. Other Nova picnic pitstops include Ole & Steen for freshly prepared pastries and Scandi-style open sandwiches, Crosstown Doughnuts for naughty sweet treats, G’rilla for deliciously decadent cheese toasties and Pure for slightly more virtuous salads, sides and deli pots. And for the ultimate treat, pick up some divine tarts and cupcakes from the prettiest bakery in town, Peggy Porschen.
DID YOU KNOW… The French started the modern fashion for picnics when they opened their royal parks to the public after the revolution of 1789.
Discover more picnic-inspired tips and events on nationalpicnicweek.co.uk