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Our best ever picnic ideas

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Find all the inspiration you need for the perfect al fresco feast. Whether having a small gathering in the park or your own garden, we've got plenty of ideas for food, drink and accessories to make your picnic a breeze.

With the warmer days of spring and summer rapidly approaching, we eagerly anticipate the chance to dig out the picnic blankets and venture outdoors.

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At a time of such uncertainty, the forthcoming months may require us to be more adaptable with al fresco dining options. Whether opting to share a socially distanced picnic in the park or enjoy a small family gathering in your own garden, you can find plenty of inspiration from our picnic guides here.

From simple tips and ticks for transporting food, to seasonally-inspired Easter picnic ideas, refreshing drinks and the best hampers, we bring you the ultimate compilation of al fresco dining content.

Before checking out our top guides and reviews below, get your fill of sausage rolls, quiches, salads and more in our comprehensive collection of picnic recipes. Looking for meat-free ideas? Take a look at our variety of vegetarian picnic recipes and vegan picnic recipes for more plant-based inspiration.

Top 50 picnic recipes

Egg & cress club sandwich

Need some inspiration for your next al fresco excursion? Discover our all-time pick of the best picnic recipes to enjoy with family and friends. From easily portable sandwiches, snacks and salads to pastries and desserts, we've got all the perfect picnic fodder to fill your basket high.

Our top recipes for dining outdoors

Spread of family picnic foods

You don’t need to go far to enjoy the sunshine and some mouthwatering summer treats. So why not take to the garden or local park with our selection of simple picnic bits, impressive sharing plates and easy al fresco dinner ideas? Get the whole family involved in making classic, crowd-pleasing dishes, including sausage rolls, picnic quiches and tear & share pastries.

Our best picnic drink ideas

Pineapple cocktails in jars on ice

Accompany your picnic spread with some refreshing portable cocktails and mocktails. Sip on a classic Pimm's cocktail or prepare jugs of fruity sangria and punch for a small crowd. Our cooling iced tea recipes and homemade ginger beer are also sure to quench your thirst and be a hit with the kids.

The best picnic accessories for summer 2021

Anouk bamboo plates on white background

Make sure you're kitted out with all the right picnic gear for your next outing. We've rounded up all the essential equipment you need for a smooth transition to the great outdoors, including cool bags, reusable plates, picnic blankets and storage solutions.

The best picnic hampers and baskets for summer 2021

The Colourful Garden Company Personalised picnic hamper, best picnic baskets and hampers

Find the perfect vessels for transporting all your picnic food, drink and accessories. We've got hampers to suit two people or more, including practical rucksacks as well as fancy wicker baskets which hold everything you'll need.

Best family picnic recipes

Strawberry granola yogurt pots on tea towel and tray

Sit down to a relaxed family gathering in the sun. Fill your basket full of easy make-ahead snacks which kids and adults will love. Feast on some colourful stuffed rainbow baguettes and veg-packed picnic pies, then satisfy your sweet tooth with dainty vanilla cupcakes, berry granola pots and picnic trail mix. Our cute mini milkshakes and refreshing iced teas are perfect for washing it all down. Check out our selection of kids' picnic recipes for more sweet and savoury snacks to please your little ones.

Top 10 healthy picnic recipes

Chicken pieces with salad and vegetables on fajitas

Who says picnics can't be healthy? We've got an exciting variety of fresh and flavoursome ideas to make you feel good. From lighter Scotch eggs and pastry-less pork pies to colourful salads and light dips, these recipes are lighter than traditional picnic fare but delicious nevertheless. Browse our healthy picnic recipes for more nutritious, summery treats.

Next level picnic recipes

Mixed summer salad on a plate

Take your picnic spread up a notch with our most impressive recipes. Treat yourselves to an epic summer sharing salad – perfect as a main or side for a small group. Also get your fill of deliciously savoury Marmite sausage rolls, next level quiche Lorraine and fully-loaded triple-decker sandwiches – perfect for a family-sized feast.

How to pack the perfect picnic

Scotch eggs and sausage rolls on a tray with dips

Whether you're enjoying an alfresco feast or laid-back lunch, eating outdoors requires a bit of planning. From choosing kit to transportable treats and thirst-quenching tipples, we've got your picnic needs covered.

Our best picnic tips and tricks

Bowl of hummus surrounded by colourful vegetable crudites

All the advice you need to make your picnic a gourmet gathering, come rain or shine! Miriam Nice shares her top tips for planning a picnic and avoiding any mishaps. Soggy sandwiches and spilt salad dressings will be a thing of the past...

Picnic recipes you can make in minutes

Veggie olive wrap

Boxes of coconut and jam macaroon traybake

Round off your outdoor extravaganza with an array of sweet treats. Munch on mini cheesecakes, flapjacks, pudding jars, rocky road and traybake. All these desserts are easy to cut up or transport so you won't have a disappointingly messy finish to the day.

Find even more outdoor dining inspiration on our picnic hub page.

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Check out more alfresco dining ideas:

Easy family camping recipes
Our best camping recipes
Easy summer sharing recipes
Best ever barbecue recipes
Top 15 family barbecue recipes
Top 10 foods to cook when camping
10 super-melty sweet and savoury s’mores
5 of our finest summer punches
Summer family meal ideas

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