There are few activities as liberating as al fresco dining under a bright summer sky in one of London’s many exquisite parks. And, really, you don’t need anything more than to pop into your local Tesco Metro for a few sandwiches, some packets of crisps and as many cans of gin and tonic as you can fit in your pockets.
Just occasionally though, you might want to take your park party to the next level – and for those special moments London provides more opportunities to pimp your picnic than you can shake a crab stick at.
We’ve put together a list of the London’s finest pre-prepared picnics, along with the most convenient parks for you to enjoy them in.
Corrigan’s – Hyde Park
Corrigan’s Mayfair restaurant will be well-known to our nearby Duke Street and Green Street residents, renowned as it is for unimpeachable British cuisine. Taking advantage of their prime location just over the road from Hyde Park, Corrigan’s offers a Gourmet Picnic Hamper for two at £100, featuring Cornish crab and pork and stilton pie. For a mere £900 extra, you can get your own personal butler to serve you lobster salad, beef carpaccio and a whole corn-fed roast chicken.
Fortnum and Mason – St James’s Park/Green Park
London’s luxury food hall, founded in 1707, offers a huge variety of hampers catering to every possible occasion and taste. And, at just 10 minutes walk from both St James’s and Green Park, you won’t have to worry about lugging your delicious basket of goodies too far before you’ve found the perfect place for your picnic.
Mount Street Deli – Hyde Park
Another Mayfair staple, the floral-fronted Mount Street Deli offers sandwiches, salads, sausage rolls and quiches – all made with seasonal British ingredients. Rounded out with scones, jam and clotted cream, it’s no wonder this pre-prepared picnic is called the Royal Britannia Hamper.
Tate Britain – Rex Whistler Lawn Picnic
Combine culture and cuisine at Tate Britain with this reasonably-priced picnic on the lawn outside the Rex Whistler restaurant. At £25 for two, you can treat yourself and a fortunate friend to a delightful outdoor dining experience without fear of breaking the bank.
Hampstead Butcher – Hampstead Heath
A mouth-watering option for meat lovers, the much-loved Hampstead Butcher has a highly customisable selection of charcuterie meats, cheeses and canapés that can be made-to-order for your picnic – and then taken on a short walk until you’re ensconced in the relatively untamed wilderness of Hampstead Heath.
Original Maids of Honour – Kew Gardens
Did you know you’re allowed to picnic on the impeccably groomed lawns of Kew Gardens? Historic tea rooms and bakery The Original Maids of London are well-known pastry experts, so you’ll be in good hands with their quiches, sausage rolls, pies and scones – and they’ll deliver your goodies within a 3-mile radius of their shop.