How to have a winter picnic

Winter picnics. They ring rather like strawberries and cream in January, or mince pies in June. Something that’s not meant to be, out of season. But a winter picnic is something quite different to a summer picnic. Winter picnics are lined with luxury, fueled with festivity. They’re a kind of novel celebration, marked with prosecco in plastic glasses and mini Christmas crackers hiding in the hamper. They’re a chance to get out of the stuffy indoors and feel the fresh air pinch your cheeks like a fond grandparent. So don’t get cold feet about midwinter picnicking; go all out and go for it. And wear warm socks. Continue…

A festive picnic.

Picnics and barbecues seem so inextricably tied to the summer, but in my own, humble opinion, they are made for the British winter (it’s never exactly the arctic here). What could be better than the fresh air on your cheeks, a hot cup of tea in your hands, and a flaming barbecue to warm your cockles?  Continue…

How to have a picnic on your tot

From chaotic family picnics to evenings grouped around plastic bags of Smirnoff Ice and Tesco-branded sausage rolls, proceeding to champagne-blurred afternoons spent in tartan-mat embraces, you wouldn’t be blamed in thinking that the defining feature of the picnic cycle is its social nature. Continue…

Spice up your picnic with a spiced mango chutney

“And my chutneys and kasaundies are, after all, connected to my nocturnal scribblings — by day amongst the pickle-vats, by night within these sheets, I spend my time at the great work of preserving. Memory, as well as fruit, is being saved from the corruption of the clocks.” — Saleem Sinai in Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie

Writing the past and pickling fruits may well be acts of preservation, but once the finished product makes its appearance on a piece of paper or in a Kilner jar, it can be all too easily misplaced, lost, or forgotten.

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A Highland picnic

Three glorious days spent at my Uncle’s place in the northern tip of Scotland taught me that weather is no obstacle to Scottish picnickers. Whilst 12 degrees celsius, driving rain and Hurricane Highland may be the kind of summer’s day you’d find the average Brit all cosied up indoors with their hands wrapped around a mug of hot tea, the Scots will be sauntering out into the heathered hills geared from head-to-toe with their picnic baskets and fishing rods.  Continue…

Going with the flow on 6th June, 2016.

Let’s be honest here. We do sometimes make mistakes when we’re picking the perfect picnic spot. But who can possibly count on the tide coming in, rather than going out? 

This special day I spent barbecuing with two of my closest friends on the sandy, sun-soaked banks of the River Orwell. Featuring a three salad combo, incoming tides, and multi-functional Birkenstocks all topped off with a scorching summer burn, this picnic was more concentrated on a friendly catch-up than a tidal one.  Continue