Perfect Picnic 2020
by Julia Paddon
It’s been a strange old summer, alright. But as lockdown begins to ease and families start to take tentative steps outdoors, what better way to celebrate than a socially distanced picnic with the best new products on the market?
With a good span of healthy and vegan options (as well as indulgent delights) we’ve been donning our masks and scouring the shelves for the tastiest, snackiest, most interesting foodie selections out there to make your late summer picnic practically perfect – because, my God, you deserve it more than ever…
UK based gourmet popcorn brand Popcorn Shed has a wide choice of unique popcorn flavours such as Salted Caramel with Belgian milk chocolate, Goats Cheese & Black Pepper, Cherry Bakewell and more! Perfect for any picnic or movie night. Available to purchase on their website. Gluten free and vegan options available.
If you’ve never eaten a banana crisp before, then get ready for a surprise; they are crunchy, crispy and surprisingly savoury, offering a healthy and nutrient-packed alternative to any potato crisp. 100% natural, vegan, dairy and gluten free, the crisps from Katie’s Food Co. come in four flavours: Thai Sweet Chilli, Mixed Herb, Salt & Vinegar and Himalayan Salt.
£1.49 for a bag from Amazon
KETTLE Chips has announced the launch of a brand-new Thai Sweet Chilli variety. Using high-quality, real food ingredients famous throughout authentic Thai recipes, it includes soy, star anise, coriander and bold chilli to create a harmonious balance of exotic spices, fiery heat and gentle sweetness.
Available from tesco.com
Ten Acre’s hand cooked crisps are gluten free, dairy free and vegan. Grown and made using renewable energy from a dedicated field on family-run Fairfields Farm, they are now available in 157 Waitrose stores across the UK, in three flavours: Cheese & Onion, Hickory BBQ and Salt and Vinegar.
More info: tenacre-crisps.co.uk
Noisy Snacks has created a delicious healthier snacking experience that is memorable and fun. With knockout flavours to tantalise the taste buds, the range comes in 100% recyclable packaging, and are flexitarian, vegan, gluten free, high in fibre, and high in protein. The range includes:Hot Wings, Jamaican Jerky, Pulled Pork Pouch and more.
Sweetened with Yacon Syrup, YaconViva Cacao Nibs are the perfect vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free picnic snack. The nibs are packed full of antioxidants due to their low processing, which acts as brain food. The no added sugar nibs can also be used as a high fibre topping and ingredient in baking.
£9.99 from yaconviva.co.uk
Make sure you have the perfect pairing for your picnic foods, including sandwiches and BBQs with The Skinny Food Co’s #NotGuilty Sweet Chilli Sauce and Maple Syrup. Best of all, they contain virtually zero calories and zero fat per serving.
£3.99 from theskinnyfoodco.com
With a tangy, orangy twist, fluffy mallows and crunchy gluten-free biscuit pieces, Mummy Meagz offers a summertime take on the traditional Rocky Road bar. Better yet, the bars are suitable for vegans, and nut-free, meaning they can be enjoyed by more people than ever!
£1.49 from hollandandbarrett.com
Perfect to enjoy alongside a glass of red wine or a refreshing beer, Choc Affair’s dark chocolate range (registered with The Vegan Society) is infused with natural flavours, including peppermint, chilli, lime & sea salt plus more to offer you a perky and invigorating picnic experience this summer. All the dark chocolate bars are made from 60% cocoa solids, palm oil free and with so many tantalising flavours to choose from, there will be something for every to enjoy.
£2.75 from choc-affair.com
The Belinda Clark Gourmet Marshmallow Toast-It Kit contains everything you need to toast your mallows – indoors or out. Each Kit contains two bags of hand-made marshmallows, a gel burner that lasts up to two hours, and the sticks for toasting. Flavours include Raspberry, Salted Caramel and Coconut.
£19.99 from belindaclark.co.uk
The perfect hamper for a summer picnic and special treat, you can choose from a cheese and charcuterie or cheese only platter, in mini or standard sizing. Mini kits are £45 each and standard kits are £65 including delivery. All kits come with a styling guide to help you arrange your platter and are made from either recyclable or reusable materials including a wooden display box, wax paper, velvet ribbon and dried foliage. There is also the option to add a scented candle from the Union of London for an extra £15.
For more information on what each kit includes, bordfood.com
Butlers Farmhouse Cheeses’ Letterbox Cheese is perfect for any cheese lover’s picnic. Available in two sizes, Perfect British Cheeseboard for Two, (155g) and Showstopper Cheeseboard Trio, (500g) each contain a blue, soft and hard cheese, with Peter’s Yard crackers and Wilkin & Sons Chutney. Follow @butlerscheese on Instagram for more!
Irresistibly delicious British Cheeses and fine foods from Truckle Cheese are hand-picked and beautifully presented in your choice of stylish picnic hampers. Truckle Cheese is the ultimate cheese experience – all down to a premium combination of flavour, texture and taste. Perfect for a family picnic with something for everyone.
Tracklements NEW Special Edition English Hedgerow Jelly includes favourite fruits from the hedgerow and garden including rich, sweet damsons and juicy blackberries as well as Bramley apples to give the tiniest hint of tartness. It tastes superb on the side of a pork pie or accompanying a variety of cheeses.
£3.60 from tracklements.co.uk
Dressings & Dips
Egg, dairy and gluten-free, the taste and texture of this versatile range cleverly re-invented for plant-based diets is sublime. N ewSacla’ Vegan Salad Dressings are available in four tasty vegan flavours: Aioli, Blue Ch**se, Caesar Salad and Salad Cream.
£2 for 230ml from sacla.co.uk
Designed to deal with the deluge of dressing that usually comes with pouring from a standard bottle, the all new smart spray bottle from Heinz delivers just one to two calories per serving. The innovative design is perfect for those looking to control their calorie consumption or for those looking for a lighter way to dress healthy salads, without losing out on great taste.
£1.99 per bottle
ChicP is the leading sustainable and vegan snacking brand creating flavoured hummus made from wonky vegetables and their new delicious veggie Bites which are healthier alternatives to falafel or pakora. ChicP was founded from Hannah McCollum’s passion for healthy eating and cooking, supporting local farmers and reducing food waste.
£1.99 from ocado.com
Shaken Udder produces a range of 330ml milkshakes in six flavours: Vanillalicious, Salted Caramel, Chocolush, Top Banana, Strawberries & Clotted Cream and Ooh La Latte. All products are under 5% added sugar, made from British milk, real ingredients, and gluten free. The bottles are 100% recyclable.
£1.40 – more info: shakenudder.com
Made with all natural ingredients, Nexba’s flavoured sparkling waters are completely naturally sugar free with absolutely none of the ‘nasties’ like other sugar free brands. This blend that tastes sweet as, has no calories and has the same mouthfeel you’ve come to expect from cane sugar. Flavours include Watermelon, Cucumber & Mint; Coconut & Mango and Strawberry & Raspberry.
From Sainsburys.co.uk or Amazon.co.uk
All natural, preservative free and made with the ancient supergrain, barley, Bright Barley’s new vegan shake range is not just the UK’s barley-based alternative milk. Not just delicious, on-the-go refreshment. It’s also a low-fat source of fibre, calcium and vitamins, and available in Salted Caramel, Chocolate or Coffee flavours.
More info: brightbarley.co.uk
Tom Savano’s award winning range has been extended to include this sumptuous Tiki classic. Made from a blend of four craft rums, French orange shrubb, sweet almond and tropical bitters, this rich and exotic cocktail is bursting with notes of orange, sugar cane, burnt caramel and fresh lime.
£12 from tomsavano.com
The great taste of Estrella Galicia World Lager, this time produced using an enzyme to break down gluten in the production process, Estrella Galicia Gluten-Free features the crossed grain symbol promoted by Coeliac organisations worldwide. Pleasant and refreshing, the lightly spiced tones of hops stand out, the maltiness balancing with a subtle bitter note that lingers in the mouth, creating a flavour designed to pair with gastronomic delights.
6 for £12 from Greene King Shop
Thomas Tipple Cocktails-in-a-Can are a picnic essential. Easily transportable and perfect with a straw, no glasses required! The two inaugural offerings are inspired by classic recipes: Raspberry Bellini and Passionfruit Mimosa, each sparkling wine-based cocktail is balanced with refreshing fruit juice and natural flavourings. Each 250ml can has a 5% ABV.
£20 for gift packs of 4 from thomastipple.com
Securing that sweet spot between wine and spirts, Vin Crowd is guaranteed to add a little spritz to your picnic party. Available in three low calorie, vegan flavours – strawberry and raspberry pink spritz, peaches and pears white spritz and a raspberry, juniper and gin botanical spritz– it is the perfect drink for hazy summer evenings.
12 for £21.99 from skinnybooze.co.uk
Try out the Jägermeister Mule for your summertime picnic. This delicious cocktail is a refreshing mix of Jägermeister, ginger beer, cucumber and lime with slightly spicy after notes.
Available from the Jägermeister eshop for £18.99 and includes 2x 10cl bottles of Jägermeister, 2x copper mugs and 2x bottles of ginger beer.
Gadgets & Gizmos
Make sure your picnic isn’t disturbed by a pesky gust of wind by securing your tablecloth neatly and crease-free using this 4 pack of Tala Tablecloth Clips. That way you can just relax and enjoy your picnic.
Set of 4 Tablecloth clips – £4.50
If you’ve got ice cream lined up as a sweet treat to cool you down at the end of your picnic then you’ll want this stainless steel ice cream scoop from Tala. You’ll be able to serve up ice cream effortlessly with no mess and no fuss.
Stainless Steel Ice cream scoop – £6.50
The Tala Push and Push storage collection is a BPA free leak proof, stain resistant, dishwasher, freezer, fridge and microwave safe range of plastic storage containers with a unique locking system. Simply press down once to lock and one quick press of the push button to open.
Push and Push storage container with cutlery – £8.75
Tala’s Beeswax or Vegan food wraps and sandwich bags are the perfect alternative to cling film, foil or plastic sandwich bags. Simply warm them in your hand and shape them round the object to keep it fresh and sealed, then clean and reuse another day.
Beeswax Food Wraps – set of 3 – £12
The Zippo Heatbank 9s is the brand’s iconic powerbank with up to 9 hours of battery life ensuring you can stay connected all day long – and most importantly, your speakers don’t run out of charge! The Heatbank 9s has been specially designed for a sleek and ergonomic feel to fit comfortably in your hand, available in three colours – silver, champagne or black.
£39.95 from Zippo.co.uk
Jason’s artisan sourdough has all the qualities of a loaf found in a bakery. Wrapped in a glassine paper reminiscent of proper bakery bread and available in three recipes from the Geary family bakery’s original award winning competition book; White, Grains & Seeds and Craft Beer.
Available to buy at M&S stores nationwide, more info at jasonsbread.co.uk
Designed to power good starts to the day, but just as good with a picnic, each of the three soft-baked KIND bars in the range is brimming with delicious, wholesome ingredients, plus is high in fibre and gluten free. The breakfast bars all feature a nutritious base of five whole grains; oats, millet, buckwheat, amaranth and quinoa, and there are three fab flavours to choose from.
Available in Waitrose & Tesco – more info: kindsnacks.co.uk
Biotiful Dairy is et to shake up the cheese aisle with this deliciously creamy, cultured soft cheese made with British milk and authentic Kefir cultures which contain billions of gut-friendly bacteria. In three flavours; Original, Herbs & Garlic and Red Pepper & Cumin, Kefir Cheese makes for a tastier, creamier swap for cottage cheese and over-delivers on natural, functional health when compared with traditional cream cheese.
Plus, Biotiful Dairy’s, Mango Kefir and Blackcurrant Kefir are cultured dairy drinks are not only truly tasty but are great for gut health as they’re naturally packed with goodness. Offering a true taste of summer, the indulgent Mango Kefir is tropical, smooth and luscious, whilst the Blackcurrant Kefir is zingy, super refreshing and bursting with colour.
Cheese £1.50, drinks from £1.45 from waitrose.com
Chefly’s meal subscription service delivers healthy and delicious restaurant-quality, ‘real’ ready meals directly to your doorstep. Chefs do the hard work for you, making eating well easy, with mouth-watering meals, like oven baked miso salmon and grilled angus steak, ready to eat in just three minutes.
From £6.99 per meal from eatchefly.com
One for the Kids
Keep your little ones entertained at your picnic with LeapFrog’s Shapes and Sharing Picnic Basket! This fun toy lets kids set a picnic for two and pretend to snack on yummy treats while exploring food, shapes and colours with the talking Picnic Pal. The basket always says its pleases and thank yous’ too! Then put the pieces back in the basket with the shape sorter for fun on the go.
Leapfrog Shapes and Sharing Picnic Basket (6 – 36 months), £14.99 from Amazon & Sainsbury’s