Picnic Gadgets and Accessories 2013
Picnic Gadgets and Accessories 2013
by Rachel McAlley
Welcome to spring, that magical time when we Brits can see hope in the weather, when the sun occasionally smiles, the flowers start to bloom and the snow stops falling (at least it’s supposed to!).
It’s time for a picnic! So, what better way to plan than by arranging who you’re going to go with, where you’re going, and what you’re going to take. Here are a few ideas that may help when planning a picnic for a family day out, a romantic lunch for two or a full on party in the park with friends.
My first suggestion would be to splash out and get some top quality, prettily designed melamine picnicware from British designer Emma Bridgewater – it’s timeless and will last for years. Emma Bridgewater offers a range of melamine picnicware that includes; bowls, plates and beakers across several patterns, which boast polka dots, starry skies, union jack and a pink heart design. Priced at £10 each per plate, £9 each per bowl and £5 each per beaker, it’s a picnic investment that will be used time and time again.
“Neat wicker basket”
For more details about Emma Bridgewater log on to emmabridgewater.co.uk, or check out local stockists in Yorkshire; Harveys of Halifax, Browns of York, Browns of Helmsley, James Brindley of Wetherby, Gifted of Boston Spa, Aberford Interiors of Aberford, Casablanca of Leeds, Little Betty’s of York, Wentworth Garden Centre of Rotherham, Shades of China in Holmfirth, The Olive Branch of Ilkley, Bluebell Gallery of Grassington, John Lewis of Sheffield and Guest & Phillips of Beverley.
You can’t possibly go for a picnic without something to carry your cucumber sandwiches, champagne and strawberries around in, now can you! A hamper or picnic basket would be perfect for this. So why not opt for the Yorkshire Basket by Lewis & Cooper of Northallerton and Yarm. It can be bought online if you can’t make it to a store, at lewisandcooper.co.uk.
Priced at £80 it’s a hamper to beat all hampers, filled with an array of Yorkshire goodies; Hawes Wensleydale cheese, bramble preserve, fruit cake, plum pudding with cognac, bar of milk chocolate with orange oil, traditional Yorkshire biscuits, Yorkshire fruit chutney with ale, Yorkshire mix sweets, Taylors of Harrogate tea, Taylors of Harrogate medium roast coffee, pure North Yorkshire honey, and a bottle of Ye Olde Magical Yorkshire Punch (non alcoholic), all presented in a neat little lidded wicker picnic basket with leather straps (easy for carrying).
For a slightly cheaper option than a filled hamper or quirky picnic basket there’s an equally stylish coolbag, which is a spacious and practical option (great if you’ve got younger children). My personal favourite is from World of Camping. A Mobicool Waeco S32 coolbag is both uber-cool with its spring cream and rustic orange colour and design, plus it is definitely the most practical of all coolbags with compartments for bottles, wipes, cutlery & picnicware and plenty of room for your all important picnic food. Priced at £39.99 it’s well worth the money.
Check out worldofcamping.co.uk for more information on this and many of their other coolbags.
If throwing a super stylish blanket or throw onto the local stately home grounds is your idea of heaven, then you need a truly beautiful throw for such an occasion, and there’s no better online store than Yorkshire-owned scarletandargent.co.uk, founded by Hainsworth, the luxury fabric supplier to the world’s royalty and our very own Queen Elizabeth II.
Scarlet & Argent is instilled with a stunning heritage that spans across seven family generations and is synonymous with some of the most iconic moments in British history since 1783. The Scarlet and Argent Twill and Granite Throws are perfect for the outdoors. They can be found in a selection of colours including; lavender, natural, camel, berry and mint (my favourite). Priced at £150 they’re not cheap, but who wants cheap when luxury and heritage are a match made in heaven.
If sitting on the grass isn’t for you, but having a table and chairs is, then look no further than the Halfords folding table and stools set. It comprises of a generous sized table and four stools. They fold away inside the table to make a neat and compact option for carrying. The table is made of aluminium and the stools aluminium and plastic. Easy for cleaning when covered in our glorious British mud. I set the table for four with crockery, glasses, cutlery and picnic food. It’s a decent size and a relatively sturdy table. Priced at £39.99 the Halfords folding table and stools set isn’t expensive and should last for years. Look online at halfords.com and search ‘camping’.
Also from Halfords are kids fold-up camping chairs. Perfect for children to relax in, they can be used for picnic adventures with friends and family. Which is what we use ours for. There’s a choice of blue or pink. They each have wide arm rests, a mesh drinks holder, and a matching carry bag for easy transportation. Priced at £7.99 these chairs are comfortable and lightweight. I would recommend them for anyone with a toddler or small child. View the website halfords.com and search ‘camping’ to find them.
Picnic Accessories: “The great outdoors”
There’s a great choice of picnicware from most supermarkets too. However I must say that a Yorkshire favourite of mine is Asda. They seem to have the widest range and possibly the most reasonably-priced items.
The spotted picnic dinner plate is a must. Priced at £1.29 each, there’s a matching salad bowl or a bright red salad bowl, both priced at £3 each. They make a great addition to a picnic. Asda also do a varied choice of glasses. I like the twin-insulated high-ball tumbler which keeps drinks cooler for longer priced at £2.99 in blue, green or red.
They each have a removable lid and drinking straw. Asda also has a great selection of baskets to choose from. The Traditional Picnic Basket was a must for me with it’s wicker design, elegant interior fabric liner and two opening lids with centre handle. It is £15.00.
And, there’s no point being in the great outdoors without a couple of games to play. I went for the Asda Badminton Set (two racquets and two shuttlecocks) and the Asda Football and Cones (black and white football with four red cones). They are priced at £3 and £5 respectively. Both are simple, lightweight and great fun! All can be bought in store from Asda (if home living and outdoor living is an option) or at the online store: asda.com.
Have a wonderful spring. Enjoy the little sunshine we’ll have. And don’t forget to take a picnic to the park.