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With the current coronavirus restrictions in place, we might not be able to celebrate National Picnic Week as we would usually, but that doesn’t mean we have to miss out on all the fun!

This year, National Picnic Week falls between 22nd and 28th June, so dig out your baskets or cool bags and start planning an epic picnic to help kick off the summer! We don’t recommend travelling far, so you might not be able to head to your favourite picnic spot, but if there is some open space nearby that you can safely practice social distancing in or you have a garden/ balcony/ space in your house, follow these tips for the perfect picnic!

Step one – the right equipment

If it’s been a while since you last used your cool box, hamper, bag or whatever else you use to transport your picnic food in, make sure to check it doesn’t have any damage from general wear and tear – there’s nothing worse than realising your cool box leaks when you’ve arrived and all your food has gotten warm! 

Once you’ve got something to carry your food in, you’ll need to find towels or blankets for you to sit on, of course, if you prefer you can sit on the ground, just check it isn’t damp and you’re not going to damage any wild flowers. If you are taking blankets or towels with you, make sure that it is big enough for your whole family and remember, no socialising outside your family unit unless you can maintain the 2m distance!

Next, cutlery, cups and plates. We recommend using plastic rather than glass or your usual dinner plates as these can be easily broken, but even better, use sustainable alternatives like wooden or bamboo knives and forks and paper plates. Using refillable water bottles is better than buying single use plastic ones while you’re out and you can always take paper or plastic beakers with you if you plan on sharing out a drink, like wine or lemonade. Pro tip, if you are taking something like wine or beer or anything similar, don’t forget a bottle opener!

You’ll also need to think about storing your food, tupperwear is good for avoiding leakages and there are sustainable alternatives to clingflim and tin foil too. Just remember to take all your packaging home with you and dispose of it properly.

Step two – the perfect spread

When it comes to picnic food literally anything goes. Stock up on salads, dips, sandwiches, cakes, biscuits, pastries and just about anything else small and easily made at home. Potato salads, pasta pots, chicken legs and sausage rolls are always popular choices. Of course, you could always put a Bedfordshire twist on it by getting a Bedford Clanger for your centrepiece! That way you won’t have to worry about providing savoury and sweet snacks!

No picnic would be complete without drinks – if you’re heading out to a public space, be aware of the other people who might be using the area, you will need to keep apart and there might be rules in place when it comes to alcoholic drinks. Once you’ve established the rules when it comes to drinks, why not mix together some pimms or take a few pre made cocktails with you? You can also take bottles of wine to share around or keep it family friendly with soft drinks, juices, squash, fizzy drinks and just plain water are all good choices, especially if it is warm as you’ll need to stay hydrated.

Step three- the venue

You’re packed and ready, now what?

As we’ve said, we don’t recommend travelling long distances at the moment, but instead using the local open spaces or your own gardens/interiors. Bedfordshire is full of beautiful green spaces, here are a few of our favourites:

  • Bedford Park
  • Dunstable Downs
  • Woburn Abbey Gardens
  • Wardown Park
  • Forest of Marston Vale

Have we inspired you to join in with National Picnic Week? You can let us know by getting in touch on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.