Summer in the UK is a season to be savoured, with its warm sunshine and long days providing the perfect backdrop for outdoor activities. And what better way to make the most of these precious moments with family than by having a delightful picnic? Picture freshly prepared sandwiches, sweet strawberries, and cupcakes covered with sprinkles. Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or simply heading to the local park, here are 9 essential picnic accessories to ensure that your family picnic is nothing short of perfect.
The History of the Picnic
The tradition of picnicking holds an undeniable charm and has been a beloved pastime for centuries. But where did this delightful custom originate, and how has it evolved over the years?
The origins of picnics can be traced back to the Middle Ages when outdoor meals were a practical necessity rather than a leisure activity. Huntsmen on horseback required sustenance during their rigorous hunting trips, leading to the preparation of portable and wholesome foods like Pork Pies and Cornish Pasties. These early examples of outdoor dining might be considered the ancestors of our current picnic staples.
The term “picnic” itself has French origins. In a 1692 book called “Origines de la Langue Française,” the term “pique-nique” was used to describe a group of people dining in a restaurant while bringing their own wine, suggesting a shared meal where everyone contributes something.
However, it wasn’t until the mid-1800s, during the Romantic movement, that picnics transformed into the leisurely outdoor meals we know today. As poets found inspiration in nature’s beauty, the British upper classes also sought to escape the formality of indoor dining rooms. They embraced the allure of the outdoors, enjoying meals against the backdrop of nature.
The Victorian era solidified the place of picnics in British society. Summer social events began to revolve around these outdoor feasts, from the Henley Regatta to Glyndebourne, Ascot, and Goodwood. Picnics became synonymous with British leisure, with Charles Dickens capturing the essence of these events by remarking, “All the hampers fly wide open, and the green downs burst into a blossom of lobster salad!”
As the British Empire expanded, so did the popularity of picnics. Elaborate meals under pitched tents became a common sight in the Savannahs of Africa and the foothills of India. These colonial-style picnics were characterised by china crockery, cut glass, table linen, and Persian rugs.
Even with the advent of supermarkets and packaged picnics, the allure of outdoor meals remains strong. The age of convenience has democratised picnics, making them accessible to anyone with a blanket and a meal deal.
For this most special of Family occasions, we’ll need nine of the most perfect picnic accessories. Let’s delve into the essential picnic accessories that will elevate your family’s outdoor dining experience.
The very foundation of a picnic is of course, the picnic blanket. Your derrière deserves nothing but the best, which is why our first picnic accessory is the Alpaca Woven Throw with Fringe Trim by Lacorine.
Crafted from 100% baby alpaca wool, this luxurious throw provides a cosy yet breathable surface for your picnic spread. Available in three elegant neutral shades, it seamlessly combines style and comfort. Indulge in the plush comfort of this throw and create a luxurious base for your outdoor feast.
A picnic isn’t truly a picnic without a basket, and Alessi’s Dressed en plein air transforms this essential item into a work of art. This chic wicker basket comes equipped with a tableware set for four, complete with plates, serving elements, glasses and cutlery. It is designed to reduce single-use plastic and embodies elegance, durability and eco-consciousness. Elevate your outdoor meal with this sophisticated picnic set.
Look no further for the ultimate Sun Hat than the classic Panama Hat with its all-around brim and impeccable style.
Originating from the skilled hands of artisans in Cuenca, Ecuador, the Trilby Panama Hat combines style and sun protection in one elegant accessory. Crafted from traditional Toquilla straw, this lightweight hat offers much-needed shade while keeping you comfortable. Its unisex appeal makes it a fashionable shield against the sun for anyone.
No picnic is complete without sun protection, and this stylish hat effortlessly blends functionality and fashion.
No family picnic is complete without a cuddly companion or five, especially if a Teddy Bears’ Picnic is on the agenda.
“The Teddy Bears’ Picnic” is a beloved song that has made Teddy Bears a must-have for family picnics. American composer John Walter Bratton first created the melody in 1907, and Irish songwriter Jimmy Kennedy added the lyrics in 1932.
The song’s imaginative narrative of Teddy Bears gathering for a picnic has inspired families to re-enact it during their own picnics.
Local folklore in Somerset, England, suggests that Kennedy’s lyrics were inspired by a wooded area near a Church and Scout Hut in the parish of Staplegrove, highlighting its connection to outdoor, family-friendly activities.
The softest, most cuddly Teddy has to be The Classic Marbled Alpaca Fur Teddy by Lacorine. Handmade from 100% natural, hypoallergenic alpaca fur. Soft and cuddly, this Teddy Bear is the perfect picnic companion for little ones. Each of Lacorine’s Teddies is unique due to the natural variations in the fur, adding a personal touch to your picnic gear.
Keeping your food and beverages cool is essential on a warm summer’s day, and the Roadie 24 Cool Box by YETI is the best box on the market. This cool box is designed for easy carrying and is equipped with non-slip feet for stability, ensuring that your picnic goodies stay fresh and cool. Say goodbye to warm drinks and rely on this reliable companion for your summer picnic adventures.
Sun protection is a must for any outdoor activity, and Riemann’s P20 Sun Cream offers all-day protection against UVA and UVB rays.
Dermatologically tested for sensitive skin, this sun cream is a vital addition to your picnic essentials. It’s quickly absorbed, leaving no marks on clothing, and its gentle formula ensures a carefree day in the sun.
Summer’s Evening Shawl
As the sun begins to set and a gentle evening chill wafts through the air, you might feel the day winding down. But why end a beautiful picnic just because the temperature is dipping a notch? With the Alpaca Cape by Lacorine, you don’t have to.
Elegantly designed and exuding a sophisticated vibe, the Alpaca Cape is a luxurious accessory that effortlessly transitions from an evening picnic cover-up to a stylish outerwear or loungewear piece.
Cut with grace and fluidity in mind, this Alpaca Cape adds a touch of glamour and comfort to your summer evenings. It’s handmade by Andean artisans using sustainably sourced, ethical 100% baby alpaca wool. The minimalist silhouette of this cape makes it a versatile addition to your picnic accessories list. A lightweight alternative to a jacket, making it perfect for those cooler summer evenings when you just don’t want the day to end.
Available in a range of colours, from neutral beige, black, charcoal, oyster, silver grey, and taupe, to vibrant chilli red or cobalt blue, you have the freedom to choose which shade complements your summer wardrobe best.
The Alpaca Cape is a testament to the blend of luxury, sustainability, and functionality that defines Lacorine‘s products. Just like their Alpaca Woven Throw and Trilby Panama Hat, the Alpaca Cape combines style, quality, and eco-consciousness to give you an unmatched outdoor experience.
With the Alpaca Cape, you can extend your delightful day into a memorable summer’s evening, all while staying comfortably warm.
The Alpaca Cape by Lacorine (£490)
The smaller details make a perfect picnic, like the comfort of your feet. That’s why our next must-have picnic accessory is the Alpaca Wool Socks by Lacorine. When it’s time to kick off your shoes and feel the grass beneath your feet, these socks will ensure your feet stay comfortable and dry the whole day through. They’re a practical yet stylish choice for a carefree day in the great outdoors.
These aren’t just any ordinary socks; they’re crafted from sustainably sourced, ethical alpaca wool. These midweight knit socks are breathable, tough, and oh-so-comfortable.
Alpaca wool is naturally breathable and water-resistant, making these socks perfectly suited for a day out in nature. Whether you’re lounging on your picnic blanket, playing games, or exploring nearby trails, these socks will wick away moisture and keep your feet happy.
Available in either purple or red, the Alpaca Wool Socks are designed to add a pop of colour to your picnic outfit. And with three sizes available for both men and women, you’re sure to find the perfect fit for your outdoor adventures.
Every perfect picnic needs a touch of spirited competition, and what better way to ignite a friendly face-off than with a classic game of skill? The traditional and beloved game of Garden Quoits promises an afternoon filled with fun and good-humoured rivalry.
Whilst there are no universally accepted standards of play, Quoits is first documented as being played in the pubs of Northern England in the 1880s. A set of rules first appeared in the April 1881 edition of The Field.
The game then became a fixture at fairgrounds and village fetes, gaining popularity as a family-friendly outdoor spectacle. Players take turns to throw hoops made from rope over a cross of five points, scoring between 5 and 25 points for each successful throw.
This delightful game also includes a hidden learning opportunity for children. While the kids are having fun aiming for different points on the base, they’re also learning basic addition, honing their math skills and calculating their growing scores.
This Garden Quoits Set, handcrafted by Jaques London, a company with over 225 years of expertise in building high-quality sports and games equipment, comes fully assembled and is made from FSC approved timber and un-bleached rope.
This environmentally friendly and kid-safe design ensures your picnic fun aligns with eco-conscious values. The whole set fits neatly into a storage bag making the game easy to carry to your picnic destination.
The perfect picnic is a combination of great company, delicious food, and essential picnic accessories. So, gather your loved ones, pack up, and head out to create unforgettable picnic memories, just don’t forget to check the weather!