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Picnic Basket Ideas & Essentials
Published on 20/04/2021 Updated on 20/04/2021
Fitted Picnic Hamper, 2 person, Cream Cool Hamper (16")

Picnic basket ideas: everything you need for a perfect picnic

As spring kicks in and lockdown restrictions ease, we’re finally getting back to a bit of normality – and what better way to celebrate and get your friends and family back together than a picnic? Pubs and restaurants are bound to be packed for quite some time, but the humble park is always ready to welcome you with open arms and air.

There are a few essentials that every picnic needs – and it’s not just about the food and drink. If you’re looking for classic picnic hamper ideas, let us take you through a few picnic must-haves, from nibbles and tipples to the perfect picnic basket itself.

Picnic hamper ideas: food and drink

When it comes to food and drink, it’s better to go for lots of light bites rather than trudging along a three-course meal. Find nibbles that are filling, fresh and easy to share. Hot food can be a pain to keep warm while you’re out and about – while food and drink that needs to stay cool may suffer in the sun without the right picnic gear. Here are some of the essentials when it comes to picnic basket ideas:

To eat:

A couple delectable cheeses are an absolute must for any picnic. Cheese can handle a bit of warmth – in fact a bit of heat can help bring out the flavours, and it’s easy to share.

A simple truckle of cheddar is always a great go-to, or you could go for an easily spreadable option like a goat’s cheese or a Cotswold brie; bring a selection of cheeses with you to cover all bases, and don’t forget to match it with some fresh bread or crackers and dips.

Bread and crackers

If you’ve got some of that lockdown sourdough starter left over, bake some fresh bread to bring along! Otherwise, go for light, easily shareable options as a good base for canapés. Crostini or bruschetta are an easy, versatile pick – the perfect canvas for your cheese and dips.

Fresh fruit

To really get into the spirit of the season, make sure you pack some summery fresh fruit. Add a bit of zest to your picnic basket with oranges, pair your cheese and wine with fresh grapes, and sweeten the deal with some strawberries! Go for cherry tomatoes to pair with your savouries, or fresh apples as a palette cleanser.


A few different dips and condiments are a must for any picnic basket. Aim for a bit of variety – marmalades are a great summer pick, perhaps some salsa to spice things up, chutneys to pair with your cheeses, and hummus and pâtés for a more filling option.

Easy bites

It’s better to have a few smaller nibbles that are easier to pack, easier to share, and don’t make a whole lot of mess. Go for some classic hors d’oeuvres like olives, quick bites like savoury pastries, and some packs of crisps to see you through the day. You’re not necessarily sitting down for a one-and-done meal – when it comes to picnicking you want enough nibbles to last the day without any of them losing their lustre.


Include some cured meats like prosciutto or chorizo to bulk things up a bit – or even go for a smoked salmon for a bit of extra summery luxury. Easily paired with your dips and crostini, your charcuterie selection will offer something a little more filling without having to prepare a full meal.

Veggie options

Make sure you have a healthy selection of vegetarian bites to balance out your charcuteries! A summer salad is perfect for a picnic, or if you want easy finger food, prepare some summer rolls or simply carrot and celery sticks to pair with your dips. Make sure you’ve got a cool bag at the ready to keep your fresh foods fresh throughout the day.

Sweet treats

Finally, sweeten the deal with some extra treats like a selection of chocolates and biscuits. You can’t go wrong with some shortbread and fudge. You don’t need to go overboard on the sweets, but they’re a definite must have for when the sun begins to set.

To drink:

You need to stay hydrated for a day out in the sun so first and foremost, water is a must. Of course, a few tipples are more than welcome too.

Keep it seasonal with some refreshing sparkling wine, bubbly, beer, or fruity cider. For teetotal options, go for a sparkling soft drink like an elegant elderflower pressé, or fresh fruit juice to keep it simple.

Coffee is always a good choice too – just make sure you’ve got a good thermal flask to keep it warm.

Our Pittville picnic hamper covers all bases, with a huge selection of fresh fruit, cured meats and smoked salmon, cheeses, dips, salad, hors d’oeuvres, sweets, and a selection of wine and bubbly – all packed in an easy-to-handle jute cool bag.

Picnic basket ideas: equipment

When planning your picnic hamper ideas, the food and drink selection isn’t the only thing to consider. Clean up, transport, and timing are all key to a perfect picnic, so you’ve got to make sure you’ve got all the equipment you need for a stress-free, blissful day in the sun.

A big, comfy picnic blanket is vital. You want an easily washable blanket, preferably with enough space to fit the whole group – but one that’s easily packable too and won’t take up a lot of space in your picnic hamper.

For a long day out, you need to make sure your fresh food stays fresh – so a cooler bag for food and insulated duffel bag for wine will be handy, and on the other end, a thermal flask will keep your warm drinks warm for longer.

Bring reusable utensils and plates. Less waste is good for the environment, and more convenient for you – and that luxury picnic won’t look and feel so luxury with plastic spoons and paper plates.

Our Luxury Fitted Picnic Hamper basket comes with everything you need: stainless steel forks, spoons, and knives; washable cotton napkins; salt and pepper shakers, wine glasses, a corkscrew and bottle opener, cups, a thermal flask, porcelain plates, and a polar fleece picnic blanket, all securely packed with plenty of space left over for nibbles. If you’re looking for picnic basket ideas, this is a great choice; pair it with our Chalford picnic hamper for the complete package!

An important thing to consider when thinking about picnic gift ideas, you want to find a picnic basket that’s as practical as it is pretty. A hollow basket will make it difficult to pack and to keep everything secure. Instead, go for a fitted picnic basket with removeable compartments so you know everything fits in just right and everything arrives at your picnic spot intact.

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