Picnic food on a blanket outside

How to throw a luxury last-minute picnic

Picnics shouldn't need hours of kitchen prep, especially with our unpredictable weather...

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How to throw a luxury last-minute picnic

The sun might not shine often in the UK, but when it does, we sure know how to make the most of it.

Whether we’re hosting a backyard BBQ, having a couple of pints in a glorious pub garden or packing up a coolbox and heading to the park, we aren’t a nation that takes sunshine for granted.

To help you jump into action and make the most of the British summertime at a moment’s notice, check out our guide to throwing a speedy picnic - from easy hacks for low-scale lunches to sneaky ways to luxe it up.

ANTIPASTI

Chucking together a homemade antipasti platter is a simple and easy way to elevate your picnic from cutesie British tea party to continental extravaganza. Sun-dried tomatoes, sliced chorizoManchego cheese and olives all work well, as do artichoke hearts and antipasti peppers

To save some time, our Mediterranean Antipasti Selection contains some flavour-packed veggie faves: cream-cheese stuffed mini peppers, herby marinated olives, sun kissed tomatoes and salted habas Freitas (crispy broad beans).

CHIPS &Dips

Picnics can vary drastically, from a glass of wine and a packet of crisps on a blanket in the garden to a fully-fledged 3-course dinner party held in a public park. Regardless of the scale you’re aiming for, we always think nibbles and dips are a fantastic and easy option that are guaranteed to go down a storm.

Just picking up a few bits to savour in the sun? Our Extra Special Sunblush Red Pepper Houmous is a sophisticated and delicious take on the chickpea-classic that will instantly make your picnic feel more up-market. Pair it with these tasty all-butter seeded cheese straws for ultimate decadence and zero effort.

Or, if you’ve got a moment to spare to whip something together yourself, our summer dip recipes inspired by our favourite seasonal flavours are all bursting with fresh ingredients and couldn't be easier to make. Whether it’s our Middle Eastern-inspired carrot and Harissa dip or our sweet and herby pea and feta concoction, grab some breadsticks or veggie crudités and watch everyone dig in.

Sandwiches

Sandwiches are always a good idea. But, if you’re in a rush, why bother spending half an hour slathering up sandwich halves? Instead, get your hands on some crusty, bakery-fresh bread (we love baguettes and ciabattas) and bring the fillings with a few plastic knives for everyone to make their own. Our decadent homemade tuna pâté can be rustled up in minutes and brought along in a pot for an impressive sandwich filling that feels like a special treat.

Some of our other favourite sophisticated mix-and-match toppings include thick-sliced ham, tapenade and Boursin cheese. Not only does it add a tapas-like, relaxed feel to the picnic, but also means that everyone gets the fillings they want and no one’s stuck with the soggy egg and cress at the bottom of the Tupperware...

Pastries

What would a picnic be without mini sausage rolls? While store-bought are both convenient and tasty, there’s nothing like a mouthful of pastry straight from the oven. If you're picnicking near home, these Spanish-inspired sausage rolls with chorizo flavours like paprika and fennel seeds are a super tasty twist on the traditional picnic treat. Just make sure to bin any leftover sausage rolls that have sat out in the sun at the end of the picnic as they'll be no-good refridgerated afterwards!

Want that buttery, hot pastry without any of the rolling-out palaver? Pop our Extra Special West Country Cheddar & Smoked Bacon Pork Sausage Rolls in the oven for 5-10 minutes to warm them through and make the pastry extra crisp and flaky. Genius!

Another true summertime classic, quiche simply tastes better when eaten al fresco. And while there’s nothing like the homemade kind, spending hours rolling out, blind baking, filling and baking again isn’t always an option.

Our Extra Special Poached Salmon and Creme Fraîche Tarts and Soignon Goat’s Cheese Tarts with Caramelised Onion make brilliant picnic-ready options. Simply slice each miniature tart into four to turn it into easy finger-food and let everyone help themselves. It couldn’t be simpler!

Wash it down

What's a picnic without a (plastic) glass of something chilled and sparkling to wash it all down. You can't go wrong with a bit of fizz in a picnic-proof Champagne flute, or this alcohol-free pink Muscat ticks all the boxes if you're driving. Our new Extra Special Freshly Squeezed Cloudy Lemonade also makes a fantastic picnic addition; tart and refreshing - perfect for an afternoon spent soaking up the sunshine.

Roll on pud

A Great British picnic deserves a Great British pud to see the meal out in style. Whether you’re baking a cake from scratch or grabbing one on the way to the park, make sure you’ve got some paper plates and wooden or plastic forks to catch those crumbs!

No time for baking something at home? These handy cheesecakes, layered desserts and trifles feel a bit special, and come in individual serving sizes, perfect for al fresco dining.

Ready to fly into action when the sun comes out this summer? Make sure to stock up on everything you need, including our wide range of convenient picnic accessories featuring everything from plastic plates to travel-proof wineglassesat Asda or pop into your local store.