There’s something about summer that just screams picnics to me. Even in Scotland where summer can sometimes be as short as two days long, every year I love going for picnics with friends and enjoy long summer afternoons beside the lake (loch in Scotland) or at the park. Recently, David and I celebrated the start of summer (or maybe all of summer as it’s raining as I write this…) with some picnic food, some champagne and some cocktails.
We’re lucky enough to live near a beautiful park so took my favourite picnic basket (though I do have my eye on a Fortnum and Mason hamper in the near future) to the park along with some of our favourite picnic food and a bottle of champagne that we’d been gifted as a housewarming gift. You might have noticed that we love making our own cocktails at home and so when Heartsease Farm sent me some goodies to try, it seemed like the perfect excuse to break out our cocktail making skills once more.
My favourite was the raspberry lemonade as part of a gin based cocktail; it was so fresh, delicious and summery that it was (almost!) too easy to drink. If you’re not a cocktail fan we also found that they were perfect as stand alone soft drinks that were great refreshments on a hot day.
It’s fairly obvious if you’re a regular reader that I love eating out, but I also love cooking – especially whipping up simple picnic food that’s perfect for a summer afternoon.
No picnic is complete without my famous sausage rolls (okay, mum’s recipe but you know what I mean) which I always keep in the freezer in case of emergency picnics or cravings. With that in mind I defrosted some the day of our picnic; to say I was excited about these is a little understatement.
In an attempt to feel a little healthy alongside our delicious cocktails and champagne I made a perfect summer salad with spinach, rocket, sundried tomatoes, olives, peppers and halloumi cheese. Topped with a light vinaigrette dressing it was just what we needed on a hot day. If you make it an deep-ish dish it’s also super easy to transport, aka picnic basket friendly.
David too is quite the cook and he makes the best guacamole I’ve ever had. Seriously, it’s oustanding. Maybe, just maybe, one day he’ll let me share the recipe here! When he said he’d make some for our picnic I was exceptionally happy, so chopped up some carrots and bought some crisps to soak up all the guac-y goodness.
At that point all that was left to do was to pop the champagne, shake the cocktails, lather on the sun lotion and sit back and enjoy the start of summer.
You can’t beat a good picnic if you ask me, and I love making all the picnic food at home. But if you’re not a fan of at home picnics, or don’t have the time, Angie has found some great luxurious picnic options from top London hotels.
Heartsease Farm cocktails in hand and champagne long gone, we ate, laughed and sunned ourselves until it was time to come home before exploring London’s summer scene another day.
Thanks to Heartsease Farm for our lovely drinks which complimented our picnic perfectly; you can purchase Heartsease Farm drinks at Ocado. All opinions are my own.