It's getting into prime picnic weather but with nowhere to go, we're putting out our picnic blankets on our lawns, balconies and front living rooms and embracing the many benefits of a stay-at-home picnic. From the ability to choose the soundrack (hello, dedicated Spotify playlist) to the access to all of your favourite plates, cutlery and condiments, it turns out bringing the picnic to you has its upsides.
If you are lucky enough to have a garden, treat your picnic set-up just like you would in the park. Pick your favourite semi-shaded spot and put down a picnic blanket (a tablecloth will also do if you don't have a blanket). If you have a picnic hamper, use this to help transport your food from the kitchen to the garden, or use trays or cake tins instead. Spread your dishes out in the middle of the blanket for everyone to tuck into. Even if you don't have outdoor space, set up an area in your living room. Move the furniture out of the way, spread out your blanket and set the mood. You could even dot a few jars of fresh flowers around to help bring the outdoors in.
Next, sort your food, and this year, it's all about avoiding the shops and making your picnic treats at home; a nice cheeseboard spread, accompanied by a fresh salad, a quiche or tart, homemade sausage rolls or pork pies and some healthier snacks. We've put together our favourite recipes for the perfect at-home picnic.
You can't have a picnic without sausage rolls. This Spanish twist on a classic includes smoky, spicy chorizo and buttery, sheep’s milk Manchego cheese.
Made with cauliflower, mushrooms, peppers and courgettes coated in a pesto and honey marinade, these veg kebabs are a healthy snack the kids may enjoy.
A colourful, crunchy veg-tastic salad to brighten up your picnic spread. "this has enough zing in it to bring a table of cold cuts to life", says Nigella – a great accompaniment to a Ploughman's.
Butternut squash and sage with brown butter is a classic combination and works excpetionally well in this colourful, flavour-packed quiche.
If you want to go all out, make your own pork pies – these really are something special. Well-seasoned and made properly with good-quality meat and great jelly, these are world's apart from supermarket-bought pork pies.
Slowly caramelised onions and Gruyère cheese make up this simple tart. Make your own Parmesan pastry with a food processor to keep it simple.
A great alternative to sandwiches, this fun picnic recipe turns a hollowed-out loaf into a bread bowl. The bread is then filled with a rich custard and plenty of fillings – you can even mix up the fillings depending on what you fancy.
A simple couscous salad to bulk out your plates with roasted veg and a dollop of pesto to liven it all up. Simple and colourful.
Get the children to help make these simple little muffins – moist carrot cake baked into bites with a sweet cream cheese icing as a surprise filling. Perfect for picnics.