If you think about it, the ants and birds of London’s parks are probably going to get pretty confused come March 29th. What happened? When did the humans become so obsessed with picnics? Is that the guy from series 11 of The Only Way Is Essex?
Yup, picnics, and our pans for them, are very much in right now. Just like last summer, everyone will either be attending them, hosting them for their birthday, or simply sitting down in a small patch of grass with some cheddar because they never want to see their flat again. We wholeheartedly support all of the above, and these picnic options will ensure you have a good time.
Heads up, everything in this guide is available for London-wide delivery.
What to get: This glorious DIY reuben.
Monty’s Deli is part-restaurant, part-doctor. Don’t believe us? Try their matzo ball soup the next time you get hit with the lurgy and you’ll see exactly what we mean. But the one thing we love even more than their soup is their reuben sandwich. It’s available in DIY form from their online shop, complete with sauerkraut, mustard, Russian dressing, and a hefty portion of salt beef. Even the bread is pre-sliced so it’s perfect for a minimal faff, maximum taste park catch-up.
What to get: Champagne and oysters (it’s a mood).
Oysters in the park baby. Alright yes, you might get photographed by like, Buzzfeed for some piece on spoilt middle-class Londoners but that is the risk you take everytime you leave the house in Birkenstocks and a Toast linen workwear jacket. Get involved in a dozen fresh Jersey oysters from seafood specialist spot, Wright Brothers. If you’re looking to go big for a special occasion - and we mean big - they’ve also got caviar, martini kits, and champagne.
What to order: Sandos and lots of sweet treats.
Two words. Strawberry sando. That’s right, we see your pack of Mr. Kipling angel slices and we raise you a fresh strawberry, vanilla cream, and Hokkaido milk bread sandwich. Not only is everything that Kova Patisserie makes incredibly aesthetically pleasing - shoutout to their matcha mille crepés that are both greener and have more layers than Shrek - they’re also doing same-day delivery across London. We’ve got our eye on the Oreo mille crepés and dirty taro boba iced tea, but if you’re after something savoury they’ve also got an egg mayo sando and chicken teriyaki offerings. Organising a birthday picnic? Kova has got you covered with whole cakes and birthday candles too.
Honey & Co.
What to get: Anything and everything that you can dip lavoush in.
Put that ancient loaf of Hovis down and invest in some lavoush from Honey and Co instead. This great little restaurant in Soho is delivering everything from Turkish coffee pots to marzipan cookies across London direct from their online shop. There’s a lot of tasty things to choose from but our game plan would be to get some orange marmalade, the spicy chilli jam, plenty of seeded lavoush, the pickled cherries, and of course, lots of tahini.
What to get: Espresso martinis.
You know when you were a kid and your mum told you that the other kids looked at you weird because they were jealous, but retrospectively it was because you continued to chat to your imaginary mate Gladys long into secondary school? All been there, haven’t we. Well, in the case of people staring when you crack out espresso martinis in the park we would like to confirm that they 100% are looking because they’re jealous. Order the pre-bottled espresso martini from go-to coffee specialists Climpson and Sons and just remember to bring a bag of ice. Plus, you just know that Gladys would approve.
What to get: This hummus-packed pitta situation.
Berber and Q is a restaurant that knows how to do truly inspiring things to a cauliflower. No, we’re not talking your bog-standard cauliflower and cheese, we’re talking cauliflower smothered in shawarma-spiced butter, tahina, pine nuts, and pomegranate seeds. Now you can get their excellent cauliflower offerings as part of their DIY shawarma kit, that also comes with pita bread, spicy zhoug, and their signature hummus. Yes, you’ll have to shove the cauliflower in the oven for twenty minutes before leaving the house and crack out some tupperware, but if you managed to find your partner’s ex with nothing but their first name and the informative nugget that they once played professional netball, you can do this.
Cutter & Squidge
What to order: Afternoon tea in a box.
After a great deal of thought we’ve come to the conclusion that afternoon tea is just the picnic’s fancier cousin and frankly we’d prefer a ratty old blanket and tinnies to fine china any day. Thanks to Cutter and Squidge you can still bring some of that afternoon tea energy to your picnic with their scone kits. They include everything you need for the perfect jam and clotted cream situation, including tea and brownies. Just bring a flask of hot water and maybe an umbrella. Because, British weather.
Uncle John's Bakery
What to order: A Ghanaian spread complete with the world’s most addictive snack.
It is physically impossible to stop eating Uncle John’s coconut chin chin. If you think we’re joking you should see how many bags of this sweet, crunchy snack we go through every single day. Uncle John’s is one of London’s best bakeries and their classic Ghanaian goods are not only wildly tasty but super affordable. Alongside your very necessary order of 80 bags of chin chin, grab some of the twister bread, a couple chicken pies, and their excellent prawn and pepper shito sauce.
What to get: Molten chocolate bao and a couple of negroni pouches.
’Wassup wassup wassup! Victoria Park 2k21, can I get a ‘whoop whoop’ from the crowd!’ - you to the four bemused squirrels circling the remnants of your salted egg custard bao. Granted there’s a limit on the amount of fun you can have sat on a patch of dead grass wishing you were at a festival, but the fun little baked goods from Bao will definitely help lift the mood. Throw in a couple of their premade signature Umeshu negronis and you’re onto a winner.
What to get: The boozy DIY bagel kit and friends.
The Good Egg are delivering babka, bagels, brownies, and some other lovely things that don’t begin with B. We’re very into their pecan pie babka, but it’s their salt beef boozy bagel box that has ‘park hang’ written all over it. It comes with cava, 200g of salt beef, Montreal sesame bagels, and all the extras you need, but there’s also a boozy salmon option and a brownie selection box to get involved in too.
The Sun Tavern
What to get: The Party Drinks Hamper. Or as we call it, Hello Hangover.
Park party hang? Yeah, completed it mate. That’s what you’ll say once you order The Sun Tavern’s huge £80 boozy hamper. It includes - deep breath - rhubarb cider, whiskey finished ginger beer, strawberry kir cocktails, El Diablo cocktails, highballs, bottled negroni, and bottled daiquiri. They’re delivering nationwide and, most importantly, they’re selling beer pong kits too.
What to get: The ready-to-eat seafood picnic box.
Smoked salmon. Sparkling wine. Soda bread. Yes, welcome to our TED Talk on Things We Consume to Make Our Sorry Selves Feel Like Grown-Ups. The above is also just some of the things you’ll find in London Shell Co.’s picnic delivery situation. This converted canal boat restaurant really knows their seafood, and their picnic box even includes crevettes and smoked rainbow trout. No cooking necessary. Just be aware that they only deliver on the weekend.
What to get: The al fresco feast box. And the chorizo roll box. And maybe the cheese box too.
We enjoy anything involving the word ‘feast’. It makes us feel important and like we might be distantly related to Henry VIII. Someone incredibly wise once said that ‘the chorizo roll at Brindisa is one of the best sandwiches, full stop’. Yes, that someone was us, but it’s true. Upgrade your picnic with their chorizo roll pack, or go all-in on their al fresco feast box. Check out their website for even more picnic options.
What to order: A magnum of negroni. Praise be.
The last time you had a birthday party in the park you were six and dressed as Buzz Lightyear. But fast forward to 2021, and the park birthday party is where it’s at. Top Cuvée are delivering wine survival packs, beer, and batched cocktails from some of London’s best bars. Grab a bag of ice, that portable speaker you forgot you owned, and a couple of their pocket negronis if a whole magnum isn’t your thing.
What to get: Cheese and wine. Okay, and cannoli too.
Technically your favourite thing about picnics is dog watching. Honestly, same. But if you live in or around Elephant and Castle your second favourite thing should be Diogenes The Dog. This neighbourhood wine bar and café are doing boozy cheese boxes for under a tenner as well as bigger artisan selection boxes. Expect salami, cheese pairings, homemade cannoli, burrata, and countless bottles of natural wine.
What to order: The Beer Boy. No seriously, it’s called The Beer Boy.
This Camden cheese spot is delivering The Beer Boy, which might sound like a Jamie T track, but it’s actually their beer and cheese pack. We’re talking three types of crackers, and a selection of craft beers. If you’re someone who likes your picnic with a side of bubbles, there’s also The Mummy’s Boy that includes prosecco, or The Bougie Boy that involves chocolate, jam, and charcuterie. They’re delivering nationwide and there are gluten-free options available too.
What to get: Pastries, sourdough, more pastries.
Sure, there was a time when ‘picnic’ was code for ‘getting absolutely trashed in Hyde Park’ but since then you’ve been through a lockdown and an entire series of Wonders of the Universe. You’ve grown. Now, you want that full sophisticated, pastry and cheese experience. All-round lovely cafe and restaurant Pophams are doing everything you need for an al fresco park meal, including sourdough loaves, giarraffa olives, hand-cut honeycomb, and wine. Just make sure you don’t skip their ham and cheese croissants.
What to order: A box of wine. Because, wine.
Ever shared a box of excellent wine with some mates at the park? We have. It’s fantastic. It’s also how we know that it’s impossible to get red wine stains out of white denim. Still, we regret nothing and neither will you if you order one of the signature boxes of St John wine for home delivery. Three litres of rosé for £38? Don’t mind if we do. Going big? There’s a 10-litre box too.