The Great Outdoors-Picnics
Here in Britain we have had a few nice days in April, almost dare I say summer like never mind spring, we know it won’t last, but now’s the time thoughts turn to long summer days and picnics there are, after all, few al fresco pastimes more enjoyable. From a gourmet champagne picnic on a grassy riverbank, to an afternoon tea picnic in a secluded cove with the local seals for company, Pride of Britain Hotels knows where best to indulge in the quintessentially British pursuit of picnicking, below are some of the best they have to offer:
Mattiscombe Beach, Start Point, South Hams, Devon
Buckland Tout-Saints Afternoon Tea Picnic (with seals)
Walk along the rugged and rocky cliff-top footpath at Start Point and you’ll be rewarded by finding a secluded sandy beach where, in springtime, pink-headed thrift grows on the cliffs, cirl buntings call from the bushes and, if well timed, inquisitive grey seals bask and frolic by the rocks. Buckland Tout-Saints provides a wicker hamper filled with a mix of scones, mini cakes and fancies, and a savoury selection of finger sandwiches. The Afternoon Tea Hamper costs £29 for two. Add a bottle of Prosecco for £30.50. Stay overnight at Buckland Tout-Saints from £125 per room (two sharing) including full English breakfast
Fal River, The Roseland Peninsula, Cornwall
The Nare’s Alice Rose picnic (on a boat)
This beautiful Cornish river – with its secluded coves, tree-lined banks and picturesque views of rolling fields – runs through an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Guests staying at The Nare can enjoy a picnic lunch aboard the hotel’s classic motor launch ‘Alice Rose’. Departing from Smuggler's Cottage, Tolverne, ‘Alice Rose’ picnics include delicious delights such as smoked salmon, homemade bread with butter rosettes, local Cornish cheeses, Waldorf salad, fresh berries and Bakewell Tart – plus drinks from the well-stocked bar on board. A day trip with picnic aboard ‘Alice Rose’ costs £170 for two. Stay overnight at The Nare from £283 per room (two sharing) including full English breakfast.
Broadway Tower, Worcestershire, the Cotswolds
Dormy House’s Veuve Clicquot Fizzy Hamper
Take a scenic stroll to Broadway Tower for spectacular soaring views across the Evesham Vale into Wales. Lovingly prepared and presented in a wicker hamper (or a walking-friendly rucksack), the Dormy House hamper enables guests to re-fuel at a remote and enchanting spot by the aforementioned iconic Cotswolds’ landmark which rises majestically from Fish Hill. Dormy delights include smoked fish, charcuterie, breads and chutney, seasonal quiche and salad, fresh pasties, scones, homemade jam, chef’s cookies and seasonal fruit. There’s even a chilled bottle of Veuve Clicquot champagne included. The Fizzy Hamper costs £85 for two. Stay overnight at Dormy House from £230 per room (two sharing) including full English breakfast.
St James’s Park, London
The Goring’s Luxury Hamper
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and picnic on the grass in this picturesque royal park. From the central lake – home to a colony of pelicans (a gift from a Russian Ambassador in 1664) – you’ll glimpse tree-framed views of Buckingham Palace. Landmark hotel The Goring’s Luxury Hamper (prepared by Executive Chef Shay Cooper) is the perfect picnic companion. Inside, you'll find decadent delights such as oscietra caviar, Frank Hederman beech smoked salmon, Hereford beef and horseradish brioche rolls, an array of fine wines and Bollinger Champagne. The other picnickers in St James’s Park will be looking on with wide-eyed envy. The Luxury Hamper costs £400 for two. Stay overnight at The Goring from £450 per room (two sharing).
Clach Thoull, Port Appin, Scottish Highlands
The Airds’ Homemade Hamper
Follow the path to the end of the headland at Clach Thoull, and you’ll find a perfectly-positioned bench from which to soak up the calming views across Loch Linnhe towards the isle of Lismore and the Morvern Mountains beyond – watch for sailing boats, basking seals and foraging otters. There are tempting local and homemade treats galore in The Airds’ hamper: choose from a range of sandwiches (cucumber, Scottish beef and horseradish, local Inverawe smoked salmon, and Isle of Mull cheese and chutney), homemade fruit cake and shortbread, vegetables crisps, fruit and a flask of tea or coffee. The homemade hamper costs from £30 for two. Stay overnight at The Airds from £295 per room (two sharing) including dinner and full Scottish breakfast.