It’s National Picnic week, and what is this gorgeous summer weather for, if not dining al fresco with the kids? But when soggy sandwiches just won’t do, these made-to-order picnic hampers from eateries around the capital will ensure your lunch game is strong. From Scandi-inspired feasts to your very own butler (yes, you read that right), there’s something to tickle the tastebuds of every family this week and beyond
The vegan one
La Suite West
Tucked away in Bayswater, just a stone’s throw from Hyde Park’s Kensington Gardens, this boutique hotel has become something of a go-to destination for wellness advocates in the capital, and this month, the hotel officially launched its collaboration with Nosh Detox. The natural food and juice brand has given La Suite West’s menu offerings a total overhaul, including a brand new vegan afternoon tea hamper ready for you to whisk away to a spot of your choice. The luxury hamper opens up to reveal a selection of finger sandwiches – including scrambled tofu and barbecue tempeh on gluten-free bread – warm, homemade scones with fresh strawberries, jam and whipped coconut cream, plus a sumptuous selection of mini loaf cakes and chocolate treats. For the full afternoon tea experience, there is a selection of teas to choose from, or maybe a glass of non-alcoholic fizz. You’ll also be handed a large picnic blanket that’ll happily fit the whole family.
Price: From £25 for two, lasuitewest.com
The traditional one
Tom’s Kitchen Canary Wharf Deli
This East London brasserie has recently launched its bespoke picnic menu that makes summer afternoons outdoors with the kids a real delight. The picnic includes a selection of crowd-pleasing sandwiches and baguettes to enjoy on the Wharf or in nearby Greenwich Park – think chicken and avocado, crayfish and rocket, and goats’ cheese and roasted mediterranean vegetables, all washed down with fresh juices and an optional bottle of prosecco or champagne. Snacks include crisps or popcorn, whole fruits, and mini tubs of honey-roasted nuts and trail mix, and for dessert, dig into dreamy homemade brownies and flapjacks – trust us when we say, there won’t be a crumb left in sight. The goods come packed in a keepsake jute bag, so there’s no need to lug a heavy hamper all the way back to the brasserie, either.
Price: From £25 for two, tomskitchen.co.uk
The waterside one
For light, Nordic-inspired nibbles on the canal, KuPP in Paddington’s Merchant Square is relaunching its grab-and-go picnic bags for summer and has teamed up with GoBoat to offer families the chance to enjoy theirs aboard your very own vessel. With a choice of veggie or traditional feasts, the KuPP picnic totes feature everything from light and colourful salads (Norwegian salmon gravadlax and smoked mackerel with lashings of Scandi potato salad, roast beetroot and red onions) to meaty offerings, like homemade chorizo sausage rolls, smoked pork meatballs and potted rabbit with nutmeg butter. And, naturally, a Scandi picnic wouldn’t be complete with a generous helping of Västerbotten – a strong Swedish cheddar. And if you’re looking to end things on a sweeter note, enjoy croissants, pastries and slices of honey and walnut cake, teamed with wine, beer, juices or the restaurant’s signature coffee.
Price: From £27.95 for two, kupp.co
The gourmet one
For a special occasion, picnics in the capital don’t get much more refined than Dukes, which has a private butler serve up your culinary treats just a short walk away from the hotel in Green Park. Taking the art of the picnic to a whole new level, the hotel serves up delicacies including poached Loch Duart salmon, artisan cheeses with chutney, chorizo and goats’ cheese scotch eggs, baked avocado quiches and new potato salad with tarragon mustard. There is even a special children’s menu created for little ones, featuring chicken wraps, ‘pigs in blankets’ with homemade ketchup, pasta salads and strawberry trifle. This is the ultimate in luxury spreads – all you have to do is kick back on your plumped up rug and cushions, and be the envy of other picnickers in the park.
Price: From £39.50 per person; children, £12, dukeshotel.com
The very British one
The Arch London
The Arch’s Hunter 486 restaurant in Marble Arch will offer up a delectable hamper of smoked salmon sandwiches with lemon butter and black pepper, homemade crisps with sea salt, lemon and sage and English cheddar with apple and raisin chutney, as well as indulgent sides like coronation chicken and Jersey Royal potato salad. For dessert, tuck into raspberry and pistachio trifle and – everyone’s favourite – a slice of Battenberg, as you sip on a chilled glass of Camel Valley English sparkling wine and take in views of the capital.
Price: From £95 for two, thearchlondon.com