Picnics are the absolute epitome of casual outdoor dining. What is more fun than relaxing with friends, getting a tan, listening to Café del Mar (old school I know), only a disposable mess to deal with and drinking something cold? Simply heavenly.
However I want to make your next picnic more grown up!
Let’s take them to the next level and break out the bubbles and lobster rather than soggy sandwiches and lukewarm wine.
I asked some girlfriends what their luxury picnic choices would be.
This is what they said:
- Watermelon and feta (very popular)
- Middle Eastern salad of chickpeas and bulgur
- Pink champagne
- Vegetarian scotch eggs
- Luxury sausage rolls
- Asparagus frittata
- Iberico ham
- Goat’s curd, Brie or Camembert
- Vietnamese rolls
- Poached chicken with raspberry vinaigrette
- Fresh scones and clotted cream
- Real ice-cream aka old fashioned vanilla
How delicious does this menu sound? I want to come along!
With some tweaks to your menu you too can elevate your picnicking experience.
So gather some friends together, make a date with your loved one or have a girlie get-together down by the lake and enjoy some of these perfect champagne picnic pairings.
Remember champagne is always best served with rounder slightly fattier flavours to counteract its acidity.
1. Brie and champagne are a marriage made in heaven.
It is the perfect easy picnic dish and benefits from not being in the fridge. Serve with slices of roasted summer truffle and baguette.
Drink with Il Colle Prosecco Brut DOCG di Valdobbiadene from Landolt Weine.
Cost 15.50 per bottle
2. Lobster will always feel luxurious. It is incredibly versatile and not difficult to cook.
Steam a lobster tail for 4 minutes at 100C and refresh in cold water. Serve in their shells or remove the meat and use in a salad, pasta dish or my favourite, a take on the Maine lobster roll. Make or buy a good mayonnaise, stir in sumac, sea salt and lemon juice, fold in the lobster meat and fill a bread roll with the lobster mayo, steamed asparagus and samphire (salicones). Amazing!
Drink with Champagne Dom Pérignon Brut from Ullrich
Cost 149.00 per bottle
3. Greek lamb flatbreads with watermelon and feta are so delicious and light, taste fresh and easy to eat.
Ask your butcher to mince lamb shoulder. Combine with tomato puree, salt, pepper and mixed dried herbs. Fry off and leave to cool. Combine watermelon cubes with feta cubes and mint salsa. For the salsa simply blend mint leaves with olive oil, salt and lime juice. Either leave the flatbread for picnickers to make themselves or pre roll flatbreads or tortillas with the lamb, sliced cucumber, little gem lettuce leaves, watermelon salad and salsa, slice the wrap in half and pin with a toothpick. Gorgeous.
Drink with Perrier-Jouët, Grand Brut, Champagne from Manor
Cost 49.90 per bottle
4. Scotch eggs feel tricky to make but are actually pretty easy. A great go to impressive picnic element.
Bring a pan of salted water to a rapid boil, then lower eggs into the pan and simmer for 7 mins 30 secs exactly. Scoop out and place in a bowl of iced water. Leave them to cool completely, then peel and set aside. Can be boiled the day before. Roll sausage meat into balls. Squash the balls between cling film until it’s as flat as possible. One at a time, lightly flour each cooked egg, then use the cling film to help roll the sausage meat around the egg to completely encase. Beat an egg and put on a plate. Put the flour and breadcrumbs on 2 separate plates. Roll the encased eggs in the flour, then the beaten egg and finally the breadcrumbs. Can also be prepared up to a day in advance. To cook the eggs, heat 5cm of the oil until breadcrumbs turn golden after 10 secs, then you have the right temperature. Depending on the size of your pan, lower as many eggs as you can into the oil and cook for 8-10 mins until golden and crispy. Drain on kitchen paper, leave to cool.
Drink with Crémant Bourgogne AOC Brut Domaine Poulleau Père & Fils from Moevenpick
Cost 22.00 per bottle
5. Whole poached globe artichoke, pull the leaves off and eat the soft delicious flesh.
Cut the stalk off the artichoke, peel, dice finely and mix with diced onion and fresh herbs. I used mint, then combine with olive oil, salt, pepper and red wine vinegar. Soak the artichoke head in water for 30 minutes. Remove and bash head side down to loosen the leaves. Place in a saucepan filled 1/3 with water, salt and tablespoon of the vinegar. Fill the opening with the diced stalk. Secure in the saucepan with potatoes. Cover and simmer for 90 minutes. Remove, season and dress with a squeeze of lemon juice. Impressive and a great picnic dish. Also good with a sumac mayo.
Drink with Prosecco Brut Nudo DOC from Smith & Smith
Cost 13.50 per bottle
6. Sausage rolls are a must for picnics!
But if you can sprinkle them with black sesame seeds, incorporate a slice of truffle or swap the sausage meat for minced venison or chorizo then they become something more.
Whisk 1 egg together. Remove chosen sausage meat from their skins. Roll into balls half the size of golf balls. Unravel a ready rolled puff pastry sheet and slice across the short side into lengths. You decide how wide you’d like your rolls to be. Similar to the width of the sausage ball is best. Then brush across the top end of each slice a bit of Dijon mustard. Top with the sausage meatball. At this stage you can add cooled fried onion, truffle, a stinky cheese like Taleggio. Then roll the meat tightly in the pastry. Brush the end with egg and glue closed. Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Score the top with a knife. 3 slices is good. Brush the top of each sausage roll with egg, sprinkle with sesame seeds or Nigella seeds or nothing. Bake 200C for 20-25 minutes. Cool.
Drink with Billecart-Salmon, Champagne Brut Reservé from Smith & Smith
Cost 48.00 per bottle
7. Strawberries need little else other than being super fresh, ideally organic or wild, a sprinkling of icing sugar and whipped cream.
Drink with dry champagne Louis Roederer, Veuve Clicquot Rich from Globus
Cost 63.90 per bottle
MORE BUBBLES TO CHOOSE FROM
Moët & Chandon Ice Impérial On Sale in Globus
Pol Roger, Brut Reserve
COOL PICNIC IDEAS & PRODUCTS
Raspberry or Edible Flower Prosecco Ice-Cubes – Easy to make and impressive
Champagne popsicles – wish they were sold in Z!
Champagne and Hotdogs – why not?
Bagnums – trending wine in a bag
Gorgeous Picnic Blanket – ideal
Tiffin Tins – visually beautiful with felt warmer
Champagne Opener – no corks in eyes!
Champagne Cooler – easy to transport
Disposable Crockery and Cutlery – they deliver to your door
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