London’s best ready-made picnic hampers for a posh picnic with no prep, from vegan picnics to portable afternoon teas from some of the capital’s top hotels and restaurants
Lead image: Carluccio’s
1 DUKES LONDON, St James’s
Alongside its established, and most excellent, posh picnics with butler service, DUKES LONDON has launched a new dog picnic for 2019. Alongside their Classic, Vegetarian, Vegan and Kids’ hampers, the dog-friendly hotel, handily located by Green Park, a picnic hotspot, offers a dog picnic for £15, with toys, a choice of wet food (including freshly cooked chicken and rice), and dry food. Of course, you’ll likely fancy a feast too. Meat-eaters can tuck into chorizo and goats cheese scotch eggs, while veggies can enjoy courgette and goats cheese brochettes and vegans can savour home-made hummus with pomegranate, paprika and vegan cheese scones and vegan brownies. Little ones can feast on pigs in blankets and home-made crisps. Classic British and Vegetarian Picnics are £39.50 (minimum two people per picnic), while Vegan Picnics are £35pp and Children’s Picnics are £17pp. Your picnic can be delivered, set-up and collected for an extra charge of £25, or £75 with the addition of butler service. You can also add flowers, chocolate truffles and a bottle of champagne for an additional cost.
35 St James’s Place, St James’s SW1A 1NY; dukeshotel.com
2 The Arch London, Marble Arch
The Arch London, a five-star hotel just a stone’s throw from Hyde Park, has its very own takeaway picnic hampers for the summer – ideal if you’re headed for an alfresco feast in one of London’s most famous parks. The posh picnic hamper offers a taste of Hunter 486 restaurant’s critically acclaimed Best of British inspired menu, all packed up in a hamper with a picnic blanket. The picnic includes a chilled bottle of sparkling wine, a selection of sandwiches including English Cheddar with apple and raisin chutney, Coronation chicken with baby gem and coriander cress salad, and smoked salmon with lemon butter and cracked black pepper, as well as Jersey Royal potato salad with apple and mustard dressing, homemade crisps with sea salt, lemon and sage, raspberry and pistachio trifle, a Battenburg cake and Homemade muffins. £100 for two guests. Available till 9 September 2019. Book in advance: 020 7724 4825 / [email protected]
50 Great Cumberland Place, Marble Arch W1H 7FD; thearchlondon.com
3 Roux at Parliament Square, Westminster
Roux at Parliament Square, Michel Roux Jr.’s eponymous restaurant, is offering a ready made picnic hamper with a difference this summer. More afternoon tea than picnic, Head Chef Steve Groves, former Masterchef: The Professionals winner, has craftily designed a posh and portable feast to rival the best of London’s alfresco dining endeavours. Served in traditional hampers, the menu includes twists on English picnic favourites, like harissa-spiced sausage rolls, finger sandwiches such as smoked coronation chicken and apricot and cucumber and cream cheese, plus a selection of first-class sweets like lemon posset with elderflower jelly, white chocolate, strawberry and pistachio delice, and an array of scones, Cornish clotted cream and jam. £55 for two to share or £95 with a bottle of Champagne. Available until 16 August. Order 48 hours in advance.
11 Great George Street, Westminster SW1P 3AD; rouxatparliamentsquare.co.uk
4 Conrad London St James, Westminster
Conrad London St James is offering up a selection of homemade treats for picnickers headed for St James’s Park. Prepared by Executive Chef Michael Riordan, your specially curated hamper will include a contemporary British menu of finger sandwiches (smoked mackerel pate with lemon & dill mayonnaise, scotch egg with pork sausage, onion & caramelised apple, and ham hock terrine with beetroot piccalilli), plus peach and rosemary Backwell tartlets, and a glass or two from a selection of red, white or rose wines or something sparkling. Conrad London St James is just a two-minute walk from St James’s Park. From £26 per person for a minimum of two guests, plus a £50 deposit per hamper. Book in advance.
22-28 Broadway, Westminster SW1H 0BH; conradhotels.com
5 Carluccio’s, branches across London
Carluccio’s perennially popular ready-made picnics are back, and new this year is a totally plant-powered offering. Both the Classic and Plant Power picnics are filled with freshly prepared Italian dishes, made from recipes adhering to Antonio Carluccio’s ‘MOF MOF’ food philosophy – minimum of fuss, maximum of flavour. Think freshly baked focaccia, antipasto, seasonal salads and Polpette di Fagioli (vegan bean balls with chickpea and aubergine purée). Priced £50, each picnic serves two. A Kid’s Picnic is also available, with grissini bread sticks, carrot, cucumber and celery sticks with tomato and basil dip, meatballs in tomato sauce, a cookie and apple juice (priced £12). Pick-up your ready-made picnic in a chic, reusable Carluccio’s cool bag from your local restaurant. Order in advance to avoid disappointment.
6 Brindisa’s Picnic Box, Borough & Balham
Brindisa Spanish Foods is bringing a touch of Southern Spain to London with their new limited-edition picnic boxes and Gazpacho on-the-go. The Brindisa picnic box, priced £20, is filled with Gordal olives, Picos de Pan, their much-loved Torres Truffle potato crisps, Artemonte Wild Boar pate and lightly spiced Alejandro Magno chorizo slices. Brindisa’s Gazpacho is also now available in a picnic-ready bottle, either to buy on its own for £2.45 or as part of the picnic box. Based on the traditional recipe from Andalucia, the fresh and vibrant cold soup made from the ripest tomatoes is blended with cucumber, onion, peppers, olive oil and sherry vinegar.
The Floral Hall, Stoney Street, Borough Market SE1 9AF & 6 Hildreth Street, Balham SW12 9RQ; brindisa.com