Strawberry Picking & a Picnic with a Difference

Until last week, I had never been strawberry picking. Well, I had been picking strawberries at home, but we usually have 5 or 6 strawberries growing in our garden each year, so that hardly counts!

Whenever I hear of people going to pick their own fruit, I am keen to do the same thing, until I make a couple of phone calls and realise it is too late to pick anything (damn you, phone phobia!). This year, I have been on the ball, looking for places where we could pick fruit locally, and I have literally been ready before the fruit was ripe, te he he!

Last Wednesday was a sunny day and I was looking after one of my gorgeous goddaughters so I took her and my girls strawberry picking. We went to Bullscroft Farm in Chorleywood, which was highly recommended by my friend Anna.

Strawberry Picking & a Picnic with a Difference - Busy Busy

The farm was easy to find, with signs from the main road, and the children were immediately mesmerised by the farmer on his tractor. We had a pretty wicker basket with us but the girls wanted a plastic tub each to collect their strawberries (and in Wriggly’s case, some grass and weeds).

www.lecoindemel.com

We spent over an hour looking for the red berries, and were rewarded with tiny fruit, but oh so sweet and juicy it was all worth it! We did not collect huge amounts of strawberries, but it was a brilliant activity for the girls and I.

Strawberry Picking & a Picnic with a Difference - Yummy Strawberries

After our hard work, we sat on the grass by the farm to have our picnic. Now this was no ordinary picnic. The previous day, I had received one of the brand new picnic hampers to be found at St Pancras International, and packed it for our strawberry picking expedition. I also brought some homemade bread. What a feast!

Strawberry Picking & a Picnic with a Difference - Sourced Market

Sourced Market Picnic Bag for four, £58.75

Chorizo Gran Vela from the Iberian Peninsula

Napoli Piccante Salami

Parma Ham

Bath Blue cheese (winner of the World Cheese Awards 2014)

Smoked Northumberland cheese

Keens Cheddar

Nocellara Olives

Pâté Forestiere

Peters Yard Crisp Bread (winner of the Great Taste Awards 2015)

Wolff & Evans Mini Scotch Eggs

Truffle Crisps

Sourced Market Brownie Bag

Strawberry Picking & a Picnic with a Difference - Scotch Egg

Guess what we had for dessert.

Strawberry Picking & a Picnic with a Difference - Our Strawberries

We devoured most of the delicious food there and then, but I managed to save a few bits for the evening.

Strawberry Picking & a Picnic with a Difference - Leftovers

My favourite? The brownies. Wow, they were something else. My friend Cé and I compared them to moelleux au chocolat as we were eating them. Moreish, gooey, rich, chocolatey. Perfect with my evening latte!

Strawberry Picking & a Picnic with a Difference - Mmmmm Chocolte Moelleux

We absolutely loved everything apart from the crisps. I have always struggled to digest truffle oil or truffle-favoured food so that was no surprise, really. The cured meats were to die for and felt like a real treat from a particularly high-end deli. The pâté was even better than the one we eat at my mum’s and I think I had the whole lot before anyone else could get their hands on it! I also had a soft spot for the blue cheese on crisp bread. I was quite pleased Jumpy could have quite a few of the goodies from the hamper despite her allergies. Cured meats rock!

If you are anywhere near St Pancras International this summer, pop in! You will find an exciting new picnic area there, and you can also buy your own picnic hampers until September 2016. These have been carefully curated by Fortnum & Mason, Le Pain Quotidien and Sourced Market.

Photo-1

Photo Credit: St Pancras International

The team at St Pancras International have set standards incredibly high when it comes to food on the go. If you are thinking, ‘mushy egg sandwiches, juice cartons with a side of greasy crisps and cucumber sticks,’ think again!

Those picnic hampers contain high quality European delicacies as well as home-grown, traditionally English produce. Commuters and visitors alike are sure to find their perfect on the go food, whether they choose to have it on the Eurostar or at the station’s picnic tables.

Here is a little interview of food critic and Great British Menu judge, Matthew Fort, who unveiled the exclusive range of ergonomically designed picnic hampers a couple of weeks ago.

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Photo Credit: St Pancras International

What are the latest picnic food trends?

Smart plastic glasses; pre-mixed picnic cocktails; designer picnic rugs; designer plates; country-themed picnics.

The popularity in picnics for hen parties has grown. Do you have any recommendations from turning an ordinary picnic into something more special?

Fancy dress picnics when the participants have to re-create famous picnics of the past or picnics in paintings or books.

What in your opinion would make up the perfect on the go picnic?

The right food with the right people in the right place. Oh, and with the right weather.

Why do you think picnics remain so popular?

Because they represent the triumph of hope over experience.

Where you would picnic if it rains?

The British summer weather shouldn’t dampen picnicking spirits; there are some great indoor options such as the new picnic area at St Pancras International or the National Theatre and the British Museum.

How do you think picnics have changed over the years?

Better food. Better equipment. Better containers. Better fun.

What’s one picnic ingredient you couldn’t leave home without?

It’s a toss-up between a sharp knife and a container of salt & pepper.

Where’s the most unusual place you have ever had a picnic?

In a boat on the lake at Blenhein Palace in a snow storm in the middle of minter while fishing for pike. Unsuccessfully.

There will be thousands of people on their way to Wimbledon. If people don’t fancy the usual strawberries and cream, what would you recommend?

Slice white peaches into glasses. Pour a bottle of Moscato D’Asti over them. Leave for 5 minutes. Slurp and sip.

 

Here is the rest of the picnic hamper range:

*As recommended by Matthew Fort

Le Pain Quotidien, £13 (including free cool bag)

Ham and Gruyere baguette, served on organic bread

Organic, gluten free Granola parfait*

Tropical juice, with pineapple melon and apple

Fortnum & Mason The Vegetarian Plate, £15

Roasted Butternut Squash, Red Onion, Seeds and Rocket

Cheeseboard of Ragstone, Comte, Lincolnshire Poacher with Apple Chutney, Rye Bread and Butter

Lemon Posset*

Napolitain Chocolates*

Fortnum & Mason The Ploughman’s Plate, £20

Lincolnshire Poacher Cheese, York Ham, Game Terrine with Apple Chutney, Cornichons

Rye Bread and Butter, Panache Salad

Bakewell Tart and Clotted Cream

Napolitain Chocolates*

Fortnum & Mason The Glenarm Beef Plate, £20

Rare Roast Glenarm Salt-Aged Beef with Horseradish Cream and Cornichons*

Cheese board of Innes Log, Comte, Lincolnshire Poacher with Apple Chutney

Rye Bread and Butter, Panache Salad

Lemon Posset*

Napolitain Chocolates*

 

Which of these picnic hampers would you go for?

 

Discosure: We received the Sourced Market picnic hamper free of charge. I was not compensated in any other way for this post. All photos and opinions are my own, unless otherwise stated.

 

Digiprove sealThis content has been Digiproved

Subscribe

Comments

  1. Rebecca | AAUBlog says:

    such a lovely day out. It looks just like my style of picnic x

  2. Lilinha Espindula says:

    We haven’t been strawberry picking in a few years. The picnic hamper looks great! 🙂

  3. Sabrina @ the mummy stylist says:

    I have phone phobia too! Luckily our local pick your own farm updates online – phew! Can’t wait to go strawberry picking. The hamper looks amazing, perfect for a picnic xx

    • It was such a great hamper. I wish I could have one with me every time I fancy an impromptu picnic. A girl can dream!

  4. Elizabeth Williams says:

    It looks lovely and can’t beat a good picnic wherever it is. Love strawberry picking, have fond memories of doing so as a child.

    • It was my first time! I remember going past a PYO place every time we were going to the supermarket with my mum, but we never stopped!

  5. This Mama Life says:

    Oh my goodness strawberries are my pregnancy craving so I was practically trying to eat them through the screen with your gorgeous photos. Sounds like you had a lovely day 🙂 x

  6. Kellie Kearney says:

    What a fabulous day out! One of my favourites summer days out is going strawberry picking. We left it reallyate this year and the best strawberries has already been picked.

Speak Your Mind

*