Picnics. Perhaps you think you’ve become something of a pro at them over the last year. After all, with almost all socialising restricted to al fresco settings, that luxury picnic basket you invested in last spring has been more useful than you ever could have imagined.
However, if your idea of a great picnic is a pot of hummus, a supermarket French baguette and a slowly warming bottle of prosecco, we have news for you. Thanks to some of London’s enterprising hospitality pros, picnics in the park can now be as decadent a culinary experience as dining in your favourite restaurant – and you won’t even have to give up your table after two hours. These are the best ready-made picnic deliveries in London to order now.
As a restaurant inspired by Dabbawalas, the men in Mumbai who use local transport to deliver home cooked meals across the city, it only makes sense that Mayfair's Bombay Bustle would be among those offering upscale picnics this summer. Designed for one person, the Bustle Basket is a cornucopia of dishes from across India and is avialable in both meat and vegetarian options. Star dishes include the restaurant's famed Duck Chettinad Samosas, KFC (Kerala fried chicken) Pao and Rasgulla cottage cheese dumplings. If you're in the area, a larger Bombay Basket designed to share is available for collection only and includes snacks such as Khatta Meetha and Kolkata Chanachur, alongside Malabar chicken wings and lamb biryani. £1 from each picnic basket will also be donated to the Nutan Mumbai Tiffinbox Suppliers Charity to help support food workers whose livelihoods have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Lanson Wimbledon at Home picnic
To celebrate the return of the UK's premiere tennis event this summer, Lanson champagne has teamed up with Wimbledon to offer a quinteseentially English picnic basket to be enjoyed from the comfort of your own home. Created for two to share, and coming complete with a bottle of Lanson Le Black Label Brut and a pair of limited edition Wimbledon champagne flutes, the menu includes treats such as Ritchie's of Rothesay smoked salmon with sourdough crumpets, coronation chicken parcels, 'Henman Hill' sweet onion and smoked cheese tart and buttered Jersey Royals with mint, pea, asparagus and radish salad and a soft boiled egg. Of course, no Wimbledon-themed picnic would be complete without strawberries and cream, while there are also pink pepprcorn shortbread fingers and Champagne Lanson chocolate truffles for an extra touch of decadence.
Provisions has been importing wine, cheese and artisan foods from Italy and France since 2015, and its deli selection of cured meats, olives and breads make for excellent picnic fodder. Resistance is futile in this Islington boutique, where you’ll find cheese such as comté, Ossau-Iraty and manchego alongside French Basque chorizo and mortadella. Assemble your own hamper or opt for the store’s pre-chosen selection, including black olive tapenade, Crottin de Chavignol goats cheese, smoked ham, Pâté de Campagne, olives, almonds and much more. The large selection of wine, sourced from small, organic and biodynamic producers, is not to be missed.
Bocca di Lupo
Italian restaurant Bocca di Lupo has done the hard work for you and created a series of picnic kits, which will be delivered to your door before midday and come packed with ice in a tote bag ready to be carried to the park. Opt for the Picnic Campo menu for dishes such as buffalo mozzarella with tomatoes and basil, smoked ricotta with grilled aubergines and tiramisu; Picnic Macellaio for meaty additions such as speck and Tuscan salami; or Picnic Mare for marinated anchovies and orzo with tomato and langoustines.
The Roux family x Le Gavroche
As gastronomic dynasties go, they don’t come much more lauded than the Roux family. Created using the combined culinary power of Michel Roux Jr and Emily Roux, you can rest assured that you’re in safe hands with this decidedly Francophile picnic hamper. The emphasis here is all on great bread and spreads. A loaf of sourdough is delivered alongside a Terrine d’Agneau épicé (spiced lamb terrine) and Rillettes de Lapin (rabbit rillettes) made to Michel Roux Jr’s recipes, alongside a jar of Emily Roux’s favourite homemade chocolate and hazelnut spread. There’s also a bottle of Le Gavroche’s rosé wine and, should you choose, a handmade Le Gavroche spreader knife to complete the set.
A vegan butcher may sound like something of an oxymoron but Rudy’s in Islington is proving that London’s plant-based population is keen for fine alternatives to meat. Ever the innovator, Rudy’s is offering a full complement of vegan picnic hampers so delicious we promise you won’t realise there isn’t a sausage roll in sight. Available in basic, premium and super-premium options, each features bread by French baker Philippe Conticini, vegan butter, peppered ‘salami’ and Apricolina cheeze. Choose to upgrade and you’ll also be treated to Frizzenti sparkling wine, fig balls, olives, pepper and tomato spread and vegan camembert and mortadella, all packaged in 100 per cent compostable materials.
Panzer’s deli in St John’s Wood has been providing north Londoners with epicurean summer treats and picnic hampers since 1944 (its modern celebrity fans include Harry Styles, Yotam Ottolenghi and Nigella Lawson) so it’s an old hand at the outdoor dining game. Now delivering nationwide, its 2021 selection offers a smorgasbord of al fresco options. Each comes packed in a classic Panzer’s hessian bag, with fully vegetarian options available, but for a really decadent day out we’d recommend the deluxe picnic. Available with either charcuterie or smoked salmon, further treats include new potato salad, crudité and handmade hummus, beef sausage rolls, bento chicken drumsticks, a cheese plate, chocolate brownies, fruit salad and a bottle of house wine.
Coal Drops Yard may be well set up for outdoor dining once restrictions lift but that hasn’t stopped its most buzzed about restaurant, Hicce, creating a wide range of picnic hampers to eat elsewhere. Among them are great vegan and vegetarian options, featuring treats such as asparagus, shallot and hazelnut tarts and Italian crackers with apple, pear and chilli chutney, while the carniverous versions are divided into fish and pork hampers. These picnics are all about ingredients with great providence, including Pepus squid stuffed with rice, Espinaler octopus in olive oil and pork pies from the Fat Pig Farm. Each hamper is available in various sizes and with a choice of accompanying wines – all you have to think about it finding the perfect picnic blanket.
Sweet Things Café Bakery
Available for delivery to London postcodes, Primrose Hill's chic Sweet Things Café Bakery has created the perfect picnic delivery box for al fresco meet ups this summer. Packed with sweet and savoury treats for two, the box contains a smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel, avocado and roasted red pepper bagel, two pork and caramelised onion sausage rolls and a coronation chicken quinoa salad alongside brownie bites, salted caramel flapjack bites, two packets of crisps and two bottles of water. A guaranteed crowd pleaser.
Le Deli Robuchon
The world’s most decorated Michelin-starred chef, the late Joël Robuchon’s legacy lives on in his London restaurant Le Comptoir and its adjoining Le Deli Robuchon. At the latter, you’ll find quality French delicacies carefully selected from artisan suppliers, many of which were chosen and loved by Robuchon himself. Call ahead to create your own made-to-order hamper, or take advantage of the deli’s vast takeaway menu, which includes fresh salads, mix-and-match cold boxes (including marinated chicken, roast beef and ratatouille), hot and cold sandwiches and a selection of quiches, as well as a large range of wines.
Melrose & Morgan
Melrose & Morgan’s two locations in Primrose Hill and Hampstead, which brim with artisan produce and local, seasonal ingredients, have become meccas for Londoners trying to recreate restaurant-quality food at home during lockdown. Now its casting its net a little wider with a range of ready-to-eat picnic hampers available for nationwide delivery. The range is truly vast, spanning everything from elevenses and aperitifs to selections inspired by Gloucester and Sweden. For an all-out picnic experience, however, we recommend the Deluxe Charcuterie and Cheese Hamper. As the name suggests, this elegant wicker hamper is packed with fine cured meats and aged cheeses alongside champagne, smoked salmon, crackers, chutneys, nuts and chocolate-coated oranges.
The younger sibling to Piccadilly's much-lauded Hide restaurant, Hideaway has been consistently turning out impressive fine dining home delivery options throughout lockdown – and its picnic hamper is no exception. Tucked inside an elegant wicker basket, the basic hamper features a range of gourmet delights including goji berry cookies, Nocerella green olives, strawberry and hibiscus jam and smoked rapeseed oil while optional extras include the restaurant's famous lobster roll, tins of Beluga caviar and black truffles. This is outdoor decadence at its very finest.