Whilst many of us are still dreaming of sunnier shores, it seems that 2021 is the year of the staycation with seeing family and friends at the top of our agenda. And whilst the UK may not be known for its souring temperatures, we do have some stunning beaches and picnic perfect parks to escape to. To make those long-awaited meets even more special, LLM contributor Caroline Cooper has road tested some of the markets most luxurious and must-have items to take with you on your adventures.
The Piccadilly stripe two-person picnic hamper by Fortnum & Mason
If there was ever an iconic wicker basket, it must be those from Fortnum & Mason. Growing up my dad received one every year from his clients and, ever since, their iconic logo has become somewhat nostalgic. The Piccadilly Stripe two-person picnic hamper is luxury at its best – containing two of their signature weekend strip bone china mugs and plates, two wine glasses and cutlery sets, it really is fit for a King and Queen. What’s more, on the more practical side of things, the hamper includes, a drawstring bag, lunchbox, freezable gel bottle holder, insulated flask and the ever-important corkscrew. I loved using the hamper on our recent holiday in Cornwall and for meetups with friends in the park. Luxurious, practical and Instagram worthy, you can’t get much better than this.
The Premium Cooler Bag, Lauren’s Stripe by Business & Pleasure
Business & Pleasure must have the most Insta-worthy products known to man, making me want to buy one of everything. The brainchild of two Aussie friends, everything on the site is completely beautiful and transports you to cool, hippy beaches in a faraway land. I road tested one of their cooler bags, that’s not only one of the prettiest I’ve ever seen, but practical to boot.
The Lauren Stripe cooler bag is the perfect size for all-day outings. Available in a variety of muted tonal shades, this chic little bag has managed to keep me and my family of four fed and watered on many a day trip. Lightweight and durable, the outside canvas has been treated with water, mould and UV coatings. It also features eco-friendly linings to help with any leakages and to keep food and beverages cool and fresh.
I’ve had so many compliments each time I’ve used it, I’m completely obsessed. Now I just need to buy one of everything on the site, close my eyes and imagine I’m in paradise.
Foldaway bucket and spade by Kidly
If there’s one thing that’s tricky to pack, it must be a bucket and spade, they’re bulky, awkward and usually the most garish thing you’ve ever seen. However, thanks to Kidly’s foldaway bucket and spade, things are about to change. Designed to hold a lot, these soft coloured buckets fold down to just 5cm tall meaning you and pop them at the bottom of your suitcase without a second thought. Made from 100% food-grade silicone, they’re light buy sturdy with a rotating handle which makes tipping easy and fun. My two girls loved using theirs on the beach and have become a firm favourite at home for mud pies and potions. What’s more, with their soft colours we don’t mind seeing them strewn across the garden either.
Charles Heidsieck Blanc de Blancs luxury picnic hamper and Where Chefs Picnic guidebook
Every picnic requires a bottle of fine champagne, and what’s better than an exquisite bottle from Charles Heidsieck? This set comes complete with a stunning wicker picnic hamper, a branded cooler sleeve, lightweight picnic blanket and a pair of champagne glasses. In addition to this already fabulous hamper is a guidebook of Where Chefs Picnic edited by Charles Heidsieck and esteemed contributors including Theo Randall at the InterContinental, Park Lane and Max Alary of Blanchette London. The unique collection of personal insights scribed by culinary influencers gives readers an insight into their favourite beauty spots and personal ‘off-duty’ picnic essentials.
The wicker basket is roomy allowing all its contents and your additions to fit inside and the blanket has become a firm favourite in our house. Large and lightweight its super practical, not to mention the stunning champagne which my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed sipping as we watched the sunset on a recent beach trip. Charles Heidsieck was a champion of living life to the full and loved bringing people together, and this is exactly what this beautiful hamper and book does.
Trail folding beach trolley
I never knew that a beach trolley could receive so many compliments, but it appears Trails folding beach cart does; and whilst I appreciate a beach trolley doesn’t necessarily seem luxurious, the fact that you don’t have to carry everything along a coastal path, inevitably dropping things along the way is pretty magical. Instead, we were able to take in the scenery safe in the knowledge we had everything secure and organised inside our cart.
We road tested the trolley on our recent trip to Cornwall. With two little girls in tow comes a lot of extra baggage but even with the lunches, beachwear and all the other paraphernalia that comes with kids there was still plenty of room. The trolley was smooth and easy to manoeuvre on all terrains and kept our belongings safe and sand free and, as I said before, received many a compliment about how cool it looks too.