Oh dear June is such an interesting month for the weather as it often hinders any chances of having a picnic!  As we start to join in the fun for National Picnic Week (11th – 19th June) we all might need some tips on how to have a “stress free picnic”.

After a long, cold and dark winter it’s hardly surprising that we all rush outside at the first glimpse of sunshine. It’s undeniable that we have some of the best scenery, parks and countryside throughout the UK. So whenever the sun does shine this season, there’s nothing better than heading out armed with a basket full of delights to have an alfresco feast.

National Picnic Week 2016

National Picnic Week has been celebrating this wholesome tradition for over a decade. But if dining outside immediately makes you think of strenuous effort, screaming children and torrential rain – then it’s time to try something different – round up the kids, stock up the car and follow our top picnic tips;

Be Prepared

Child's wellies and umbrella in the rain

We have already established that the British summer leaves a lot to be desired, in fact just over a third (36%) of us believe that the British weather isn’t predictable enough to plan a picnic. Whilst National Picnic Week encourages us to picnic whatever the weather, we do have to be realistic. Make sure you have some good sturdy umbrellas to hand and if are lucky enough to get one of the two days of sunshine we will probably have this summer, make sure you pack some sun cream, hats and sunglasses – especially if you have children.

Essentials

It is good to have the essentials at the ready before a picnic. Sitting on the grass might seem like a good idea, but when you find you finally settle in a spot, you’re going to wish you had a blanket to arrange all your food on – thankfully they’re not too pricey and usually start at around £6. A basket or cool bag are a must have to carry your food around, and once you purchase one you can keep it for all the years ahead. Plastic plates and cutlery are also easy to pop back in your basket to take home and wash. Don’t forget the hygiene wipes and anti bacterial gel for the little ones, too.

Mix Things Up

Picnic - enjoying a glass of prosecco

Gone are the days when picnics consisted of nothing but one-filler sandwiches and limp salads – it’s time to ditch the boring snacks and try something experimental. Swap the sarnies for a baguette and a big block of cheese; swap the ham for some prosciutto, take a big pot of hummus with carrots and celery sticks. Grab a big share bag of crisps and a pot of olives to munch on – and don’t forget the Prosecco, if you don’t have the kids, of course…

That’s Entertainment

Shockingly, 17% of us say we don’t spend as much time with our families as we would like, but when you’re attempting to have a civilised picnic, children being bored out of their minds is always a daunting prospect, so it is essential to prepare for this. Pack up lots of outdoor games: Frisbees, books, bats & balls, footballs – anything and everything to ensure there will be nothing to complain about on your big family outing.

If you’re just with friends or partner, be sure to pack some portable speakers. Just make sure you don’t put them on too loud, you don’t want to be ‘that person’ in the park.

Family enjoying a picnic and watching a toddler

National Picnic Wee with Mercure HotelsFor more information please see www.nationalpicnicweek.co.uk as there will be loads of exciting prizes available throughout National Picnic Week, so keep your eyes peeled!

Join in the social fun on Twitter @PicnicWeek with the hashtag #picnicweek

www.picnicwithmercure.co.uk and #picnicwithmercure