Whilst summer may look a little different to how we'd planned, one thing remains the same—the power of good food to bring people together. In times like these, we all want to focus on what really matters—spending time together. The world is beginning to open up again, and reunion picnics are being planned across the country to celebrate with family and friends. It's going to be a joy-filled, al fresco summer! 

From supplying lobster salad to Charles Dickens to feeding racegoers at Royal Ascot, we've been hosting and toasting picnics for centuries. Here are a few tips to help you host the very best picnic possible…

1. Make it a reunion to remember

Location is everything, especially when it comes to a long-awaited get-together. Whether you opt for one of England's finest beaches or prefer an al fresco feast in the forest, make sure that the setting is fit for a picnic. You'll want the space to lay your picnic rug out with all of the trimmings, with extra room to fit in a large bottle of Champagne of course. 

2. Bring a proper picnic

In a country with such fickle weather as ours, picnicking could be thought of as an optimistic pursuit. But with another scorching summer on its way (with a few showers thrown in for good measure), you'll need the perfect carrier. The most iconic of picnic statement pieces, a Fortnum's handmade wicker hamper will make all of the other revellers supremely jealous while ensuring that your foodie essentials are kept in prime condition before feasting. 

3. Eat, drink and be merry

When it comes to any picnic, the answer to the question 'How much food and drink should we take?' is always 'more than you think.' Never mind Christmas, picnic season is the time to eat, drink and be merry—and the last thing anyone wants is a stand-off over the last piece of Dundee cake. Pack for a long day—there is nothing more joyful than a lunch that spills into dinner.  

4. A few of my favourites

I'll never venture out for any al fresco feast without Fortnum's Smoked Salmon, and of course, no picnic is complete without the original Scotch Egg, invented by Fortnum's in 1738. We partner with some of the most exciting small suppliers in the UK to ensure that our Food Halls are fully stocked with delicious delights all year round. My favourites at the moment are the salty, lemony Triple Cream Cheese from our artisan producer in Armagh, Northern Ireland—perfect with a Pouilly-Fumé—and our Dorstones goat's cheese from Hertfordshire. And, you can't beat our salt-aged beef from Glenarm.

5. Pack for good times

Nothing sets off summer's starting pistol-like Fortnum's Champagne. And if you prefer non-alcoholic bubbles, opt for our Sparkling Tea – a light, crisp, organic blend of eight of our famous and rare teas that pairs perfectly with pâté. And of course, we can't forget our Provence Rosé, which is currently at its prime. I'd also recommend a good Verdicchio, a treat that can be enjoyed long after picnic season has ended. 

A short cut –

If you need a one-click option, simply order your Fortnum's Reunion Picnic at fortnumandmason.com. Packed to the brim with delicious things, our picnics are all you need for your al fresco reunion this summer. 

To order a picnic, or for more suggestions, please contact your lifestyle manager.