We think it is safe to say that summer is here, or as good as...and that means time outdoors. What better way to spend time with friends,
family and even colleagues than at a scrumptious picnic or BBQ in an idyllic spot. Anywhere works - beach, park, botanic gardens, even your backyard - as long as it is al fresco and there is yummy food, drinks and great company. If you need some inspiration for your picnic or BBQ, here are some tried and trusted favourites, and some options you may not have thought of. Ultimate summer picnic and BBQ ideas
Let’s start with some scrumptious picnic tips and ideas, including crisp salads, delicious sides and mouth-watering sandwiches - all perfect to be enjoyed outdoors:A potato salad travels well, which makes it perfect for a picnic or BBQ outdoors. Make yours with Dijon mustard mayonnaise to really wow your guests.
Start by making an extra long picnic sarnie using a crusty French baguette, stuffed with whatever takes your fancy. Try cheeses, cured meats, tomatoes or smoked salmon with some salad leaves and you can’t go wrong.
If you want a veggie sandwich then try smoked tofu and aubergine, beetroot and roasted chickpeas or that classic combo - hummus, grated carrot and coriander (chilli optional).
No summer picnic is complete with a selection of delectable dips. Your shortlist could include healthy hummus, homemade tzatziki, a tub of salty taramosalata and some tangy salsa.
Fresh bread is another must - mainly to accompany the delectable dips, but also great on its own or to pair with a snag off the barbie. You are spoilt for choice here - Turkish, pita, baguette, sourdough, olive loaf, whole grain - just make sure it is fresh fresh fresh.
Olives are a sure-fire picnic crowd pleaser, just be sure to pack a selection including Kalamata, Manzanillo and Verdale varieties.
A picnic without cheese is close to being a disaster, so don’t forget a selection of hard, soft and even creamy varieties. Camembert, Brie, Manchego and Blue are all popular, but feel free to try and bring others.
Fruit is another must, perfect for cleansing the palate and balancing out all the savoury flavours. Grapes, watermelon, cherries and strawberries all make the cut, though you can bring any fruit that tickles your fancy.
When it comes to the barbie, you are also spoilt for choice when it comes to what to grill. Here’s our selection of what to throw on.
Grilled corn on the cob, with salt and butter, is one of life’s true pleasures - and likely to put a smile on the grumpiest picnic guest. Also especially popular with kids!
Food always tastes better on a stick - chicken skewers are a case in point. Baste with a sweet chilli sauce and make sure you cook them right through.
With meats, the world is your oyster - well not literally, but you can choose from lamb chops, steaks, snags, and even a roast. The key is to buy choice cuts from a reputable source and treat it with respect.
Fish on the barbie is a delicious alternative to meat - and in some cases, it may even top it. Think garlic prawns or a grilled whole fish…
Don’t ignore vegetables, many of which are yummy grilled - including eggplant, red pepper, zucchini and broccolini.
You also need to know what to drink when you’re dining alfresco, and what wines to pair with your food. What to drink at a picnic or barbie?
Try to have a selection of drinks that cater for all your guests. These could be anything from iced tea, homemade lemonade and chilled cider or beer to a range of wines - not forgetting anyone who likes a non-alcoholic drop :) Chilled light, dry whites - like Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio - are summer-friendly, as are light-bodied reds like a Pinot Noir or Sparkling Shiraz. When it comes to pairing food and wine, these are some pointers that work well together - but feel free to experiment:Big bodied reds (Cabernet, Shiraz) pair well with red meats, hard cheeses and smoked meats
Medium bodied reds (Merlot) pair well with red meats, white meats and hard cheeses
Light bodied reds ( Pinot Noir) pair well with fish, white meat and vegetables
Light dry whites ( Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio) pair well with fish, vegetables and bread
Sweet whites ( Riesling, Chenin Blanc) pair well with soft and hard cheeses and sweet desserts
Heavy whites ( Chardonnay) pair well with vegetables, bread, rich fish and white meat
Sparkling wines (Champagne, Cuvee) pair well with fish, cheeses, fruit and bread
Looking for an non-alcoholic wine for your event? All our varietals are available online. or check availability at your local stockist. Selected products are available in the beverage aisle at these retailers: