Some top tips for a perfect picnic this summer… while supporting our Wicklow Naturally Family

Santina Kennedy
Written by
Fri 11th June 2021

One of the summer’s great pleasures is taking a basket of lovely food and drink to a beautiful place outdoors and enjoying a picnic with family and friends. There are so many scenic spots in County Wicklow to unfold a picnic blanket and enjoy an alfresco feast.

From the beautiful Wicklow coastline to the wild Wicklow mountains, there are picnic spots in woods, lakes, beach, local parks, or even just in your garden! We have some tips for packing up the perfect picnic and making a memorable day:

  1. Be prepared – Irish weather is mild but unreliable! Pack light raingear even if it’s sunny, and always pack sunscreen.
  2. Choose a sunny spot with some shade. Sunny days are welcome, and sunshine can sometimes seem elusive in Ireland. However, it’s still a good idea to make sure that there is some shade near your picnic spot so that if the sun does shine, it doesn’t get uncomfortably hot.
  3. Keep your food chilled. If you have prepared fresh food, be sure to pack it in a chilled lunchbox or cooler bag.
  4. The idea of a picnic is to eat off the picnic blanket, but a flat surface helps cut bread, final prep on food and also to keep glasses upright; pack a small chopping board to use for slicing, prepping and then as a hard surface for your drinks.
  5. Be sure to pack napkins, cutlery, plates and glasses. There are some lovely picnic sets available, and it’s better to choose reusable than single-use plastics.
  6. Bring a bag to take any rubbish home and leave no trace.
  7. Wicker picnic baskets are very charming but are more suitable for picnic spots where you don’t have to walk too far as they can be cumbersome. A backpack or tote bag with a chiller compartment is far more practical if your picnic is part of your hike in the Wicklow Mountains.

Wicklow has no shortage of beautiful places to eat outdoors, but we are also lucky to have an array of lovely local food to enjoy too. Here are some delicious picnic food ideas from our outstanding Wicklow food producers:

  1. If you would like your picnic food prepared for you, then look no further than some of our cafes, such as Vital Health Café. If your picnic is at the end of a day of activity outdoors, you will appreciate their healthy options and nutritious treats. Check them out here.
  2. Sorrel and Eve have a delicious range of food to go if you want to eat al fresco and hadn’t packed a picnic. There are lots of tempting options on their menu to make your picnic perfect. Check them here.
  3. If you have more time and want a traditional picnic, then a great place to start is your local Wicklow Butcher. Sausage rolls are one of the ultimate picnic foods, so why not make them with the famous Wicklow Dunnes sausages?  Learn more about the Dunnes range here.
  4. Of course, scones with jam and cream are one of the loveliest treats to enjoy outdoors on a sunny day.  If you fancy making your own, why not try Daisy Cottage Farm’s scone mix. The perfectly measured mix will make life easy for you, and the scones will be baked while you pack up your bag, so you can enjoy them fresh from the oven on your picnic. See the range here. For a delicious jam to go with your scone, look no further than Wicklow made Jamshack range! Find them here.
  5. If a rustic picnic of crusty bread and farmhouse cheese is more your style, then consider making your own bread! Daisy Cottage Farm also has a range of bread mixes, or if you prefer your bread wheat-free, why not try Cathy’s Spelt for Health range. Read more here.
  6. There is a fantastic variety of cheese available in County Wicklow, and we have some very talented cheesemakers in our network. The superb range of cheeses from Wicklow Farmhouse Cheese is sure to provide a tasty addition to your picnic, If you prefer an aged cheddar, try Coolattin Farm.
  7. Old MacDonnell’s Farm has a lovely range, including Greek Salad, hummus, and crunchy coleslaw to complement your outdoor feast. See what they have to offer here.
  8. Of course, when you are serving cheese on that picnic, a little taste of homemade chutney will finish it off beautifully. Check out the great ranges from Janet’s Country Fayre or the delectable preserves from the Birds and the Teas.
  9. What to drink with your picnic is the next question, but we can certainly recommend a delicious glass of Móinéir wine from Wicklow Way Wines. Móinéir means meadow, and what could be nicer than relaxing in an Irish meadow sipping the taste of Irish summer fruit in a glass.

Have a wonderful time on your picnic! Relax knowing that by supporting local producers, you are playing your part in keeping Wicklow sustainable and beautiful.

Photo courtesy of @santinas_irish_food_tales.

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