Now we’ve made it to the Socialising Outside Zone of the road map to normality, it’s time we got very, very good at said outside socialising. That means upping our picnic game from just two tins, a big bag of Kettle Chips and some strawberries that have sat in the sun for too long to something more special. Perhaps something an expert has put together for us, even?!
There are a lot of places that do great hampers in London. Hampers you have to order to your home. Boring! 2021 is the year we act like debauched emperors. 2021 is the year we have all of our food and drink sent to the park. Here are our top picks for green-space groceries.
One of the perks of ordering your snacks to the park rather than carrying them there is that your order isn't limited by such trivial things as 'how much you can hold at once'. That's the attitude to go into ordering Stuft platters with. Essentially pizza boxes filled with the kind of grazing snacks you'd find at a very bougie influencer wedding, there are three to choose from: Meat and Cheese, Vegetarian and Vegan, and their makers promise such riches as creamy Suffolk brie, award-winning salami, umami vegan cheese inside, fruit, veggies, chutneys, breads etc etc etc.
Find Stuft on Deliveroo and Uber Eats or through the website at www.getstuft.co.uk.
Indisputably the poshest of all the delivery platforms, SUPPER London is getting park-ready for spring. This is big. From March 29 you’ll be able to use the app to get restaurant meals delivered directly to various pick-up areas across London’s green spaces. The main takeaway here is that, yes, you will be able to order a Fortnum & Mason hamper directly to your blanket. Depraved? Certainly. Tempting? Indubitably. Other top restos taking part include Nobu, Coya, Roka, Hakkasan and loads more. Including the Harrods Food Hall.
Choose from a load of highfalutin’ restaurants on the Supper app.
Ombra’s Italian feast
Hackney mainstay Ombra is a restaurant with a truly fabulous vibe. We actually chatted to head chef Mitshel Ibrahim not too long ago, about surviving and thriving under lockdown. Happy days: it’s bringing back its picnic delivery menu from April 12. The hamper costs £30 and you can expect Ombra’s signature house focaccia, mortadella, olives, burrata, ’nduja sausage rolls, pasta salad, beers and Amaretti biscuits. Definitely more fun than your usual plastic bag full of loose crisps and looser ham.
Check the Ombra website for details closer to April 12, including the list of local parks it’ll be delivering to.
Pique’s handmade picnics
Very fancy hampers. Very fancy. Hand-picked, handmade, includes cutlery, plates and napkins and all that sweet jazz. The Ultimate Brunch (£50) features blueberry pancakes, ham-and-cheese croissants, frittatas, mini bagels, smoothies and more. The Freedom Picnic (also £50) serves up coronation chicken, caramelised apple sausage rolls, brie, a baked baguette and orzo pasta with fresh pesto. Oh yeah, and you can add booze to your order. Pique can either deliver to a park at a requested time (which, understandably, costs more) or you can be added to its driver’s delivery route. The latter option requires you to wait around at a pre-agreed location, like a spy.
Natural wine from Top Cuvée
Remember in ‘Terminator’ when Kyle Rees grabs Linda and yells: ‘It can’t be reasoned with… it can’t be bargained with… It doesn’t feel pity, remorse or fear and it absolutely will not stop. Ever!’ You could say the same thing about everyone's favourite north London natural wine bois. Top Cuvée will not stop. Ever! It has ploughed away throughout lockdown, defining itself as a survivor. From April 1 it’s bringing back its famous Park Drops from last year. Pros: it’ll bring your booze (and other bits) to whichever patch of grass you call home. Cons: currently it’s only to Clissold Park and Highbury Fields (although more locations will be announced soon).
Check the Top Cuvée site from April 1 for more information.
Gelato from Gelupo
Started by chef Jacob Kenedy back in 2010, gelato parlour Gelupo is famous for quality, fresh ingredients and next-level produce. Seriously: wouldya look at that. Beautiful. There’s also a colomba flavour, which is apparently similar to a panettone, and a ricotta sour cherry number too. Priced at £11 for a half-litre, Gelupo’s luscious gelato will soon be available for park delivery via Deliveroo.
Cocktails from Swift
Shoreditch bar Swift has launched Park Drop, a cocktail delivery service that caters to only London’s parks. These things are cycled over to whatever patch of grass you've annexed, chilled, within the hour. Planning a trip to Victoria Park, London Fields or Haggerston Park? Swift might be your also-hook up. Drinks available include Spicy Margaritas, Smoky Coconut Old Fashioneds, Elderflower Gimlets and Rhubard and Custard Milk Punches. Cups and ice available on request. Order from right here, deliveries are Friday to Sunday.
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