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Photograph: Louise Hagger

How to have a non-shit picnic, according to sandwich fiend Max Halley

Essential items include fancy crockery and a thermos flask

Isabelle Aron
Written by
Isabelle Aron

Eating outdoors is back! But, as we all know, every outdoor restaurant table is booked until approximately 2031. That’s why the humble picnic is the best way of socialising right now. With that in mind, we asked picnic pro and sandwich expert extraordinaire Max Halley to share his tips.

A thermos flask is your friend

A flask is a miracle of modern science that keeps hot things hot and cold things cold. We think of them as tea vessels, but they can also maintain loads of other things at their ideal temperature for hours – a nice hot sausage, balls of ice cream, last night’s curry or a litre of ice-cold Negroni.

Take a DIY approach to dessert

Get everyone to bring different biscuits, tubs of dairy (mascarpone, thick yoghurt, cream cheese) and sweet condiments (chocolate spread, lemon curd, jam, pomegranate molasses). Choose your dairy product and condiment and put it on your choice of biscuit – you can make loads of different bite-sized cheesecake combinations.

Don’t be afraid to think beyond beers

Always carry (at least) one mini bottle of Jameson’s. Go to McDonald’s and order a vanilla milkshake and a double espresso. Tip the coffee and the whiskey into the milkshake and stir it all about. Now take a good slurp of your Milkshake Irish Coffee – the ultimate picnic cocktail.

Upgrade your paraphernalia

Even Krug tastes rubbish out of a plastic cup. Nothing ups your picnic game like real glassware, lovely old crockery and silver cutlery, all of which you can find in plentiful supply at the charity shop. You’ll be giving money to a good cause and you’ll look like a total G in the park.

Max’s Picnic Book’ by Max Halley and Ben Benton is out now.

Find a great park to picnic in.

Can’t be arsed to prep anything? Here’s our pick of the best food and drink you can order straight to the park.

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