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A wide shot of a picnic spread, salads,cheeses, crumbles, cured meat and baked savoury tarts
Photograph: Supplied/Radish Events

We've rounded up Sydney's best picnic hampers

Vegemite sandwiches are fine, but we can do better

Written by
Elizabeth McDonald

If you had told us a year ago that everyone in Sydney would be dusting off their gingham rugs and busting out the paper plates in a mass picnic hysteria we'd probably have shrugged and said "sure, why not? It's 2020 and anything goes at this point." Still, floods, fire, plague and earthquakes aside, there is something just a little bit cute about everyone losing their minds to gather with some fully-vaxxed buds to get some grass stains on their butts.

Seeing as Picnic Season has replaced Festival Season we figured it might as well be done in style and thankfully, a bunch of Sydney's best restaurants are on board too. We've rounded up some of the top picnic hampers that can take to your next alfresco luncheon from good to great.

Not a massive fan of picnics? Allow us to change your mind with tips on how to have a picnic, even if you hate picnics.

Prefer to stay indoors a bit longer? That's cool, these luxe at home dining experiences can come to you.

Need a little inspiration to keep busy this long weekend? Check out our top picks for things to do in Sydney.

Sydney's best picnic hampers

  • Bars
  • Pubs
  • Paddington
  • price 2 of 4

The Paddington has struck while the iron is hot and given its proximity to Centennial Park, we'd say their picnic hampers are going to be in seriously high demand this spring. There are two packs on offer; the first is the fried chicken picnic ($85) with potato rolls, spring salad, fries, coleslaw, bread-and-butter pickles and a couple of squealers of local beer.

For something a little less KFC and a little more Riviera, opt for the Provencal picnic ($120) of baguette, olive tapenade, radishes and butter, edamame, couscous salad, green leaves, roast chicken with peppers and olive oil, potatoes and a bottle of French rosé.

  • Things to do
  • Food and drink

Inner West brewery, Willie the Boatman has announced a collaboration with Texan-born, Sydney-claimed legends Jackalope Food Co to sling very fancy picnic hampers in celebration of Sydney's proposed 'Freedom Day'. From September 13, Gladys is allowing up to five fully vaxxed people from different households to meet in a park for a picnic – and what's more Inner West than tinnies in the park? After 15 long weeks in lockdown, a reunion with mates is exactly what we need and the crew at Willie the Boatman wants this encounter to be the absolute best it can be.

The hampers are packed with beautiful cheeses, dips, cured meats, seasonal fruits and an assortment of crackers. Wash it all down with your choice of 16 of your favourite Willie the Boatman beers. We're coming for you, Finska set and bocce balls, and we're coming armed with beer.

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Barangaroo

Bel & Brio at Barrangaroo is serving up some very fancy picnic fare with its Italian antipasto picnic boxes. Filled with sliced charcuterie, a wide selection of Australian and European cheeses, crackers, fruits and condiments to pair and sweet treats to finish. Customise your picnic hamper with their curated range of Australian, French and Italian wines as well as spirits and cocktails from the extensive Bel & Brio Cellar.

  • Restaurants
  • Woollahra
  • price 2 of 4

Chiswick, deservedly, has a reputation as one of the finer things in life. For years it has been serving up casual yet posh fare to the well-to-do crowds of Sydney in a stunning setting at Woollahra in Sydney's east. Now the locals can take advantage of a Chiswick experience to-go, thanks to the team's new picnic hamper ($120) which serves two.

The hamper itself comes with woodfired flatbread, barra-masalata, Vannella Burrata with heirloom tomato, and olive tapenade, Long Paddock ‘Driftwood’ washed rind cheese, Toolunka Estate olives, lavosh, Drunken Sailor smoked tomato chutney, and strawberry and passionfruit trifle all in a reusable Chiswick carry bag.

  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Woolloomooloo
  • price 3 of 4

The team behind Otto Ristorante have embraced the aperitivo hour (hours?) whole-heartedly for picnic season and as such, have release the Otto Apertitivo picnic hamper for two ($115). 

You'll get your mitts on a charcuterie board of wagyu bresaola, mortadella and hot salami, grissini Woodside goat's curd, truffle honey, pane carasau, a selection of cheeses, crackers, apple jelly and dry dates, mixed olives, focaccia, and a couple of barrel-aged Negronis for good measure.

Radish Events have emerged as an unlikely hero during the Sydney lockdowns. With catering packages, finish-at-home meal kits and now picnic hampers under their belt, these ethically focused foodies aren't doing things by halves. Enter: the Radish picnic box. La Boqueria cured meats, soft cheeses, olives, pickles, curried egg and spiced cashew dips, charred vegetables, homemade tarts, the list goes on and on. 

At a very reasonable $105 for two people, or $220 to feed five, this is a pack that will not leave you wanting for anything. 

  • Restaurants
  • Alexandria

The Fratelli Fresh picnic hamper pack ($89) includes a generous selection of summery bites and treats designed to be enjoyed alfresco for up to four individuals. Excellent antipasti such as olives, salami and prosciutto, and three divine Italian cheeses join a dozen prawns with cocktail sauce, potato salad, a loaf of Sonoma sourdough, fresh fruit and other snackable morsels. Six ready-made Aperol Spritz add some summery fizz to the occasion.

Turn the first picnic of the season into something a little more special with the added luxury of a dozen oysters with the seafood picnic hamper ($109), alongside a generous supply of antipasti, fresh prawns, fruit and Aperol Spritz.

  • Travel
  • Manly

While we can't quite get in for an overnight spooktacular adventure just yet, the chefs at Manly's Q Station are still eager to help you take advantage of the phenomenal views around the headlands and enjoy a picnic before the sun sets. 

Picnic selections include a cheese and charcuterie hamper, boasting a selection of blue, brie and pecorino cheeses, ham, prosciutto and salami alongside pickles, olives and a selection of dips including hummus, roast beetroot and confit garlic and taramasalata, served with a selection of crackers. Guests can also indulge in a seafood and dips picnic which includes Sydney Rock oysters, cured salmon with dill and prawns accompanying pickles, olives a selection of dips including hummus, roast beetroot and confit garlic and taramasalata, served with a selection of crackers and lemon.

Finally, the afternoon tea hamper offers the perfect alfresco tea experience, with a fine selection of petit cakes, sweet and savoury pastries, gourmet sandwiches, scones and preserves, as well as coffee or tea.  For the ultimate luxurious post-lockdown picnic experience, you can also choose to add a bottle of De Beaurepaire wine to each hamper package, or a pre-mixed gin and tonic libation from Manly Spirits, cheersing to new freedoms and enjoying the emerging spring weather.

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