Celebrate National Picnic Week with a feast outdoors

Pack the perfect picnic
Pack the perfect picnic
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Marie Westmoreland-Thornhill says pack the perfect picnic and head outdoors to celebrate National Picnic Week

There’s something idyllic about picnicking. You can’t beat gathering with friends and family somewhere picturesque for an outdoor feast.

I love the whole process of the British tradition. From preparing picnic food to finding a perfect spot to enjoy the offerings of alfresco dining. National Picnic Week (Saturday June 13-21) so now is the time to dust off your wicker basket, pack a picnic and head outdoors.

Whether it’s for a fun family day out, romantic date, or catch up with friends, you can’t go wrong with what are considered picnic staples.

I’m talking about mini pork pies, Scotch eggs, potato salad, quiche, sandwiches, colourful salads and for dessert, cupcakes and fresh fruit. Make sure you pack food in separate sealed containers to keep things fresh.

There’s nothing worse than discovering the dressing for your salad has leaked turning your sandwiches soggy. Take some napkins and wet wipes, plastic plates, utensils and cups to make life easier when dishing out the picnic.

now is the time to dust off your wicker basket, pack a picnic and head outdoors

Pack plenty of ice blocks and frozen bottled water to help keep food cool.

Throw in some chilled drinks and you’ll be set for a tasty day where ever you go with your hamper of goodies.

Make sure you don’t eat any food that has been left in the sun longer than two hours.

Don’t forget to pack a blanket, sun cream and Frisbee too. When it comes to picnic hot spots we are spoilt for choice. For picnics by the sea head to one of the many beaches along the coast.

Souter Lighthouse in South Shields has a number of picnic tables at the base of the lighthouse, offering fantastic sea views, if you’d rather not risk getting sand in your sandwiches.

Or, for a picnic in the park where there’s plenty to do, Sunderland’s Herrington Country Park is a great place to visit. There’s walks and cycle trails, an adventure play area, skate boarding, and a fantastic lake to enjoy.

Penshaw Monument is only a stone’s throw away too for those wanting to work up an appetite, while Summerhill, in Hartlepool is a great go-to park with a nature reserve.

The 100 acre park has a real countryside feel to it and a recently planted wild flower meadow and orchid. There’s a boulder park, which is one of the largest of its type in Europe, a BMX cycling course and two play areas with climbing frames and zip lines for older kids.

The Visitor Centre, which is open 9am-5pm, has information boards about the ancient site, toilets and a cafe serving refreshments just in case you need to top up your picnic supplies.