It's not that we're against the barbecue. Far from it. The smell of meat on a barbecue is a fabulous thing, but there is another outdoor British tradition that's we're quite fond of: the picnic.
The picnic has the added bonus of consisting of cold treats that are much easier to get indoors. Can I tell you something? I love an indoor picnic. There are no wasps, there are films, and sometimes a fort made of cushions (and if there are pork scratchings, we'll probably outstay our welcome). Picnics are brilliant, especially if you make
Let's start with cakes first, because you'll need to make them in advance. Savoury cake might sound weird, but we've been assured by Laura H that this savoury pear and gruyere cake will make you friends. So will our goats cheese and sun dried tomato muffins. Any of our loaf cakes will be easy to transport, and our blueberry friands taste much nicer the day after they've been made - take those instead of cupcakes. Frosting melts and you've got gardens to sit in and don't want to bugger about with icing. And if you've got gluten free guests, these strawberry blondies will transport well without getting melty.
You'll need some dips and things to dip them in! First up, start with these smoked paprika breadsticks, and maybe some of Caleigh's gluten free oatcakes for cheese (keep it in the shade, no one wants a sweaty cheddar). You'll need some more bread for all of that butternut squash and chilli dip and guacamole.
Pastry is your friend at a picnic. No one cares about flaky bits getting all over the place and I'm pretty certain that if you eat it in the sunshine with nice people, it has no butter in it at all. You can't go wrong with the best sausage rolls ever, and a batch of empanandillas will taste great cold. This caramelised red onion tart is the thing of dreams. Look at it! No, really:
We need some more tarts. They're picnic people-sized and easy to make. Let's make some Spanish tortilla tarts and maybe a salmon and broccoli tart as well. What's better picnic food than quiche and tarts? Quiche covered in bacon.
Oh, we have to have salad. No, wait! Don't go! This is your chance to make the tastiest salads with homemade dressing. That means lots of potato salad. Make up a prawn and chorizo salad and left everyone load it onto lettuce gem leaves themselves. Round off with some cucumber and red onion pickle.
What else? If you've got any room left on your picnic blanket, a glazed ham would be perfect. And your friends would love you more than anyone else in the world if you made them a shooter's sandwich.
As for drinks, mix up a few bottles of rhubarb and vanilla syrup or elderflower cordial to mix with drinks.
Got more picnic ideas? Tell us in the comments! And if you want more food inspiration, check our the rest of our recipe compilations.