Another season of afternoon tinnies in the park is upon us. But this time, we're older, wiser and know better than to attempt any half-baked homemade picnics that will, undoubtedly, result in lukewarm hummus, limp sandwiches and sweaty cheese - the worst. Instead, upgrade your alfresco lunch with a pre-made picnic from London's best restaurants. Whether you fancy going all out for a special occasion or you just want a few additional bits, we've got just the thing.
Elephant and Castle wine bar Diogenes the Dog are taking things up a gear this summer. Choose from a variety of drinks and gift packs on their online shop and enjoy some of the top prepared picnic baskets in London; offering everything from seasonal meats and cheeses to natural vinos and artisanal chomps - we're talking wild boar and truffle terrine, fresh burrata and cured ribeye.
Bring a taste of the sea to a park near you with an order from The London Shell Co. One of the quirkiest London restaurants selling picnic hampers, this Paddington canal boat is delivering premium boxes of fresh smoked salmon, trout, char and more straight to your door. Plus, there'll also be soda bread, relishes and a bottle of bubbly.
Cured meats, Spanish olives, Manchego cheese and savoury crackers are just some of the bites up for grabs at Tapas Brindisa. The much-loved restaurant has a tonne of variously priced hampers available, as well as individual products on their online shop, meaning that you can create your very own alfresco feast.
A serious lockdown hero, Top Cuvée is a Highbury restaurant making up picnic hampers for collection and delivery around London. For £35, you'll get a bottle of wine, Neal's Yard cheese, truffle crisps, salami, sausage rolls, scotch eggs and a whole load of other nibbles, all within your own reusable box. A bargain right?
Chelsea's luxe deli Colette is sprucing up your sun-soaked meet-up with its gourmet chomps. Whether you're after a meat-heavy lunch, a fish-filled feast or a vegetarian spread, they've got more than enough to keep you happy. Plus, there's also a takeaway afternoon tea offering and a changing selection of seasonal kits.
The Cheese Bar is making all your fromage-fuelled dreams come true with its ready-made picnic hampers around London. The popular street food stall has a whole range of stinky amalgamations with something for everyone, from the saucisson fans and gin enthusiasts to veggies and craft beer drinkers.
Go all out with a decadent feast from Butlers Restaurant at The Chesterfield. The luxurious hotel is making its award-winning Original Sweet Shop Afternoon Tea available for collection and delivery. What can you expect? A selection of finger sandwiches, scones, sweet treats, loose leaf tea and a DIY tiered stand to really make it pop - all for just £47.
The Farmer's Mistress
The Farmer's Mistress has got be one of London's best restaurants for picnic baskets. Indulge in a selection of sausage rolls, Caesar salads, brioche buns and hummus, finished off with salted caramel brownies. Or, treat your friend to a celebratory birthday breakfast hamper and they'll receive pastries, granola, muffins and more, along with a bottle of bubbly, freshly-squeezed orange juice and flowers.
Looking for the best picnics in London? Created for this very purpose, Pique is a no-brainer for your alfresco meals. The food pros use carefully-sourced, sustainable ingredients to make a range of brunch, lunch, afternoon tea and movie-themed bites. Plus, for a little extra you can get it all in a beautiful wicker hamper and get a blanket thrown in.
Officina 00 is putting an Italian twist on your London picnic plans. Its online store has all the goodies needed to create your own first-class lunch, with a mouthwatering range of focaccia sandwiches loaded with veggie and meaty offerings, such as porchetta and gorgonzola. Croquettes, wines and olives are also on hand to add the finishing touches.
The aptly named Provisions is keeping you watered and fed throughout the warmer months with its ready-to-eat kits. Specialising in all things cheese and wine, the Highbury & Islington spot is sorting you out for deli and cupboard favourites. There's also a number of bottles, charcuterie boards and seasonal platters available.
Handily located by Clapham Common, The Terrace by Megan's is a new outdoor dining spot and takeaway deli from the well-known restaurant brand. Head over to the Rookery Road kitchen and pick up a boxed meal for two, containing sandwiches or wraps, side salads, treats and drinks to enjoy in the sunshine - all from just £23.
The king of themed dining experiences, Jimmy's Pop Up is back on Southbank once again, trading in alpine vibes and igloos for outdoor games and pre-made picnics. Grab your own spot of Thameside greenery at Patches @ The BBQ Club and tuck into a menu of bone marrow burgers, flatbreads, falafel wraps and skin on fries while looking out over the water.
Beloved East London bakery Pophams is helping to make your picnic all the more special with its fabulous selection of freshly-baked goods. Get your paws on mammoth sourdough loaves, rosemary and sea salt twists, almond croissants or cheese and marmite pastries and treat your dinner date to some top-notch eats.
Crouch End bar Little Mercies are serving up stylish bites and signature cocktails. For less than £20, you'll bag yourself a picnic box for two, filled with fancy dips, smoky almonds, flatbreads and olives. What's more, you can choose between a range of quirky wines or bottled concoctions - including an Aperol, whisky, prosecco, hibiscus tea and grapefruit spritz - to add your own personal touch.
Looking for more things to do outdoors this summer? Check out our article on the best gardens around London here.