As the sun beats down on London, more of us are heading outside for alfresco feasts in the parks, on the canal or, basically, anywhere the sun hits. But forget lugging around a basket of warm sandwiches from home, here are the best places you can buy a ready-made picnic to enjoy at your leisure.
49 Frith Street London W1D 4SG
Where to have your picnic: You’re not far from Soho Square or Golden Square
Try a Sri Lankan picnic with Hoppers’ new Grab and Go lunchbox which is available to takeaway from Hoppers Soho. Choose between lamb kottu and tamarind wings, or vegetable kottu and paneer chukka - and both come with a drink.There is also a selection of different karis, short eats and sides.
Cost: £12.50 for one
How to get your picnic: Order in store or online for collection or delivery.
181 Piccadilly, St. James's, London W1A 1ER
Where to have your picnic: St James's Park or wander up to Berkeley Square Gardens.
Obviously you can go stratospheric at F&M - their most extravagant picnic hamper costs £320 for two and features caviar with blinis and lobster salad among many other things. But we absolutely love the idea of this smoked salmon hamperling for if you want to totally treat yourself to a solo picnic lunch - and why not? It includes their own smoked salmon with rye bread, panache salad, lemon posset and Neaopolitan chocolates.
How to get your picnic: Order online and pick up at the store.
426 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, London SW9 8LF
Where to have your picnic: You're not too far from Brockwell Park or Clapham Common or just take it around the corner to St Matthew's Garden
For a picnic with a difference, head to Tim Anderson's Nanban where the ready pack picnics are more likely to include a ramen salad accompanied by a bottle of Nanban Kanpai Yuzu IPA than ham sarnies and scones. All the picnics serve up to four and come in a natty Nanban tote.
Cost: Options start at £20 for a sando salad pack and go up to £32 for the Chicken Shack Pack which includes 1kg of Angry Birds, chicken karaage, spicy ponzu peanut udon chicken salad and edamame. Beer and house wine are extra
How to get your picnic: Call 0207 346 0098 or simply walk in to order and your pack will be prepared in 15 minutes.
All GAIL'S branches
Where to have your picnic: Any park in central London
If there's a gang of you heading to the park, how about trying GAIL’s new Picnic Delivery Service. You'll get 18 mini sandwiches including Sweet Potato Cake with Pickled Beetroot and Jalapeno Aioli, 40 mixed pastry rolls, a sweet selection box including Chocolate and Pecan Brownie Bites and crudités with GAIL’s Seeded Crackers. You'll also get a selection of dips, including tzatziki, green tahini & guacamole and there's an option to add on 5 Classic Scones and 5 sultanta scones with jam and clotted cream.
Cost: The picnic collection feeds 6-10 people, and is priced at £110 with scones, £90 without.
How to get your picnic: Order online. Delivery in central London is free or you can pick it up in one of their bakeries.
Bulgari Hotel, 171 Knightsbridge, London SW7 1DW
Where to have your picnic: Hyde Park, next to the Serpentine
One of the more affordable hampers comes from Rivea London where you can pick and mix what you fancy, with options like Tigelle bread sandwiches with Parma ham or smoked salmon with fennel, a veggie caponata, salads, shortbreads and chocolate tart. It can also be booked on the day itself - perfect for last minute picnics.
How to get your picnic: They're available to be ordered daily between 9:30am and 12:30pm, and collected 2 hours later from Rivea London. To book, call them on 0207 151 1025 or mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Available from 15 June to 31 August 2018.
98, Southgate Road, London N1 3JD
Where to have your picnic: Regent’s Park, Hyde Park, London Fields or the closest, Victoria Park
De Beauvoir Deli’s hampers are themed around the London parks you might choose to eat yours in. The Smorgasbord consists of mixed olives, chicken liver pate, cornichons, mixed charcuterie, a slab of Comte, a whole Tunworth, and Dusty Knuckle sourdough, all washed down with a bottle of Prosecco.
Cost: Each basket is priced differently and needs 48 hours notice. The Smorgasbord is £67 for two people (not including a £10 returnable deposit.)
How to get your picnic: Book by calling 020 7249 4321 or visiting their website.
100 Mount Street, London W1K 2TG
Where to have your picnic: Hyde Park
This year Caprice Holdings' Mount Street Deli has gone all out with a Best of British Hamper filled with delicious local goodies. The hamper includes a bottle of British sparkling wine with Belvoir Elderflower Cordial. There's also four sandwiches, four salads, two sausage rolls and two veggie quiches as well as two packets of Just Crisps. Sweet treats include a box of Scott’s salted caramel and black forest truffles, and brownies and scones from The Mount Street Deli kitchen, alongside Union Jack cupcakes and Lavender Shortbread from 34 Mayfair.
Cost: £45 for the picnic box, £60 for The Scott’s picnic lunch.
How to get your picnic: Order 48 hours in advance from 020 7499 6843 and delivery is free in W1 and St James’s.
The Arch London, 50 Great Cumberland Place, Marble Arch, London W1H 7FD
Where to have your picnic: Hyde Park
Arch’s luxury summer picnics are back once with a selection of classic English treats, like coronation chicken, smoked salmon sandwiches, homemade sea salt crisps and English cheddar with chutney. It also includes a chilled bottle of fizz to wash it all down, and raspberry and pistachio trifle for dessert. They include a (returnable) picnic blanket and hamper
Cost: The picnics are priced at £95 for two
How to get your picnic: Book at 020 7724 4700 or visit their website.Picnics available from 28 May - 9 September 2018.
St. James's Place, London SW1A 1NY
Where to have your picnic: Green Park
Dukes’ (yes, the one with the martinis) sets itself apart by going the extra mile with a private butler who’ll literally deliver the picnic to you as you sit in Green Park. In your gourmet hamper. The classic hamper features items like chorizo and goat’s cheese scotch eggs and new potato salad with tarragon mustard. There are veggie and child-friendly options as well.
This year, they're adding another picnic to their offering - a ploughman's from the hotel's GBR restaurant which features a selection of charcuterie with crusty bread, pickles and chutney and pork pie, rounded off with a cold craft beer or bottle of bubbly
Cost: From £39.50 per person with butler service. Children's hampers are £12 per child.
How to get your hamper: To book ring 0207 491 4840 or visit their website.
8 Pall Mall, St. James's, London SW1Y 5NG
Where to have your picnic: St James’s Park
The Balcon at Sofitel St James' traditional hamper has a wide selection of al fresco essentials - ham and chutney baguettes, Trealy Farm beech smoked ham, Moons Green truffled salami and scones with clotted cream and berries. It comes in a lovely wicker basket with a picnic rug and there's a vegetarian alternative with Potato and piquillo pepper frittata among other treats in it.
Cost: £50 for two.
How to get your hamper: Book by phoning 0207 747 2244 or emailing them. They require 24 hours notice.