What better way to celebrate summer than with a picnic?
And yet, according to a recent survey by Pork Farms, around five million children in the UK have never sampled the delights of countryside outdoor dining.
If that’s not enough to make you scrabble to the back of the cupboard for that elusive blanket and hamper, then nothing will.
There is, of course, ‘picnic guilt’ – the strange unnerving feeling that however lovely it is to be outside, it’s not quite so great that you’re eating your body weight in Scotch eggs and getting sunburnt.
But don’t worry, those niggles can be easily banished. Just follow these tips for healthy and fruitful picnicking...
Banish over-eating guilt
Your ‘normal lunch’ is a sandwich. Your ‘picnic lunch’ is sausage rolls (three for two offer), vats of dips (three for two), crisps (three for two offer) and ‘a few sweet things, just in case’ (three for two offer).
Of course, a picnic should be a special event, and everyone needs some treats in their life.
But it’s easy to just keep delving into all of the packets and pots with no sense of what it would actually look like piled up on a plate.
So keep some sense of portion control and pack raw carrot, cucumber sticks, chopped peppers and healthy dips to nibble before raiding the crisps. Banish lazy guilt You’ve battled through the crowds, you’re the right distance from the park toilets, and for the rest of the afternoon, you’re not moving.
Avoid the temptation for picnic inertia by taking along a Frisbee, a rounders bat and ball, or even just a tennis ball for a game of catch. Banish too much booze guilt The pros of picnic alcohol (cheaper than a bar, bigger measures and no waiting to be served) quickly descend into cons – in other words, you’re drunk very quickly.
Add to that the fact that you’ve (in theory) got the sun shining and you’re a bit dehydrated, and it’s game over.
We’re not trying to trample over your fun here, but we do suggest pre-preparing a jug of Pimm’s at home rather than just slopping it in your glass when you’re there; and occasionally swapping the Pimm’s for lemonade.