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Prepare to fail, fail to prepare. I have recited this motto since Common Entrance exams however as I get older and a bit more relaxed, it sometimes slips. This was particularly true on Sunday when all the family went to watch Alex in a cricket match at Highclere Castle. I was so focused on getting there on time, I completely failed to prepare anything substantial for the kids picnic. (Obviously I was alright as I knew the adults were catered for. Bad mum points!)
I was particularly shown up by the lovely Mopie who runs Spare My Time, who literally arrived with everything bar the kitchen sink. Sun cream, hand made sandwiches, snacks, fully charged iPad (ours doesn’t last longer than the car journey itself) to name a few. So I observed closely at her happy, hydrated, sated kids and made a few notes to what makes a successful family picnic.
- Water. Lots of it. Sistema Twist n’ Sip bottles are great as they don’t leak. It is quite hard to find a proper non leaking water bottle, but these fit the bill and they come in three bright colours – blue, pink and green and two sizes. Why not put a bit of lemon and cucumber in the bottle, fill them with water and freeze them the night before!
- Tupperware that holds the food together. In compartments. Nothing worse than sandwiches where the top half slides off! Sistema lunch tub is perfect. Wraps are always a winner with little ones, especially cream cheese and ham or chic spread and banana. Yummy. Anything chopped small works a treat too – mine are into dried apricots at the moment. I think they think they are sweets! If only they knew…
- One thing that is imperative not to forget is your picnic rug. It has to be waterproof underneath and dark is always a good idea when kids are around. This simple navy one is a staple.
- One thing is a picnic blanket, the other thing is an outdoor rug if you really want to up the ante! I love this navy blue outdoor rug. Tres Chic.
- This is brilliant. I haven’t seen it before but such a good idea as how do you eat if you have a glass in your fork hand! Party plates – on my hit list! Plastic wine glasses to go with them too… Try and make sticky food that doesn’t roll off the plate. Potato salad is much easier to eat than new potatoes and coronation chicken is easier than a chicken thigh as you can just use a fork. Chop your salad into bite size pieces too!
- I am a huge fan of melamine. The kids use it at home. It looks good and doesn’t break if hurled across the kitchen. (Obv that never happens…) Keeping with calming blue theme – I love this Eddingtons set of plates and tumblers
- I love something that can double up as something else and this is one of the best I have seen in a while. A Cooler Box that you can use as cricket stumps so all you need to remember is your bat and ball! Pack it with ice to keep everything cool and also great if someone gets a bump on the head. Don’t forget a tea towel!
- And how to transport it all? This Tote Cooler Bag is pretty stylish and will keep everything cool.
- Obviously, the most frequently forgotten item is a bottle opener. You won’t forget this bright blue bird!
If you want to kit your family out for the summer and get organised so you arent running round like a headless chicken, head to John Lewis as it has all you need for picnics and barbecues. Jon’t forget the sun cream and the waterproof trousers. It is a British summer after all! xx