It’s the summer holidays, so round up your friends, grab some blankets, recyclable cutlery and portable speakers (and possibly a rain mac) and head to Hyde Park for an alfresco feast. Here’s a run-down of our favourite local places for takeaway and pre-made lunches
Pack up a picnic
After one of the hottest Junes on record, July and August have so far been, well, a little underwhelming. But when the weather does decide to play ball, there’s nothing quite like gathering everyone you know and heading to the park for a picnic. If you’re local to Knightsbridge or fancy a day trip, Hyde Park provides ample space, facilities and Instagrammable backdrops for outdoor dining. Better still, you have a wealth of choice from nearby Brompton Road for picnic essentials and luxe extras.
The Food Halls at Harrods are the stuff of legends, with a cornucopia of options, from fresh seafood, luxury chocolates and patisserie to cheese and rotisserie meats. Meandering through the rest of the expansive 1.1 million square feet department store, you’ll find a wealth of A-list picnic essentials and accessories, including traditional wicker baskets, cushions and blankets, and even portable drinks coolers. Harvey Nichols also sells a range of premium food and drink on the Fifth Floor, including luxury condiments, confectionery, and wine and spirits. Overwhelmed by choice? Simply select one of the luxury department store’s pre-made takeaway “Gift Bags”. We love the Summer Picnic Gift Bag, which comes in a cheerful floral tote and includes a bottle of prosecco rosé, cheese, black olive paste, rosemary and sea salt crackers, and rhubarb and custard flavoured fudge. Another first-class pre-made option is Sette London, which has just launched their Signature Picnic (available for delivery or pick-up) packed full of luxury Italian-inspired goodies including chargrilled seasonal vegetables, cured meats, olives, Italian cheeses and desserts.
Speaking of sweet treats, why not pick up some takeaway delicacies from Italian chain Caffè Concerto – including individual patisseries and mixed boxes – or try Knot Churros, a hot-pink haven of decadent goodies including churros, milkshakes, limited-edition hot drinks and sweet teriyaki cones. The self-appointed ‘most Instagrammable café in the world’, EL&N also stocks a range of OTT drinks (Ferrero frappe, anyone?), bubble tea and lattes, as well as salads, sandwiches, burgers and sides. Order via Deliveroo or Uber Eats straight to your door before you head out.
Making life easy is Paul bakery on Brompton Road. Here, you’ll find a range of sweet and savoury platters, such as veggie wraps, Coronation chicken sandwiches, mezze salads and raspberry pastel de nata. The platters are available for pre-order to pick up in-store, or home delivery. If you have a penchant for Portugal’s most famous dessert, don’t miss Cafe de Nata on Brompton Road, which specialises in quality, freshly made custard tarts with flavoursome twists and even a vegan option.
Finally, fancy something a little different? MAMS is the ‘home of Arabic street food’ and specialises in tailor-made bowls, wraps and manakeesh – Arabic-style pizzas. Choose from a range of build-your-own ingredients which covers grains, veggies, sauces and protein (with plenty of halal and meat-free options) to make your lunch truly your own. Mari Vanna, located on Wellington Court, is a traditional Russian restaurant where you can try a variety of freshly-made dishes such as pirozhok (baked pastry buns with various sweet and savoury fillings), fish cakes, salads, sauerkraut and assorted meats and pickles. Order via Deliveroo or by contacting the restaurant directly. There’s a minimum order of £40 for delivery or pick-up, and free delivery is offered to customers in Zones 1, 2 and 3 in London. Happy picnic-ing!