After the relentless winter we have endured were we not deserving of a good summer. However, I think it has exceeded all of our expectations. There have been a string of nights that have been warmer than a normal summer’s day. OK, we have had some rain over the last few days but the gardens and crops are in need of some respite.
We have had great picnic weather but there is more than weather for a successful outdoor gathering. Preparation is key - make sure you take suitable food that will travel well. Use sealed containers to keep salads and dips fresh and a cool bag is a must, the solid box one’s being useful as they double up as a table. Also make sure you pack plenty of cool drinks, ideally in non-plastic bottles. I filter tap water, transfer into a tin bottle and keep in the fridge. So long as water is cold why buy it in a plastic bottle.
Forget about plastic straws and if you must take disposable plates and cutlery you can now get a range of containers made from sugar cane that are compostable and tree-free. A variety of recycled cutlery is also available that has a much lower carbon impact on the environment. A must, other than a bottle opener is a decent knife, I always take a medium sized Rocknife. It will glide through tomato, avocado and cucumber, cut bread and cheese and slice apples, pears, strawberries and all manner of fruit. As its ceramic, you do not get the metallic taste that comes with using a steel blade and your avocado will keep its colour longer. Finally, when you are done and head back home make sure you take all of your rubbish with you leaving only footprints and heading back with memories.