7 December 2015

Winter Picnic In The Woods

Picnics are a thing of the summer, right? ER WRONG! I have recently discovered winter picnics, which are simply amazing – and dare I say it, I think I enjoyed my winter alfresco dining experience more than a summer one!
My friend Claire and I were wondering what to do one weekend when she suggested a picnic. Naturally, I looked at her likes she was nuts – a picnic in the cold? Who does that? As I found out later on Pinterest, a lot of people apparently – winter picnics are the picnics of the future. Perfect for when it’s mild, or on the contrast – absolutely freezing, grab some cosy must haves and head to a spot of natural beauty near you. Living in the beautiful county of Hampshire, we’re lucky to have our pick of natural reserves and we chose to head out to Harewood Forest which is a short drive away from both our houses.

Here is an absolute must have checklist of things you will need to bring with you for an enjoyable experience:
- Waterproof picnic blanket to line the ground – it doesn’t matter how dry it has been; the ground will probably be damp and cold.
- A thick, fluffy blanket to sit on: I love warm wool blankets!
- A thick, fluffy blanket per person to wrap up in/put over your legs. Because, who are we kidding? It’s going to be cold outside!
- A thermal flask with hot tea/coffee/mulled wine or cider: this is going to be your best friend throughout the picnic. It makes everything so perfectly cosy!
- A picnic hamper full of food, drink and cutlery – pack that baby up!

You'll also have to make sure you are dressed for the occasion:
- Layer, layer, layer! Remember to wrap up warm as the last thing you want to be is cold during an outdoor picnic. Think wool socks, t-shirts and sweaters, throws, scarves and big coats.
- Make sure your bottoms are thick. You will, after all, be sitting on the ground outside and even if it is dry, it will be cold. Thick jeans, wool leggings, fleece joggers - any of those will do!
- Grab a waterproof hooded jacket - it will undoubtably rain at some point. This way you are prepared!
- Wellies are an absolute must have during a winter picnic - they will keep your feet warm and waterproof, and are also mega comfy!

Once you have all your essentials sorted, it’s time to go and pop to the shops on the way! We stopped off at a local supermarket and picked up some cheese and crackers, fruits, chocolate ├ęclairs and tasty fizzy juice from Orchard Pig – YUM. I also made a vegetable puff pastry tart, which was perfect to enjoy outside. It’s so easy – I buy pastry because I’m crap at making it, and then fill the pastry with some of my favourite vegetables, top with herbs, olive oil and a sprinkle of cheese and bake for about 25 minutes!

When we found our perfect spot, we settled for a good 3 hours to enjoy some gossip, hot tea and tasty food – it was incredible. Silence around us, beautiful scenery and fresh air – what more could you ask for after a hectic week in the city?


  1. Such a brilliant idea! I'm all for autumn / winter picnics - just maybe not if it was snowing! :S x


  2. I would never ever have thought of having a winter picnic but now after reading this I want to make a big flask of soup and get out there!! Looks like you had a fun day :)

  3. This looks like so much fun - can't say I've ever tried a winter picnic myself, but I definitely will now.

    Also - great choice with Orchard Pig - such a good cider.



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