With some of the best weather we have had in years who else is dreaming of a going on a picnic in lockdown?!
As you know we’re used to getting out and about most weekends in the spring and summer. I would say the hardest part of our covid lockdowns has been missing out on our hikes and picnics!
Unlike many other countries in lockdown we’ve been allowed to go outdoors once a day for exercise. As long as we’re adhering to social distancing rules of course!
But the rules on how long we’re allowed out for, (and whether we’re allowed to picnic in lockdown) are unclear. They also differ depending on which part of the country you live in.
A government document published earlier in the month said it was deemed ‘reasonable for people (living in England) to stop to rest and have a brief picnic lunch if they were out for a long walk.
However this isn’t the case in other parts of the country!
So what to do? How can you enjoy the perfect picnic in lockdown whether its indoors or outdoors?
Great Garden Picnics
Well speaking for ourselves we’ve had a lot of garden picnics! (Not all of us are lucky enough to have access to a garden – so more on indoor picnicking below!)
One of my favourite things about garden picnics is you can have much more variety with food. Both because you don’t need to carry it, and because you have easy access to your kitchen for cooking and heating!
However we’ve been firing up our little BBQ as food just tastes so lovely when it’s grilled outdoors.
We’ve been trying to eat less meat during the week. For our ‘meatless Monday’ picnic tea this evening (if the weather holds!) we have planned:
- Veggie Skewers! Mix aubergine, peppers, red onion and tomato and brush on a quick and easy marinade. We use one of mixed up olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, oregano and basil.
- Halloumi Fries – dip them in a little egg and roll in breadcrumbs – they crisp up nicely on the grill!
- Mushroom Burgers – yum! These are lovely and garlicky and from a Jamie Oliver recipe (love a bit of Jamie!) you can find here.
- Roasted Bananas – split bananas and stuff them with whatever chocolate you have handy, then wrap in foil and grill! Serve up with ice cream, caramel sauce, cream…whatever you fancy!
Because we don’t have to drive, if we’re having a garden BBQ we can have a cheeky spritzer or cider too!
Of course , this works just as well at lunchtime with a traditional picnic spread. This can be made of things like sandwiches, finger food and a flask of soup. You might be right outside the kitchen but it can be really fun (and more authentic feeling) for everyone if you break out the picnic gear too!
Because we all had part-time jobs we couldn’t always reschedule. On a few occasions we had these super-fun indoor picnics (where a bottle of wine or two were often shared!). These are some of my fondest memories of our time living together.
These types of picnic lend themselves best to finger foods, especially if you have children involved! An ill-timed spillage or a bit of sandwich trodden into the living-room carpet can really ruin the mood.
Some of you might be lucky enough to have a flat with a small balcony – ideal! If not, then try to sit in natural light as much as you can. Throw down your picnic blanket, pop out bowls and tubs of food and snacks and you’re ready to go!
For extra comfort add some throw cushions, or if you’ve got garden furniture why not use the cushions indoors – often they’re easier to wipe clean! Grab some board games, packs of cards. Make an afternoon of it!
For our student picnics we used to move the furniture so we were sitting in as much sunlight as possible. We’d spread out in front of the big living room window. Remember to open the window to let the fresh air in – if the weather is on your side at all!
I hope this has given you a few ideas on how to picnic in lockdown! If one of your children or flatmates has a birthday coming up this is also a really fun (and inexpensive) way to celebrate. You can buy or make some decorations, and if it’s an adult birthday add some fizz!
Even just a simple living-room picnic will be a great memory for your kids. It’s so important to spend family time together, especially just now.
You could also have a more intimate picnic with your other half – get creative! A moonlight picnic in the garden with blankets to cosy up with, or a romantic living room picnic with candles. I love the LED versions as a safe option! – check out the picnic from ‘Starlight’ in my Favourite Movie Picnics post for more inspo!
Wherever you are I hope you’re safe and well, and stay strong! Here’s hoping things return to some sort of normality fairly soon