Good Friends Café in Canons Park is open throughout summer, serving home-made dairy and vegan ice-cream, gluten-free cakes and sweet waffles.
There’s a variety of sandwiches, bagels and vegan, vegetarian and GF diets are catered for. New for the heat? Vegan smoothie lollies in such flavours as cucumber; raspberry, blackberry and carrot.
Deep within the 100 acres of the Rickmansworth Aquadrome with its woodland walks and lakes sits the Café in the Park.
The yellow walls and big windows render it bright, light and full of sunshine. Slogans on the walls such as ‘unashamedly splendid’ reflects how the team feels about the work they do. Among them are some volunteers with Downs Syndrome and autism.
The café is all about ethical practices and everything served is made there, from bread and cakes to the mayonnaise and even the baked beans. Ten pence from every hot drink and the unlimited hydration station offering sparkling and still water goes to Water Aid.
Pear Tree Café in Battersea Park is a lakeside restaurant run by chefs Annabel and Will who met working for Skye Gyngell at Petersham Nurseries. Bright and cheerful, Pear Tree moves seamlessly from serving coffee, pastries and light lunches by day to simple, fresh evening menus. Smashed avocado on sourdough with watermelon radish, feta chilli & basil oil is the most instagrammed dish!
The San Remo park café in Ruislip lido overlooks a 60-acre lake and a manmade beach. Surrounded by more than 700 acres of woodland it’s an idyllic location and on a sunny day it has a true holiday feel. Sit on the terrace in the sunshine, or duck indoors to the air-conditioned interior if it gets too hot. Expect coffee, handmade cakes, homemade pasta, ‘Mama’s Recipe’ specials and great ice cream!
Verdi’s Trattoria at the edge of Clarence Park in St Albans is a traditional family run Italian restaurant in a gorgeous rural setting with a lovely outside dining space. This is a great place to take the whole family for pasta, pizza, risotto and loads of fabulous fish dishes.
A Hamper by Hadar
You might be a whizz at assembling tasty picnics or the sort of person who dodges invites because your sarnies don’t cut it. Whatever your skill, save the stress and fill your hamper with food from Hadar, Edgware’s most enjoyable supermarket.
“Most enjoyable” because of the time one spends perusing the colourful aisles spotting never before seen products like Walden Farms Original Cream, a creamer free of sugars, fats or gluten. It’s likely the creamer was not on your shopping list, but faced with 10,000 kosher- friendly products that look delicious, it’s impossible not to be tempted.
Hadar is a one stop shop for the picnic slacker as it sells, fresh fruit and vegetables, every kind of cake and biscuit, soft drinks and an amazing selection of kosher wines and spirits from around the world at great prices. Best of all and perfect for a picnic is the sushi they offer at their Sushi Haven counter. Made on the spot or available instantly in prepared sealed trays, Hadar’s sushi is so good it’s hard to share, so be mindful of that if there is a crowd at the picnic. You could always eat it in the car and just offer those sandwiches.
www.hadaredgware.com – 020 8958 4666
Pick up a picnic!
If you fancy a picnic but can’t be bothered to make it, Carluccio’s Classic and Plant Power picnics are filled to the brim with delicious, freshly prepared Italian dishes. From focaccia and antipasti through to salads and Polpette di Fagioli (vegan bean balls with chickpea and aubergine purée) each picnic serves two and is priced at £45 (£10 for kids). It comes in a chic, reusable Carluccio’s cool bag.
Much-loved local mainstay Cartons café in Stanmore offers lots of things for a picnic – sandwiches, salads and delicious cakes or even hearty pasta and jacket potatoes if you prefer hot food on a hot day! There are loads of options on the menu and adjustments can be made to most dishes to make the food fit all.
- 0208 954 3955
For glam picnicking, the team at Dukes hotel will set up the perfect picnic spot in nearby Green Park or St James’s Park with comfy cushions, cosy blankets, cutlery and glasses. If last summer’s glorious weather returns, parasols can be arranged to keep you cool. There’s a range of hampers all stuffed with yummy goodies – classic, veggie, vegan, and kiddie hampers! Prices start at £35 per person and £17 for children’s picnics. You can even add special treats such as Champagne, flowers and your own personal butler service.
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