Shock horror summer is here and the weather continues to elude us, the five days of summer have been and gone and we’re left here wondering were our balmy British sun has gone!
Fear not, we’re all about positivity here at Social 101. Sure the weather might not be cracking the flags, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t pack out picnic hampers and head to a scenic spot with friends or a loved one to take in the great British outdoors.
Here’s our round up of the best spots for a little bit of picnic action at any time that tickles your fancy:
Where to hop off (or on): Hackney Wick (Overground)
Row, row, row your boat – this is exactly what we suggest you do whilst tucking into your perfect picnic place in London. The park is doused in heritage and is the oldest public park in London (since 1845).
Where to hop off (or on): Battersea Park (Overground)
You could be forgiven for mistaking your reclining in the tropical shores of Sydney’s Botanical Gardens at this hot spot with stunning plants and palms to shade you from the summer sun (here’s hoping).
Where to hop off (or on): Camden Town (Underground), Chalk Farm (Underground)
Perfectly located next to London Zoo, you can be at one with nature as you tuck into your feast and admire the stunning views from this breathtaking vantage point.
Where to hop off (or on): Richmond (Underground)
Richmond is one of our fave places to escape the buzz of the city and relax in palatial surroundings spanning more than 2,500 acres.
Once you’ve four your perfect spot, you can enjoy spotting local wildlife, incluing local deer.
Where to hop off (or on): Hampstead Heath (Overground), Hampstead (Underground)
We love swimming, just keep swimming! With dedicated swimming ponds and sprawling greenery, this is one of the most popular picnic spots in our stunning capital. Be sure to pop this on your summer picnic escape hit list. For the view alone, you wont be disappointed.
Now we’ve got the locations covered, here are some healthy snacks to pack for your picnic:
Exotic Dried Mango – A little taste of summer, Forest Feast Exotic Dried Mango is a PREDA Fairtrade product that makes a deliciously refreshing snack that is packed with vitamins and minerals, fat-free, free from artificial additives and preservative. This sweet, tangy treat is the perfect way to sneak in one of their five-a-day into your child’s picnic lunch!
Coco Mango – A unique fusion of exotic rich Carabao mango with tropical fresh coconut rolled into single serve bites for a mouth-watering snack. The creamy coconut and the succulent mango will have kids choosing these healthier option over other tempting treats.
Cavendish Banana – Free from added sugar and additives this delicious dried fruit is the perfect grab-and-go snack for families on the move. The banana is naturally sun ripened and slow dried to provide a rich, deep banana snack – making it a picnic treat that can be enjoyed by the whole family!
Wonder Fruit Bars Recipe – Get the kids involved in making these delicious bars. The bars include oats, seeds, and a wonderful mix of berries, such as cranberries, goji berries and strawberries. This healthy recipe not only provides kids with a tasty snack, they can also enjoy making them with their parents and learn about the ingredients that go in to them.
All Forest Feast products are available online and from leading retailers nationwide. For more information and recipe suggestions, visit www.forestfeast.com.
Here’s a healthy salad recipe to whet your appetite:
Curly sweet potato & parsnip fries
2 sweet potatoes
2-4 tbs olive oil
1-2 tsp smoked paprika
1-2 tsp garlic powder
Sea salt & ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 220C.
- Spiralize the sweet potatoes and parsnips on the thickest setting.
- Spread the curly fries out on a large baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, and gently toss the vegetables so that they are evenly coated .
- Season with salt, paprika, rosemary, and garlic powder.
- Roast for 20 minutes in the oven, giving them a gentle toss at the halfway mark.
Be sure to keep an eye on the fries to prevent burning. If they begin to burn, toss those pieces gently, or just cut off the burnt bits at the end prior to serving.
- Serve with your favourite dip or ketchup (I recommend cashew mayonnaise, preferably homemade!)
TIP: If you really want these to be super-crunchy like the original mccoy “naughty” fries, you will have to deep-fry them. Be mindful that this will put them back into the “seriously naughty” category. Or try putting them under the grill, make sure they’re not too oily.
There is an exclusive collection of spiralizers available to suit all budgets and tastes, available at http://www.ukjuicers.com/healthy-kitchen/spiralizers.