Food Editor Caitlin Dickinson shares her best places to have a picnic in Birmingham this summer
The summer season is rapidly approaching and stressful exams are beginning to dwindle, so what better way to celebrate than a lovely picnic in the sun. Don’t panic about too much prep or a long trek to the perfect picnic location, these top tips for a perfect picnic will allow you to enjoy the summer sun without any stress!
Top 3 Picnic Destinations:
The Vale: The best place to lap up the sun with a yummy picnic is definitely the lakeside at the Vale. With the balance of the trees, lake and stretching grass the Vale is currently the hotspot for picnics! Also, the vast amounts of outside space and benches means that if sitting on the grass isn’t for you then grab a bench and enjoy the sun.
Selly Park: If the Vale is too far to trek, then Selly Park may be your best option for something more close to home. This large park is situated just next to Birmingham St Mary’s hospice and the flat ground means that a large group can all sit comfortably round a lush picnic.
Winterbourne Gardens: Wanting to get out of Selly and Uni and go somewhere completely different? Try the Winterbourne Gardens for some exotic plants and fountains as an asset for your picnic.
What to bring:
Sandwiches: the endless concoctions for a sandwich filling make this a hard decision for a picnic. But, I would recommend not adding egg or fish such as tuna to your sandwich due to the hot weather making this filling go off quicker than other meats and vegetables.
My favourite sandwich recipe for a hot sunny day is chicken mayo with lettuce:
- Cook through a chicken breast until it is white the whole way through. This varies on the size, but should usually take 18mins. I recommend doing this the night before so it can chill until the following day.
- Once cooled, cut into small pieces, spread mayo over one slice of the bread and add lettuce or another preferred salad leaf.
- Season with salt and pepper. Then place the other slice of bread on top.
Snacks: what is a picnic without snacking on sausage rolls and scotch eggs? But, these tend to bump up your cost from the local supermarket! Try making this refreshing and cheap coleslaw to go with your sandwich:
- 6 tbsp plain yogurt, ½ tsp Dijon mustard, 2 tbsp mayonnaise, 1⁄2 white cabbage, 2 carrots and ½ onion.
Method: Mix the yogurt, mustard and mayonnaise together in a bowl. Then, use a grater attachment on a food processor, or a box grater, to grate the cabbage and carrots. Either grate the onion or chop as finely as you can. Tip all of the vegetables into the bowl and stir through the dressing. This will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Enjoy your perfect picnic!