British Summer Time means one thing: picnics. In the park on a lazy Saturday afternoon, at Wimbledon, Glyndebourne, Henley and countless festivals up and down the country, we fill hampers with food, booze and blankets and hope the weather holds up. Most of the time, it doesn’t, but picnicking in a light drizzle makes the experience even more authentic.

It’s no different in our Houses – from Farmhouse to Babington, there’s nothing better than choosing the perfect spot on the lawn, unpacking some summery food and enjoying the fresh air and sunshine (hopefully).

Our picnic baskets come equipped for an alfresco feast. From light-but-durable enamel plates, bowls and tumblers, to sturdy (but stylish) cutlery and even a dinky little salt and pepper set, we’ve thought of everything. Fill yours with simple, fresh food - crusty bread, cheeses, cold meats, fruit and salads - and head for the nearest patch of sunshine.

 

 

Each basket is made from sturdy wicker and is lined with canvas in Soho Farmhouse’s signature green check. Green leather straps secure the tableware and cutlery and there’s plenty of room to store your supplies. We’ve made a matching wine carrier to carry bottles safely. Two tumblers, a corkscrew and a stopper are included and stout straps keep everything firmly in place.

And finally, a blanket to sit on is an essential bit of kit. Ours is made in England by Tweedmill in pure new wool. It has a leather handle and straps to make it easy to store and carry and a waterproof backing to keep the damp at bay.

Make Eton Mess

Head Pastry Chef at Soho Farmhouse Gabriele Leo shared his recipe for that ultimate British summer pud, Eton Mess. Make the components in advance, pack them in your picnic basket and assemble in seconds when you reach your destination for a fresh, seasonal and delicious dessert.

Ingredients

Meringue: (makes 450g)
500g fresh egg white
pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean
500g caster sugar
500g icing sugar, sieved

Crème Chantilly (makes 1100g)
1000g double cream
100g icing sugar
1 vanilla pod, split and scraped

Strawberry Coulis (makes 1350g)
1000g frozen strawberry purée, defrosted
310g caster sugar
80g lemon juice

Recipe

"To make the meringue, whisk the egg whites, salt and vanilla bean until semi-whipped. Slowly add the caster sugar and whisk until stiff. Gently fold in the icing sugar.
Spread evenly on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake at 100°C, low fan for about 120 minutes until dry. Label with a 4-week expiry date and store in an air-tight container.

To make the Crème Chantilly, whisk all the ingredients together. Transfer to a piping bag and label with a 2-day expiry date.

To make the strawberry coulis mix together all the ingredients. Label with a 7-day expiry date and store in the fridge or with a 2-month expiry date and store in the freezer."

To Serve:

4 x Hempton enamelware bowls

Pour 10g coulis into the bottom of an enamelware bowl
Pipe 30g chantilly on top, followed by 2 x ¼ pieces strawberry and 2 raspberries Place 5g meringue on top and drizzle with 5g coulis
Repeat the process
Serve in an enamelware bowl with a white paper napkin

Soho Farmhouse

Enjoy a rural escape down on the Farm