We Asked Delis What You Should Be Taking On A Picnic

London’s greatest delis reveal the curveball eats that will rescue the done-to-death basket

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Lina Stores (Soho)

Helen says: “Everyone brings olives to a picnic, and yes, they’re amazing, but think of the ‘where do I spit this stone?’ indignity. None of that with these tiny artichoke hearts, which are loaded with flavour and just as easy to eat with your fingers. I’d pack a jar of them, and a wedge of Ubriaco Al Vino Rosso – purple-tinged cow’s cheese that’s been submerged in a vat with the remnants of the red wine-making process.”

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Melrose & Morgan (Hampstead)

Jenny says: “We’re in prime picnic territory here, so we need to be on it with this sort of thing. That’s why we’re about to stock Du Grappin ‘Bagnums’. Now that everyone is over the screw top-versus-cork argument, I reckon this easy-drinking bag of French rosé is going to be really popular on the Heath this summer. A Bagnum with one of our freshly made Parmesan scones would be first into my picnic bag.”

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The Ginger Pig (Clapham)

Tom says: “My picks aren’t going to redefine the picnic landscape, but these are things as they should be done. Forget sweating, water-pumped pig slices: come to us and see how lovely a joint of ham, roasted in mustard, honey and sugar, should taste. And sausage rolls shouldn’t be cardboard-like and grey – they should be handmade that day with quality pork mince and butter puff pastry, and massive. Go traditional, sure, or go nuts with our spiced lamb, pork and stilton or chilli and bacon ones.”

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Fink’s Salt And Sweet (Finsbury Park)

Mat says: “We’ve found that natural American BBQ sauces take any al fresco staple to the next level. You don’t have to restrict these to the grill – this mustard and pepper Slap sauce is awesome slathered on top of a cold sausage, and the Alabama Salvation horseradish mayo is the perfect partner to anything beefy. Wash that all down with one of our 5-litre boxes of house white wine, made by nuns in Sardinia.”

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Brindisa (Brixton)

Monika says:Iberico ham is practically made for warm outdoor eating – the warmer it gets, the more delicious fat melts out to lubricate the mouth. Yeah, you could take a whole leg to a picnic, but that’s about 9kg so get it pre-sliced. If you want the very best, look for the word ‘bellota‘ on the packaging. That means the Iberico pig has been fattened up on acorns before slaughter, and will have an incredible nutty sweetness in taste. Eat as it comes, but only after pulling one of our Spanish craft beers out of the ice.”

Words by Chris Sayer

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