“There are few things so pleasant,” as W. Somerset Maugham once put it, “as a picnic eaten in perfect comfort.” We concur heartily: and so, here are five essentials that’ll make this summer’s outdoor dining experiences all the more life-enriching.
Wicker Hamper, from Harrods
Equipped with a bottle opener and a set of cutlery, as well as plates and glasses for two, this wicker design gets our nod for including a cooling compartment. The Ascot Picnic Hamper pictured above (£265, from www.amberleyhampers.com) is another excellent option.
£100. Available from www.harrods.com
Forge De Laguiole Cheese Knife & Fork Set, from William & Son
One is preserving the tradition of the hand-crafted knives in a southern French village, the other is a Mayfair-based provider of highly desirable town and country lifestyle goods, run by the esteemed William Asprey. Between them, they’ve come up with a turophile’s dream possession.£330. Available from www.williamandson.com
Backgammon board, from David Linley
One of civilisation’s oldest competitive endeavours, backgammon goes back at least 5,000 years (a version of that instantly recognisable board was recently discovered carved into rock in Azerbaijan). Enjoy the game in style with this highly elegant set featuring bold vibrant marquetry details.
£1,495. Available from www.davidlinley.com
Dom Perignon/Lenny Kravitz Vintage 2008
Dom Pérignon’s decision, last year, to appoint one of the coolest men in rock and roll as its first-ever Global Creative Director is paying dividends: as evidenced by Kravitz’s designs for the house’s Vintage 2008, featuring hammered gold on the Dom Pérignon label. Look out for more on the collaboration in our Autumn issue, out early October.
£185 (£325 for the Rosé Vintage 2006). Available from Harrods and clos19.com).
Bang & Olufsen Beoplay P6
It’s sexy visually as well as aurally (the rich bass it packs will easily fill the airwaves in London’s more expansive green spaces – puts the average portable speaker to shame. It’s also splash and dust proof and packs a decent batter life – 24 hours on a single charge.
Around £260. Available from www.bang-olufsen.com
Embroidered blanket, from Missoni
The instantly recognizable zigzag patterns on Missoni’s signature crochet knitwear – along with its high-quality feel – make this, from the Italian fashion house based in Varese, our throw of choice.
€940 (around £845). Available from www.missoni.com/gb