Picnic Highs and Lows on your Cottage Holiday

Picnics on your Cottage Holiday.

On cottage holidays our family always has a picnic come rain or shine, whatever the season or weather. On a memorable trip to Northumberland, one Easter, we were out every day with our trusty cool bag filled to the rim with picnic treats -well, at the beginning of the week anyway. The picnic always gets less exciting as the week goes on.

However, it was a FREEZING cold week! Did we give up the picnic to have lunch in a nice warm café, restaurant or pub with a warm blazing fire and yummy home cooked food? Oh No! Not us! We valiantly braved the cold on hard icy picnic benches literally freezing our bottoms. Icicles hanging off our noses, lips turning blue, shivering violently, trying to undo cellophane wrappers without taking gloves off.


picnic on cottage holiday
us ‘enjoying’ a picnic in December!


At the beginning of a week away, on a cottage holiday, I always start off excited at the thought of a week of picnics. All that yummy ‘treat’ food that we don’t usually have at home. Sausage rolls, pork pies, lots of cake! I begin our picnics with good intentions with stuffed pittas, homemade cake and other little treats. However, by the end of the week it’s dry bread jam sandwiches and I’m thoroughly fed up with the picnic situation. We’ve probably had to eat in the rain, cold, or standing up, battled wasps and flicked off encrusted sand. I’m BORED of making rolls and sandwiches and then unpacking it all at the end of the day. I want someone to make MY lunch AND clear up afterwards without me having to lift a finger thank you very much!



Also, have you noticed, there’s always someone picnicking nearby with a vastly superior picnic to your own?You know the type; they own a proper gingham table cloth and a beautiful (but very unpractical- how do you fit all your food in there for goodness sake?!) picnic basket. Their basket will contain pasta salads, stuffed olives and homemade quiche and other such delicacies. My family will be scowling at them, from a far, munching on our cheese rolls with utter picnic envy.


The kind of picnic hamper I wish I owned!


Yet, there are advantages to picnicking I admit:

It’s Cost effective:

It does save a lot of money, if we ate out every day, as a family of  four, it would be very expensive indeed.

It’s food you like:

Because you have packed your picnic with your children in mind you know there is going to be something that they like to eat, you don’t have to worry about a café not having any child friendly options and your little darling having a melt down!



Picnicking is flexible:

You can eat whenever and wherever you like. You don’t have to worry about the “I am hungry and I need to eat NOW” scenario (that’s me by the way!).

We were out on a ramble recently and the queue for food at the café was very long. I have to admit I felt very smug when we unpacked our picnic and chomped away in front of everyone else! Also, you can go off the beaten track with a picnic and not have to worry where the nearest lunch stop might be. If you want to scale a mountain you can! (Have to admit I wouldn’t want to but the option is always nice!)

Table manners don’t matter (so much)

In the great outdoors you don’t have to worry about unruly behaviour so much as you would in a restaurant. Farts, burps and loud inappropriate comments (from the children!) don’t seem quite so loud or embarrassing.

The View

Lets face it, there are some pretty fabulous spots for a picnic out there and food always tastes so much better in the great outdoors!

Beautiful view on a picnic


So, on reflection, I think picnics are great at the beginning of the cottage holiday, and once the novelty wears off, head towards the nearest pub or café for a much-deserved treat!


Please let us know your favourite picnic spots and recipes for quick and easy picnic treats. Or check out these fabulous suggestions from House and Garden.













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