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Secrets to Planning the Perfect Picnic

July is officially National Picnic Month so there's no better excuse to pack up your wicker basket and some delicious treats for a day in the sunshine with family and friends. Take a look at our top tips for planning the perfect picnic...

Plan ahead

To make sure you don't suffer from the unpredictable nature of the British summer, plan ahead so your picnic won't be rained off. Using weather apps or watching the news will help you to choose when to schedule your picnic. Even if the sun isn't shining, a picnic can still be fun, just take blankets and extra clothes in case it gets cold. Also make sure that picnicking is allowed in the spot that you have chosen and make sure to 'leave no trace' after your feast.

Don't forget the essentials

Successful picnics consist of a few key basic items. A blanket, basket, cutlery and plates are all essentials and of course the food itself. If you are looking to make this a bigger event, then why not bring along collapsible table and chairs.

Whether you choose to go for the traditional wicker picnic basket or a modern design, make sure you add freezer packs to your carrier to ensure that the picnic food is kept cool before you eat. To make sure your picnic bag doesn't become too heavy, opt for plastic cutlery and plates (or recyclable paper plates) that can be easily cleaned and saved for your next picnic. Finally, make sure you don't forget sun cream if the sun is out and wipes and paper towels to clean up any spillages.

Fabulous food

We all know the best part of any picnic is the food. For savoury treats, choose scotch eggs, pork pies, sandwiches, quiches and other nibbles to please everyone. For sweet options, choose chocolate brownies, scones and fresh fruit that won't be easily damaged or crushed in your bag, or that can be packed in to airtight containers. A good tip is to pack your basket in reverse order to make it easier when setting up, placing food items at the bottom, then tableware and then the picnic blanket on top.

Make sure that you keep hydrated by bringing plenty of bottles of water, fruit juice and maybe even some wine or bubbly if you fancy. If tea and coffee is more your thing, take flasks to keep the beverages warm.

Choosing the perfect location

In the UK we are lucky to have stunning landscapes and parks so why not take advantage and head to a picnic 'top spot' to enjoy your nibbles. For a picnic spot in West Sussex, look no further than Horsham Park. There are lots of picnic benches along with lovely gardens and activities for after your picnic. The park is located a short distance from our Highwood development.

Another top spot in Kent is the Sevenoaks wildlife reserve with its lakes, ponds and woodlands. Enjoy your picnic surrounded by stunning protected landscape and wildlife. Our Ryewood development is adjacent to the reserve so is a great spot if you are looking for a new home in the peaceful countryside.

If you are in London and looking for the perfect picnic spot, head to Richmond Park for wide open spaces and wild deer. Make sure you don't miss the spectacular 40-acre Isabella plantation with its famous evergreen azaleas. Our Richmond Chase development, with exquisite Georgian-inspired family homes, is less than a mile away from the park.

For more information on Berkeley Group's new luxury developments, take a look here.