It’s a Total Picnic

This summer is going to be like no other. After having spent nearly a whole year at home with minimal contact from those outside our households, and enduring less than ideal weather when we could venture outside, it won’t be a surprise to see any comfortable green space in the sun saturated with revellers.

To help inspire anyone wanting to take to the great outdoors for the day, we asked some of our writers to give their recommendations for how to fill the perfect picnic day. From 80s music to good buddies, here are our must-haves for a fun meal on the grass this summer.

If you prefer, you can read the full feature in the May 2021 issue of SNACK magazine, below.


Lindsay Corr

Food

Chorizo and Gouda rollitos – beyond delicious and easily done in a vegan and veggie format, so win-win!

Drink

Gin and ginger beer. A winning combo for me, and oh so refreshing on a nice day.

Place

Sandeman House Garden, which is just off the Royal Mile in Edinburgh.

I used to work at the Scottish Storytelling Centre and this gorgeous space behind the building, down the little cobbled close, is a stunningly picturesque green space reminiscent of 17th century style. Apparently!

Music

A playlist of 80s and 90s classics. No doubt there’d be a few musical numbers thrown in too.

Company

Torn between my family in Belfast, my family in Coventry and my home-from-home Scotland family. But this is my fantasy, so they’re all there!

My mum would be fussing over the food while my five nieces make up adventures, with me being happily pulled from conversations for play.

My siblings and their partners would relish Auntie taking over, while my pals would happily keep the drinks flowing with no doubt a singsong or two.


Holly Fleming


Food

I recently found a simple, low-ingredient bread recipe so I’m definitely making my own bread for sandwiches.

Warm fresh bread really elevates the game. Every picnic needs to have a sweet presence – cupcakes or brownie bites are ideal with strawberries.

Drink

One bottle or cans: pre-made spirits and mixers. For me, it has to be cold, fruity ciders! For anyone not drinking, fresh lemonade is so perfect.

Place

Calderglen Country Park. It can be a bit crowded, as it’s a fantastic family spot, but if you spend a bit of time searching you can definitely find some lovely quiet spots, ideal for a picnic. I like the spaces with some grass and some trees for shade, near the babbling streams.


Music

Anything that gives off bright summer day vibes. If you’ve got a group going, message around beforehand and ask for requests to be put into a playlist. That way, you have the collection of songs as a memento for the fun day

Company

My partner and I really enjoy a picnic together – we go way overboard on how much food we bring, so we’d need lots of our friends to join us.

A few of us have gotten right into chess (thanks to The Queen’s Gambit). Maybe we’ll bring a chess board along for a classy, cultured day in the sun, getting absolutely hammered with less than classy drinks.

I love when my picnic companion is as equally excited about food as I am, and my mum does a wonderful job of matching my energy!


Dominic Cassidy

Biscoff doughnut from Considerit, Edinburgh


Food

Biscoff doughnut from Considerit, or the closest analogue.

I have many happy memories of chilling in Edinburgh munching a delicious vegan snack; the main challenge is getting to your destination before wolfing it down.

Drink

A cold bottle of Lilt, or an oat milk flat white, weather dependent.

Place

Calton Hill, sitting right on the big plinth thing with the columns. Cracking view.

Music

If I’m just on my own, something ambient is good. Currently I’m enjoying Bird World and Return to Bird World by Leon Chang, soundtracks for video games that don’t exist.

If there’s a few folk you can’t go wrong with some Run the Jewels, Mitski, or Orville Peck.

Company

Sammy the dog, best black lab going. Will need snacks.


JAMIE WILLS

Food

One loaf of rustic farmer’s bread, bought yourself that morning from a proper bakery, and sliced in their big bread slicer machine. Butter, having melted slightly in your bag, applied seconds prior to eating.

Drink

Cold, high quality Scottish tap water in a thermos. Akin to drinking a Highland stream. No packaged product comes close.

Place

If with football: The Meadows in Edinburgh. If without football: a beach in North Berwick.

Music

Commercial radio. Much scorned, but blossoms at a picnic because of the broad mix of tunes and brief excitement when a universally liked song is played. Side note: anyone who brings their guitar must sit 200m away.

Company

Friends made in your early 20s. These are the best friends.


STEPHEN McCOLGAN

Food

Pork pies and Bombay mix.

Drink

A well-made pina colada. If a professional cocktail mixer isn’t available, then red kola.

Place

With transport, at the foot of the Cobbler’s peak in Arrochar. Without transport, Barshaw Hill, Paisley.

Music

Depends. I’m a pretty grumpy, middle-aged, negative-vibe merchant so whatever annoys bystanders.

Cannibal Corpse, some old skool Dutch Gabber, or Frank Ifield for the young team.

Company

Any old random jakeball in the vicinity, really.

Either that or my bandmates. And I definitely am in a band, even though we don’t have a name or any songs and you wouldn’t know them anyway cos they live up my gran’s bit.


EMMA MYKYTYN


Food

Sausage rolls. I used to think I was being posh by buying M&S ones when younger, but making your own is so much better.

There’s got to be an ice cream cone at some point as well, either from Brooklyn Cafe or Queens Cafe.

Drink

I always seem to pick Dr Pepper when out, maybe a throwback to younger days when it was rare to find it.

Place

Growing up it was ‘The Glen’ in Cumbernauld and a walk to Cumbernauld Village. Nowadays, it’s a wander to Queens Park to see the swans and ducks and the view from the flagpole

Music

I like the sound of peace and quiet but more likely it’s the sounds of kids screaming around me in the park.

Company

My husband and writing partner Mark – to give us some time to sit together and plan our next adventure.


MARK MURPHY

View from Glasgow’s Queen’s Park Flagpole


Food

Cheese, bread and houmous because simple is best when having a picnic.

Drink

Elderflower cordial. A refreshing summer’s drink plus you can add it to cheap wine to make it taste palatable!

Emma made homemade cordial last year from locally sourced elderflower so we also keep our eyes peeled for foraging opportunities on picnic trips.

Place

There are a few fairly unknown places near us, one where we’ve seen kingfishers and otters. I’m not saying where though cos then it wouldn’t be quiet anymore!

Music

Nils Frahm is always good.

Company

Well, I’ve got to say Emma. Haven’t I?


All images courtesy of the SNACK writing team

Feature by Holly Fleming


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Read the May 2021 issue of SNACK magazine on your tablet, mobile, or pc.

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