best alfresco dining

Alfresco Dining Guide for the Summer Season

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Picnics during the summer season …….

The summer season is already well under and if it is possible it is almost more fun to take our own picnic rather than rely on the catering at the venue.  The rules on this differ for each event.  Can you take food?  Can you take wine?  If so how much?  Where can you set your picnic up?  We’ve done the research.  Read our guide to the summer season to get the latest on alfresco dining so that you can plan a perfect outing.

Glyndebourne  (18 May – 25 Aug), Nr Lewes, East Sussex alfresco dining guide

Opera in the most beautiful surroundings.  Glyndebourne has three on-site restaurants where you can enjoy a fine dining meal during the 90 minute interval.  You can order a picnic from them to collect when you arrive.  You can also bring your own picnic and there are restrictions as to what can be included in this although they do ask that you take all your rubbish away with you.  Picnic furniture can be hired from them which seems like a great option.

Royal Ascot (18 June – 23 June), Ascot, Berkshire

Picnics happen in the car parks before the racing begins.  Pack your car with plenty to keep you going through the day and get there early.  The car parks stay open long after the racing has finished and many picnickers linger on into the evening.  Fortnum and Mason supply hampers which can be ordered through Ascot Racecourse.  There is even a special afternoon tea hamper available.

Lords (23 June – 23 September) St John’s Wood 

With the Cricket World Cup now underway there is a lot going on at Lord’s this summer.  Lord’s is the only international cricket venue in the world where spectators can bring alcohol into the ground.  You are allowed to bring one 750ml bottle of wine or champagne per person or two cans or bottles of beer/cider or other alcoholic drinks (such as gin and tonic).  Bring your own picnic to eat from your seats or visit one of the many restaurants or food venues.  Decant your wine into one of our corkcicle canteens to keep it fridge cold all day.

– Grange Park Opera – (6 June – 13 July) West Horley Place, Surrey

The music will, of course, be the centrepiece of your evening but with a 100 minute interval there is plenty of time to enjoy your picnic. You can book a table in one of the large marquees or for a bit of luxury you can hire a private Indian Marquee seating 8 to 12 people. There are also plenty out of the way picnicking spots in the Walled Orchard or even in the woods and you can arrange for a small fee you can arrange for a porter to carry your hamper.  A magical evening.

 Fever Tree Championships (17 – 24 June), Queens Club, West LondonWine tastes as good as if you were drinking out of real glasses

Rules on food and drink are strict at Queens Club.  You can bring a picnic into the ground and take it with you to your seats in the stand but you not allowed to bring any alcohol with you.  Soft drinks must be brought in non-glass containers; another great opportunity to use your Corkcicle Canteen.  There is plenty of Pimms and champagne available to buy once you are inside the venue and then you are able to take this with you to your seats to complete your picnic.

– Wimbledon Tennis Championships (1 – 14 July), Wimbledon, South West London

You’re welcome to bring your own food and drink to Wimbledon.  Remember that Wimbledon does not allow hard-sided containers and items such as picnic hampers/cool boxes, flasks and camping chairs.  The rules are the same as those at Lords regarding alcohol, you can bring one 750ml bottle of wine or champagne per person or two cans of beer/cider/pre-mixed spirits.  There is plenty of food and drink available on site and the celebrated ‘strawberries and cream’ is still only £2.50 per portion.

Henley Regatta (3 – 7 July), Henley, OxfordshireAlfresco Dining

Food, drink and picnics are not allowed in the Stewards Enclosure or the Regatta Enclosure.  If you are planning to bring your own food and drink you must picnic in the car park.

Start planning your picnic now.  We have lots of great summer accessories to create the perfect picnic experience. Go Vino glasses are available in packs of two as well as four.  Corkcicle canteens are designed to keep a whole bottle of wine or champagne fridge cold for up to 24 hours.  Our handwoven bottle baskets are great for transporting all your drinks stylishly.

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