Martyn’s top picnic tips
You’ve got all the ingredients for a perfect picnic; the sun’s in the sky, Cornwall is being oh so stunningly beautiful and you’re in the mood for lazy lunching, but just what food should you pack and where should you go? Martyn, head chef at our sister site, Pentewan Sands Holiday Park, has got all the answers…
What to pack for the perfect picnic
Upgrade your salad
Leafy salads will wilt before your very eyes, especially in the sun. Ditch the green salads and go for chunky crudités like celery sticks and cucumber wedges instead. Picnics are also the perfect opportunity to show off your repertoire of no-lettuce-salads; couscous salad, potato salad, pasta salad, quinoa salad…salads aren’t all about greens and they’re anything but boring!
Create a soggy free zone
No one likes a soggy sandwich so keep sauces and dressings separate where you can. Seal them in mini Kilner jars and add them just before serving. You’ll look like a bit of a pro with your on-trend kitchenware and won’t have to scrimp on taste despite being away from your cupboard-filled comfort zone.
Think quality not quantity
If you’ve got a bit of a trek to your perfect picnic spot or are picnicking as part of a walk or cycling trip, you won’t want to be weighed down with tons of food. Only pack what you know you’ll eat and most importantly, pack well. Picnics can be a real treat so up the ante and go big on quality. Visit a local farm store such as Lobb’s Farm Shop just a stone’s throw from Heligan and stock up on fresh, local ingredients.
Have a centrepiece
There’s a big difference between packed lunches and picnics. The first is a Tupperware-filled box for one while the second is a social feast-like experience that memories are made of. Opt for the second by throwing down a blanket and spreading everything out so that everyone can dive in and choose a bit of what they fancy. Like all good buffets the key to making this work is a showstopper centrepiece. It could be a quiche, picnic pie or summer tart - if it’s good enough to share, you’re onto a winner!
Perfect picnic spots
So, with Martyn’s foodie secrets in the hamper we’re ready to go. This way to the best picnic spots in our beautiful patch of Cornwall…
Mevagissey on foot
Strike out on the South West Coast Path around Mevagissey and you’ll have a pick of breath-taking picnic spots. There’s a smattering of picnic benches ideally placed overlooking the bay as you climb the hill towards Polstreath Beach, or pick a spot on the quiet shingle beach. In the other direction from Mevagissey towards Portmellon, settle down and take in the uninterrupted view from one of the many cliff-top fields - there aren’t many restaurants that serve up a view like this!
Kings Wood by bike
The Pentewan Valley Trail cycle route that runs between St Austell and Pentewan is overloaded with places to stop and refuel. If you fancy being joined on your picnic by local wildlife, make a beeline for the section that passes through Kings Wood - the serene atmosphere is a picnic hero.
Cornwall is your oyster
From Kynance Cove in far flung west Cornwall, to Rough Tor on Bodmin Moor, there are a million and one places in Cornwall worth a picnicking shout out. Jump over to the Pentewan Sands blog to discover more top picnic spots in Cornwall.
Fancy a slice of the picnicking dream? Your Heligan escape awaits.