Sweet treats always go down well on picnics and you can explore Britain’s baking heritage with this much-loved Yorkshire institution. Classics such as currant-studded Yorkshire curd tarts with nutmeg and plump, buttery fat rascals – as well as an extensive range from dainty fondants to Old Peculiar fruit cakes – are now available online, and prices start at well under £10. Serve with lashings of pop!
Bettys Craft Bakery, Hookstone Chase, Harrogate, HG2 7LD, 0845 600 1919, www.bettys.co.uk
Emmett’s of Peasenhall
Emmett’s makes its signature Suffolk black hams (£6.50 a packet, £95 for half a ham) from local Blythburgh pork, before curing them in a mixture of porter, molasses and brown sugar, giving both sweetness and an earthy flavour. They have a keen following among cognoscenti, and owner Mark Thomas has added more choices with an innovative range of different flavoured hams, from orange to fennel.
Emmett’s of Peasenhall, Saxmundham, IP17 2HJ, 01728 660250, www.emmettsham.co.uk
Fortnum & Mason
Ever since it provided “baskets for travellers” in the 1730s to sustain them on long coach journeys, Fortnum’s has been offering food-to-go in style. Nowadays online shoppers can choose from an assortment of hampers (£40 to more than £200) with dishes ranging from coronation chicken salad or dressed lobster to Eton mess and red fruit tarts.
Fortnum and Mason, 181 Piccadilly, W1A 1ER, 0207 734 8040, www.fortnumandmason.com
Hansen & Lydersen
Lovingly smoked over beech and juniper in his small smokehouse in north London, Norwegian Ole-Martin Hansen’s artisan smoked salmon, made with an admirable eye for detail, has gained a cult reputation. Never wrapped in plastic, which would affect the flavour, this noticeably succulent smoked salmon would turn any picnic into a feast. From £24.
Hansen & Lydersen, 3-5 Shelford Place, N16 9HS, 07411 693712, www.hansen-lydersen.com
Neal’s Yard Dairy
For glorious simplicity when it comes to picnicking, a selection of good cheese – enjoyed with decent bread – is hard to beat. Neal’s Yard Dairy knows not only its cheese, but its cheesemakers too. Choose from fine traditional types, say a gentle Gorwydd Caerphilly or flavourful Colston Bassett Stilton, or explore the vibrant world of modern British cheeses, such as St Jude and Cardo. The dairy’s own selection boxes start at around £35.
Neals Yard Dairy, 108 Druid Street, SE1 2HH, 020 7500 7575 www.nealsyarddairy.co.uk
Jenny Linford is author of ‘Food Lovers’ London’ (Metro Guides, £12.99)