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Monday 2 June 2014

Great Outdoors Eating

I think it's almost safe to step out onto our balconies, our patios and gardens or our local parks and embrace the brief window we get in the UK for alfresco eating. But, although we only get to do a few days a year in comparison to our continental cousins, that doesn't mean we can't get all the kit for it, right? These gorgeously colourful goodies will look just as cheery inside on a grey November day. Promise. 

Nothing says summer entertaining to me like a huge jug of lemonade or, just possibly, Pimms. I have a serious weakness for all things sailor, so it's unsurprising I want my grog to come served in this nautical glassware. The jug is £12, while the glass is £2.40 from Linea at House of Fraser.

How refreshing does this drink look? And how classy does this recycled glass carafe look? It might come as a slight surprise to learn this is from Lakeland and is a mere £11.99. You can also pick up three matching tumblers for £14.99. It'll also be fab for serving wine in the winter months.

But to do things on a grand scale this M&S drinks dispenser is a worthwhile investment for £15. It also comes in lime green or clear - you could tailor your drinks to match.

Moving away from the drinks for just a second, this colour dipped salad bowl is the perfect way to make a colourful summer salad look even more appealing. You can pick one up with your tomatoes from Tesco for £20.

And, to serve, Zara comes up trumps with its range of plastic cutlery, £9.99 a set. Also available in orange or green so you can co-ordinate (or mix and match) to your food accordingly.

No-one wants to spend an evening running in and out of their kitchen carrying stuff. One of these melamine trays will look brilliant with all that colourful servingware (also available in red, orange, green and white). Order one from Liberty for £24.95.

The ultimate in bright and breezy accessories has to be your very own striped sun umbrella. This one is £59.99 from Zara Home.

If you plan on venturing beyond your own back yard, plastic becomes your best friend for picnicware. Though this fluro pink tumbler is classy enough to be allowed in the house too. It's £15 from the V&A Shop. Do also check out their chunky diamond white tumbler.

Rice DK are well known for their marvellous melamine range, which includes such delights as this oh-so-pretty tumbler, £3.60 from Debenhams. Their watercolour plates are darn gorgeous too.

Unexpected find of the day goes to this tweet of a picnic plate: a mere £1.20 from Wilko (yes, Wilko do good picnic, who knew?).

For more of a tropical flavour - because if you can't go tropical on a slightly overcast British day in June, when can you? - is this melamine tropicana plate, one of a range at John Lewis. It's £3.50.

I love this new addition to the Anorak range. They've done bunnies, they've done foxes, they've done horses: now they've introduced a fab rolling hills pattern. It's available on a whole range of products, but you can pick up this melamine bowl for £5.50.

But, before you run off into those rolling hills, you'll need some way of carrying the stuff. What could be more sunshine appropriate then the Ria yellow picnic basket? It's £32 from Habitat (and I can see it easily doubling as a stylish piece of storage in my flat once its picnicking duties are over for the year). What more could you need? Ah, yes: FOOD. Take a look at some of our favourite picnic recipes for inspiration.

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