What better way to make the most of sunny weather than a picnic? Rather than stocking up on shop-bought treats which can be high on cost and low on flavour, think about stuffing your hamper with food you've knocked up yourself. You'll have earned some time lounging in the sun (hopefully) after all that time in the kitchen.
No British picnic would be complete without a batch of sausage rolls. These might look more taxing than they really are - you'll be done inside half an hour. Scotch eggs are another crowd pleaser and these ones are just as delicious whether they are hot or cold. You should also think about knocking up some quick dips like this cheese one or a classic hummus. This sort of grab-and-go food is perfect when you're outdoors as people can munch it easily, without the need for plates and cutlery.
Veggie scotch eggs
Inspired sandwich options
Long gone are the days of egg mayo on soggy white bread, we're now heading towards a new sandwich frontier. The coronation chicken baguette above is easy to knock up and you can make it as spicy as you like by increasing or reducing the curry powder quota. These mozzarella and pastrami versions are made from a hollowed-out loaf, so we're basically talking about a sandwich/pie hybrid.
You don't have to stick to the script either - so feel free to pack it with whatever you fancy. Prawns and spicy mayo with crisp lettuce takes some beating. You can also mix things up by offering a dessert option, like these chocolate sandwiches.
More sandwich choices:
Chicken and egg mayo
Something sweet to round off the outdoor meal can make your picnic really stand out. These mini treacle tarts can be whipped up in 20 minutes, or you could go all out with these bite-size chocolate muffins.
If you're planning sporty activities (we're thinking a gentle game of Frisbee, not a full-on five-a-side match) something a little lighter might be good, such as these lemon drizzle slices or orange shortbreads.