Make the most of National Picnic Week with these gorgeous Cheshire suppliers
- Credit: Brody Bourne
The great Cheshire outdoors beckons. So lay a blanket on the ground and dine out on the finest foods and drinks the county’s suppliers have to offer
The Cheshire Biltong Company
Featured on none other than Game of Thrones, the Taste Cheshire award-winning Cheshire Biltong Company has expanded to unveil a new range from beef sirloin and ostrich to kangaroo and venison, for the finest of picnics. Owners Sheryl and Ryan Walker say biltong is delicious crumbled over a mixed salad – especially when the leaves have a peppery taste, such as rocket – or with anything egg-based. And when it comes to cheeses, smoked gouda, aged cheddar, blue cheese and brie are their recommended pairings to complement the saltiness of the dried meats. ‘A favourite combination is prosciutto, peppered salami and our own chilli biltong,’ they say. White wine-drinkers will want to choose xarello, sauvignon blanc, godello, albarino or riesling to round off biltong’s salty and savoury taste, while soft red wines with a light oak aging such as grenache, pinot noir, tempranillo and syrah have subtle savoury tasting notes that enhance the flavour of biltong.
Kenyon Hall Farm
Filled with homemade and artisan goodies, grown-ups can munch away on bread rolls, cheese, cold meats, chutney, pork pies, cake and chocolate treats (and a few healthy nibbles thrown in for good measure) while the children enjoy a mini packed lunch and there’s an option for vegetarians, too. For a posh picnic box, the farm has refined and reproduced the best bits from its lockdown afternoon tea takeaway, including a variety of homemade cakes and sandwiches, artisan pork pie slices, mozzarella and roast veg tart and silky tea bags. The farm is surrounded by acres of beautiful fields, so you won’t be short of a sunshine spot to lay your rug. Included in the booking is an outdoor picnic bench overlooking the fruit fields.
Order online up to a week in advance or up to noon the day before, kenyonhall.online/product/picnic-on-the-farm
The Cheshire Treat
This new food platter-sharing company is a real treat (the clue is in the name), perfect for movie nights and long-overdue catch-ups with loved ones. Sister to Northwich florist House of Cheshire, the idea stemmed from founder Megan Gell’s love of quality food and wines. Choose from lovely picnic boards with cold meats, cheeses, crackers, deli treats and artisan breads to breakfast boards with summer fruits, yoghurts, waffles and cereals or sweet boards complete with a chocolate lover’s version of heaven or a pink sweetie paradise. Megan can also help advise on great wines to pair with each board and offers bespoke boards to meet your every desire.
A Few Scoops
If you’re in and around Manchester and ice cream is on the mind, look no further than A Few Scoops for the ultimate alcohol-infused summer delight. Tuck into an ice cream cone, ice pop or tub to take away from Jolene the tuk tuk or Dolly the ice cream bike, with cocktail flavours including old fashioned, espresso martini and vegan pina colada plus bellini and mojito sorbets and non-alcoholic coke float ice creams and cherryade sorbet. Founder Alanna Atkinson is currently developing the summer menu, but don’t panic if you’re further afield as Jolene is going on tour, stopping at Wilmslow Rugby Club on July 4 and the Tatton Park Foodies Festival from July 9-11. She has also taken up permanent residence every Friday and Saturday at Stamford Square in Altrincham as part of the Not So Secret Garden, a new community hub. Just bring your spoons.
Archers Bakers & Confectioners, Marple
Archers Bakers is home to a variety of deli goodies, including pork and beef pies that are so good they have travelled across the world. Choose from full or dinky-sized pies, vegetarian quiche (including roasted beetroot and goat’s cheese or super green), the more traditional smoked bacon and French brie quiche, or a Spanish version. Breads including rye, sourdough, donker, granary and white can be sliced to make sandwiches and for a touch of something sweet, there’s the option of bite-size portions of battenburg cake, lemon drizzle or cherry and sultana, strawberry tarts and of course, a traditional scone with jam and cream.
Promising to be packed to the brim with delicious treats, picnic hampers from Konoba (meaning ‘a place to eat’ in Croatian) are one-offs not to be missed and perfect for a post-lockdown picnic in the park with friends. The menu available for delivery on July 10 includes a starter of sourdough with Wintertarn butter before a choice of picky bits of either ham hock rillettes or chargrilled seasonal vegetables; a cheddar and caramelised red onion tart or nduja sausage rolls; and a tomato panzanella or broccoli, red onion and cranberry salad. To finish there is either millionaire shortbread or orange and almond cake. Founder and chef Kate Bielich trained at Ballymaloe Cookery School before launching the business in 2019, with the ethos of sourcing organic, seasonal and local produce as part of a zero-waste model.