Blue skies, green grass and sunny summers call for a picnic. Fill the hamper at one of these delicious emporiums of local food on your way to your favourite field, beach or hilltop.
M6, Junction 40
Cheeses, cold meats, pies and fresh bread, this beautiful old deli in Penrith (nobly filling stomachs since 1793) is filled with Cumbrian delicacies to plunder for your picnic basket.
M6, Junction 20
Home cooked meats, homemade pies, locally baked cakes, freshly baked breads, olives, and a deli counter, this Cheshire staple is the go-to for picnics, and just off the motorway at Warrington.
M6, Junction 11
The deli counter at Essington is filled with cheeses, pates, scotch eggs and breads, but the really triumphs are the speciality pork pies and ‘baked ham, reared, cured and cooked on the farm’.
M5, Junction 10
The brand new deli at Court Farm Shop stocks a smorgasbord of cooked meats (from the farm), antipasti, pork pies, sausage rolls, filled baguettes and quiches. Don’t miss the Cotswold salami and – if you’re grilling – one of their famous and super easy barbeque packs with mouthwatering chicken, sausages and meat from the farm.
M5, Junction 11A
The star of Over Farm’s cheese counter is Smart’s Farm Double Gloucester, the cheese used in the now-famous Cheese Rolling at Cooper’s Hill. Instead of hurling yourself down a hill, they’ll take your silver in exchange for a nibble, which you can also spend on quiches, coleslaw, salads, sliced beef and homemade fudge. Customers are welcome to bring their own reusable containers for items such as olives, potato salad and coleslaw.
This beacon of farm tastiness on the A303 has a cracking deli counter with pies, quiches, sausage rolls and sandwiches. If you’re in a rush, you can call ahead to place your order (menu on the website) so it’s ready and waiting for you to whisk away.
The more unusual items in Bird and Carter’s well-stocked deli counter include smoked trout, homemade dips, homemade salads, and antipasti. Pack them in the knapsack along with fresh bread, ham, cheese and cakes for a sensational picnic.
A40, St Clears
The shelves here are packed with Welsh delicacies paired with a distinctive Spanish flavour. You’ll struggle to choose between the pickles, crackers, homebaked cakes, Spanish olives, charcuterie and Welsh cheeses but it’s guaranteed to be tasty.
Just off the road to Pembrokeshire, ‘blasus’ means tasty in Welsh and they practice what they preach. Chorizo sausage rolls, warm foccacia and herby antipasti sit alongside freshly made ciabatta sandwiches.
M4, Junction 14
Peanut butter brownies, potato salad, cheese scones, pasties and Oxford Blue cheese are some of the delicacies on offer here at Cobbs. The hamper will be heaving with goodies, but don’t forget a punnet of strawberries from the fields outside: delicious.
M11, Junction 11
Many of the products on offer at Shelford Deli are made in-house, from the ice-cream to the pesto, crispbreads, chorizo jam, infused vinegars and olive tapenade. Supplement your selection with house salads and homemade cakes which are packed and ready to go in the takeout fridge.
A1, North Muskham
Homemade pork pies, 70 English cheeses, meringues, crackers and a selection of warm morsels from the in-house bakery, Maxey’s is a family-run farm shop where flavour is king.
M1, Junction 36
Though it started life as a family butchers (and the meat is still excellent), Wortley Farm Shop’s well-selected deli counter is a fabulous place to pick up a picnic. Choose from homemade pies, sausage rolls, cooked meat, Yorkshire mayonnaise, creamed honey and feta-stuffed olives.