Now Summer is officially in full flow – we can finally dust off our garden furniture, fling open our garden doors and shout hooray! Let’s face it, who doesn’t love a summer party and entertaining outside when the weather lends itself to it? Whether it is a summer shaded picnic, among beautiful blooms, or a more formal outdoor soiree in the golden evening light, we need to make the most of outdoors entertaining while we can. This month with the help of picnic styling queen Carole Bamford we will offer our guide to outdoor summer entertaining.
Lady Bamford, OBE
Q: What’s the best location for summer picnicking eg. Park/garden/square
A: I love being as remote as I can so the middle of a field surrounded by nature would be my ideal location.
Q: You are renowned for your exquisite taste, how would you dress your surroundings?
A: I don’t really dress the surroundings – I like to keep things as pure and unfussy as possible, and enjoy being surrounded by the sights and sounds of nature.
Q: Seeing as you have such incredible attention to detail, What is the best way to decorate your table?
A: I’ll always be inspired by the season and will use its flowers, foliage and colours to decorate the table and set the scene. My favourite tablecloth at the moment is one with a hand-blocked print from India and I like pairing it with different coloured glassware – a fresh colour like a lily of the valley green and cornflower blue or an apple green all go nicely with the blue print in the fabric.
Q: What are your favourite picnic bites and what is your preferred way of serving – (packed or al-freco) ?
A: Always al fresco. I like to have really simple, seasonal food: piles of crunchy raw vegetables with dips, some crusty bread and cheese, quiches, and tomatoes that you bite into like apples. And there’s nothing better than a crunchy English radish with butter and salt. For pudding, baskets or bowls of strawberries or other summer fruits – juicy ripe peaches, raspberries and cherries – are always popular.
Q: What is your favourite mock-tail and cocktail recipe for a picnic?
A: A Juniper Surprise – it’s something my husband and I came up with a few years ago and we both love it. In a tall glass, add 3O ml lemon juice, 3O ml ginger juice, 4 chunks of muddled cucumber, 4O ml Bombay Gin, topped with ice and tonic water. Garnished with a strip of cucumber peel.
Q: Whats the maximum amount of people you would seat at a picnic – is too many ever too many?
A: The more the merrier – I love big gatherings, with all ages, and of course I would never leave out the dogs.
Q: Perfect gifts for the host – Daylesford? Bamford?
A: I’d offer the hostess one of Bamford’s new single-note candles. They have beautiful English garden scents – iris, rose, lavender, violet and bluebell – so they are light and fresh and perfect for this time of year. And for the host a selection of Daylesford cheese.
Q: What is the best present you have ever received?
A: A picture of my grandson with my dog Bellini.
Those of you who know us, know that’s STORCX takes sustainability very seriously and this month we would like you all to think about waste, particularly with all the outdoor entertaining and picnicking this summer. There are things that you as individuals can do to contribute to the crusade to protect our planet – remember there is no planet B.
1. Don’t use plastic
This of course seems so obvious however it is easy to forget, particularly when organizing picnics outdoors. Rather than plastic water bottles use your refillable bottles. Don’t use disposable sandwich bags, invest in sandwich boxes that can be re-used and will keep your tasty bites even fresher. Use wooden cutlery rather than plastic and of course NO Straws!
2. Buy produce that does not come in plastic
Any food you purchase from the store or market try and reach for the items that have the least packaging. These are far fresher and you are supporting producers that are trying to cut plastic and help the environment!
3. Don’t waste Food
Do some gentle planning when organising your picnic. Food waste has a huge impact on climate change so try to spend some time working out exactly how much food you need for the guests.
4. Don’t blindly “recycle.”
Be a real recycler by taking time to sort out the papers, cards, plastics and foils. Don’t just blindly throw soiled or empty containers with food still attached as these will contaminate any materials that could have legitimately be re-used.
AUGUST GIFT IDEAS
With most people generally slowing down in August to enjoy the warm weather there is no better time to treat someone to a present for something for the outdoors to enjoy with friends. Our top picks are a Picnic Set Fortnum & Mason; Leather Backgammon Set from William & Son; and Pure New Wool Polo Picnic Rug – Herringbone Emerald/Brown from Tweedmill.
Happy August everyone! Enjoy the outdoors and protect our planet.
We are thrilled to announce STORCX has been nominated for the second year running for The Good Web Guide Awards 2019, in the categories for Best Start Up, Most Useful & Luxury. This is a huge accolade for us to have and this year we are determined to win! Please can we ask for your support, just click on the link! VOTE FOR STORCX
STORCX AUGUST EVENTS
All through August, The Royal Albert Hall, Knightsbridge SW7, London
Enjoy the summer season of the proms, a daily orchestral classical music concert.
Prudential Ride London
3rd & 4th August Central London
Developed by the Mayor of London and his agencies in 2013, Prudential Ride London is the world’s greatest festival of cycling. It provides a fantastic platform to help fulfil The Mayor and TfL’s goal of encouraging more people to cycle more safely, more often.
August, London South Bank, WC1
Make the most of the glorious weather by visiting The Pop-Up Underbelly Festival at London Southbank, bringing you world class entertainment right in the heart of London. Packed to the brim with all new Family Fest, Underbelly Lates, Podcast Live, and the best live circus, cabaret, comedy and music.
Notting Hill Carnival
24-26th August, Notting Hill London, W11
Notting Hill Carnival is Europe’s biggest street festival. The celebrations happen every August bank holiday weekend. See the colourful carnival parade passing through the streets of west London celebrating Caribbean culture, artistic talents and creativity; enhancement of community spirit and innovative platforms embracing cultural diversity.
Remember Keep Life Simple – #storcxit xx