This week we're getting the picnic down low from Toria, founder and co-director (with her sister Catherine) of GRAPE & Fig, the UK's first and finest grazing company.
Masters in catering for foodie-obsessed gatherings, they specialise in British cheese &charcuterie that's ideal for heatwave get-togethers. Their locally sourced platters are the perfect pairing for our English bubblies.
Where do you take your inspiration from?
A mix of nature, some gorgeous Instagram accounts (@EyeSwoon and @aendthesea are current faves) and the colours, textures and taste of in-season produce.
What really makes a picnic pop for you?
We prefer a little make-shift table, to make it easier to dig in - use a box, crate or even a picnic hamper, and throw over a blanket or tablecloth to give a relaxed but elevated (literally!) picnic. Use some in-season foliage and/or blooms to incorporate nature into your picnic tablescape - it makes all the difference!
Do you do things differently outdoors to indoors?
Outdoor picnics don’t have to be complicated, or cost the earth either - sometimes less is more. As long as you are picnicking in a gorgeous natural environment, and garnish with beautiful blooms (which you can forage!), you’ll be set!
What is your most unexpected pairing and your desert island dish?
Peaches with soft brie-style cheese. It’s just delicious, we’ve been adding it to all of our platters recently. But I could never do without citrus salad with goats cheese and pistachios. Salivating just thinking about it.
Where’s your favourite staycation spot for summers like these?
My little family camp where Adam (my husband) and I got married 6 years ago in Colchester - Chalkney Water Meadows. A little off-grid, bell tents to camp in, and the most wonderful setting. It never gets old.
Which of our locals would you not be able to leave without?
Peggy, the rosé spritzer is my personal favourite, though I’m expecting at the moment so it’s my friends & family who are drinking it!
Finally, we’re asking all our picnic creators to complete the following phrase.
This summer is all about unbelievably good… cheese and wine. OF COURSE!