As always, the weather is ever-changing at the moment, even from hour to hour. Just yesterday, we woke up to a slight chill in the air, dreary skies and the definite need to add an extra layer of clothing. By midday, the clearing clouds, brilliant sunshine and 20C heat, had taken us all to a local wild swimming spot to dip our toes. After we'd dried off, our drive home was through thick fog and the chill in the air was back - the haar had returned and was blanketing the East Coast once more. The phrase "Four seasons in one day" really does belong to Britain.
But us Brits are a determined lot... if we have our hearts set on eating our lunch outside, a bit of dampness in the air and the need for a winter jacket isn't going to stop us! If a picnic is planned, a picnic there will be!! With the weather doing it's own thing, we can at least have control over the food elements, and leave the soggy sandwiches at home for a more exciting spread on the rug. So here are some of our favourite picnic recipes, that are perfect for travelling in tupperware and making your outdoor adventures even better.
* Once you've made a batch of our Satay Sauce, it will become a staple on your weekly list. And it's great for using as a dip with crudites to nibble on at a picnic.
* The flavours in this Gently Spiced Carrot Salad will develop even more on your walk to the perfect picnic spot.
* A tasty side to add to your feast. The Spiced Cous Cous takes just 10 minutes to throw together.
And how about tips for picking a sweet picnic spot? We're spoilt for choice with hidden spots to set up a picnic. From local parks, to sandy beaches, rolling hills, to ancient forests, Britain really does have the lions share of beautiful outdoor spaces. If only the weather would play ball more! Try to pick a spot that you won't be sharing with unwanted guests of the winged variety. Our pick would be sunny patches with a bit of shade if it gets too hot, and away from any stagnant water - plus a light breeze will minimise those bugs. If skies are threatening rain, it's best to stick a little closer to home, in case you need to make a fast getaway. And remember, it's the same rules as packing for a holiday - pack light but remember the essentials! A thick rug, preferably with a waterproof back, is a must, along with cutlery and plates - either the real deal if you're keen for an arm workout or the compostable kind for a lighter load. Kitchen roll or napkins are always useful, as is a sharp knife. And you'll be setting yourself up for disappointment if you pack the fizz and beer and forget a bottle opener - so be sure to throw one in.