A few days ago the Joules Catalogue / Magazine (which they oh so cleverly call a Catazine) fell through my letter box. I like to have something to read whilst munching my cereal in the morning, so I decided to have a flick through. That is when I saw this picnic hamper (£65). It was love at first sight. With its multi-coloured, stripey lining, pink handle and traditional wicker basket shape it has to be the ultimate picnic hamper.
For me summer wouldn't be summer, and England wouldn't be England, without picnics. This Joules basket got me thinking, and planning the dream picnic...
£3.95 (John Lewis)
These must be just about the prettiest disposable picnic plates you could find, so pretty in fact that it would seem a crime to throw them away. Perfect for sandwiches cut into dainty triangles, or a thick slice of cake with whipped cream and fresh strawberries.
£15 With its pretty, summery pattern this plastic Cath Kidston jug cries out for homemade lemonade, or (even better) ice cold Pimm's.
I love these polka dotty tumblers and can just imagine light hearted disputes over who gets which colour (I shotgun the pink one).
£4 (John Lewis)
A picnic wouldn't be complete, quite frankly, without a raspberry pink acrylic cocktail shaker. John Lewis really do have it all covered.
For sticky fingers and catching cake crumbs: these polka dot Emma Bridgewater napkins.
For keeping tea warm, or iced drinks chilly, this vintage look flask is perfect.
£27 (Emma Bridgewater)
Go patriotic and keep your sandwiches, cupcakes and iced buns fresh in this set of 3 union jack tins.
But one of the questions is, where do you have your picnic? If you choose a clearing in the woods, then string some bunting between the trees for ultimate picnic chic. Why not these, handmade and with a cute ice cream print that will get your mouth watering...
...Or dream of floating up, up and away with this hot air balloon print.
£8.99 (Brollies galore)
If you're picnicing on the beach, then indulge ladylike fantasies with a sun parasol to keep you cool.
£8.50 (Brollies galore)
Opt for either a traditional paper version like the two above...
£29.99 (Brollies galore)
...Or a glamorous fabric version. I love the sumptuous frills on this one, and its sophisticated cream shade.
£129.99 (Brollies galore)
This broderie anglais parasol, with its vintage colour and sturdy wooden handle, is perhaps my favourite (although unforutunately also the most expensive).
A light weight scarf like this one if great for slinging over shoulders to keep off the sun.
£20 (New Look)
This basket is the perfect size for piling everything in that you need for your picnic. And with a gingham lining and handles it is just as pretty as the things going in.
£45 (John Lewis)
If you (like me) have secret dreams of skipping through the grass in a gingham or floral dress with a picnic basket hanging from your arm, then this basket is the perfect embodiment of that dream. Just add florals and floppy sunhat.
£18 (Cath Kidston)
Eating (particularly in the sunshine) always makes me sleepy. Make sure to bring a good book with you on your picnic, and a cushion as pretty as this one, and after filling yourself up on lemonade, scotch eggs and cocktail sausages proceed to fall asleep in the shade.
£30 (Cath Kidston)
Back to the 'skipping through the grass' dream... in that dream this is how I imagine a picnic blanket would look. Pastel, check, and nice and soft against bare feet.
£12 (John Lewis)
I also love this union jack picnic blanket, that comes conveniently in its own bag.
£25 (John Lewis)
If sitting on the floor isn't your style, then this matching folding chair makes the coolest picnic throne.
£16 (John Lewis)
Pretty yet practical: this polka dot cool bag is cute yet great for keeping all your food cool.
£20 (Emma Bridgewater)
But for the perfect British picnic, you really do need the perfect British cool bag.
£35 (Rare at Topshop)
Now for what to wear... to the perfect English summer picnic I would say embrace perfect English summer style. Cute, quirky and (of course), pretty.
I love the combination of the breton stripe top and Minnie Mouse skirt on this dress, and the cherry red colour seems fittingly patriotic for an English picnic.
There is such an ease to a maxi dress - just chuck it on and you have an outfit that makes a statement but keeps you cool and comfortable at the same time. Wear to a picnic and enjoy the feel of the fabric billowing and brushing against your legs as you walk to find the perfect spot to set up camp. You will feel like a hippy princess.
These short floral dungarees are fun, fabulous and would add the finishing touch to the dream summer picnic.
This smock dress is in the lightest fabric, great for keeping you cool, whilst the long sleeves keep arms safe from burning.
£10 (New Look)
And to add the final touch to your picnic - a summer hat. I love this one from New Look with its pink band and floral corsage, however you could always decorate a plain trilby yourself. Just tie a silk scarf around the band, or a piece of ribbon, and clip on a corsage if you're feeling floral.
I can now feel my stomach rumbling, crying for sandwiches, cake and strawberries. I don't know about you, but I'm in the mood for a picnic...