Tuesday, 28, July 2015

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The River Lee

Cork: A Picnic Paradise

Cork Picnic Image 1

And there’s nowhere more idyllic to enjoy an al fresco dining experience than stunning Co. Cork. From your base at the  River Lee Hotel in bustling Cork city, you can pick up tasty ingredients; we recommend its famous  English Market where you’ll find fresh organic and artisan products galore. What’s more, as part of their great Family Package, the River Lee Hotel will provide a blanket and picnic basket containing cutlery and glasses (see below); simply mention it to staff when you arrive. 

Now that you’re all packed and ready to go, it’s time to decide on your destination. You can either stay local for your picnic;  Fitzgerald Park is a leafy oasis on the edge of the city. Or if you fancy going further afield, we suggest you head out into the lush Cork countryside to find your perfect picnic destination. The charming seaside town of  Kinsale is located just 25km from the city. Its Old Head is ideal for picnics, as it offers stunning panoramic views of the bay.  Blarney is lovely too; visit its majestic  medieval castle and kiss its iconic  Blarney Stone (guaranteed to grant you the ‘gift of the gab’!) before tucking into your feast on the castle’s unspoilt grounds. For golden sandy beach, make the trip to West Cork;  Barley Cove is simply stunning and is perfect whether you’re after a lazy afternoon, or want to try your hand at some fun  watersports. Selected your scenic destination? Our handy checklist will ensure you don’t miss anything... 

Cork Picnic Image 2

BLANKET / TABLECLOTH: A cosy knit looks the part, but if you’re sitting on the ground, you’re better off packing a vinyl tablecloth to keep everything clean and dry.

BASKET & COOL BOX: Freeze some bottles of water and pop them in with the cold foods; they’ll keep everything fresh and also double up as a refreshing drink during your picnic. 

Cork Picnic Image 3

CUTLERY: Hang on to plastic cutlery from takeaways and delis; they’re lighter and handier to transport than the real deal. And don’t forget to pack a corkscrew!

COLD FOODS: There are plenty of delicious cold food options; think slices of ham / turkey, cheese, boiled eggs, tomatoes and gherkins. Veggies will appreciate a tasty quiche too.

DIPS: Pack some savoury dips like hummus, tzatziki and beetroot, and bring along a selection of crusty breads, carrot sticks and celery for dipping. Yum!

SALADS: Prepare and toss salads, but bring along your dressing and add when you arrive. Mason jars are handy for layering your salad, plus you can see exactly what’s inside. 

Cork Picnic Image 4

Image via  forkful.com

COVERS FOR FOOD & DRINK: Get creative with covers for food; an elasticated shower cap works well for big bowls, while paper cupcake holders on top of glasses will keep pesky flies out of your drinks.

CONDIMENTS: Pack mayonnaise, ketchup and other sauces in small tins, or empty tic-tac boxes! Don’t forget salt and pepper shakers, but stick some sellotape over the tops to avoid spillage.

DRINKS: Paper or plastic cups are ideal, and a muffin tin works really well as a tray to stop them being knocked over.

NAPKINS: Eating outdoors can be messy, so load up on napkins and kitchen paper. Wet wipes will come in handy too, especially if you have kids with you. 

Cork Picnic Image 5

SWEET TREATS: Very necessary! Ice-cream can be tricky to keep frozen though, so pack lots of frozen fruit, jelly and yoghurt. We love these fruit ‘kebabs’!

FIRST AID KIT: There may be insect stings, or scraped knees if children are playing. Suncream will hopefully be required too!

GAMES: Pack a frisbee, football, pack of cards, and any other travel games you have handy – perfect pastimes to aid digestion.

MUSIC: Finally, create a summery playlist for the whole family to enjoy. For an instant speaker effect, pop your phone in a glass.