PICNIC

WORDS & PHOTOGRAPHY: AM

The long days of summer lend themselves so perfectly to lazing about, taking in the beauty of your surroundings, listening to the birdsong and finding the perfect spot - "a place where heroes could fitly feast after victory, where weary harvesters could line up in scores along the table and keep their Harvest Home with mirth and song, or where two or three friends of simple tastes could sit about as they pleased and eat and smoke and talk in comfort and contentment" Kenneth Grahame, from The Wind in the Willows - to have your longed for picnic. The picture perfect setting demands less teddy bears picnic and rather more an alfresco feast worthy of any Merchant Ivory production - Room with a View eat your heart out.

With the location covered, aesthetics coupled with functionality are a given, we all want it to be comfortable and look nice but no one wants to drag half the household to and from their destination no matter who is coming, even if George Emerson is waiting eagerly amongst the poppies, if you are a swearing sweaty mess once you arrive it will certainly put a damper on things, so keep it simple. The weather of course plays an important role as does the company, all essential components to ensure a successful day out. 

For a flavour filled feast you really cannot go far wrong by heading to the rolling hills around Båstad, to the rare breed butcher and charcuterie Lindegrens, with delights bursting with flavours so succulent they will make your head spin. It is eleven years since David and Lina the couple who run the farm and shop settled here, they were given a cow as a wedding gift, this being no ordinary cow but rather an ancient breed rödkullan the rest was history, the cow derived originally from allmogekon which was a very common breed along the west coast of Sweden from the mid 1800's, greatly appreciated for its versatility, relatively abundant milk and flavourful meat.

So with location, the weather and the company covered, choosing quality ingredients to complement the charcuterie platter is vital. My suggestion would be keep it simple, keep it to goodies that improve in the sunshine, hard cheese becomes sweaty, so how about a delightful soft cheese, we took amongst others Saint Thibaud, but Reblochen would have been equally delightful, bread is an obvious choice naturally - we opted for homemade seed crackers and some levain from St. Jakobs - fruits of all varieties make a great dessert option and we chose cherries, peaches and nectarines all of which taste divine gently warmed in the afternoon sun, olives and other marinated delights matching perfectly with our delicious salamis such as the ones we picked up from Lindegrens - one was a calabrese and other was a delicious porky fennel delight. To drink, homemade lemonade for the children is always popular and for the adults take whatever takes your fancy, wine is always lovely, lemonade works too, elderflower cordial is also a highly appreciated refreshing delight.

So the next time you have a little free time, grab a basket of scrumptiousness, hop on your bicycle and head off for a few hours freestyle lifestyle.

AUGUST 2017