With the Sun set to return just in time for National Picnic Week from 22nd to 28th June, there is no time like the present to dust off that basket, plastic cutlery and gingham blanket to celebrate the great tradition of picnicking!
Where did it all begin?
The history of an English picnic dates back as far as the Middle ages when it was practical for a huntsman to dismount his horse for a break and a bite to eat. Officially the word picnic first appeared in English, in a letter by Lord Chesterfield in 1747, who associates the dining experience with card-playing, drinking and conversation. Dictionaries agree that it entered the English language as a respelling of the French word, pique-nique.
www.nationalpicnicweek.co.uk tell us these top ten facts about picnics….
1. The average person picnics at least three times a year, that’s 94 million picnics per year.
2. According to research done in 2013, the average family spends £26 per picnic totalling £2,479,720,000.
3. Originally, a picnic was a fashionable social event to which each guest contributed some food.
4. The French started the modern fashion for picnics when they opened their royal parks to the public after the revolution of 1789.
5. The use of the phrase “no picnic” to describe something difficult dates back to 1884.
6. The most popular picnic snack fifty years ago was the humble cheese sandwich. Now, it’s a bag of crisps.
7. The most popular day for picnics in the US is the 4th of July. In Italy it’s Easter Monday. In France, it’s Bastille Day. In the UK, it’s (weather dependent) rapidly becoming National Picnic Week.
8. Fortnum & Mason, the London department store, claims to have invented the Scotch Egg in 1738, they still sell them today.
9. Picnic food is as popular as if it has ever been. In 2012, an average of ten grams of meat pies and sausage rolls were consumed per person per week.
If you’re struggling for ideas on where to go this weekend, then the team at Culture Trip have pulled together the 5 best picnic spots in Manchester including the picturesque Chorlton Meadows where you won’t be short of a spot to lie out your blanket and watch the world go by, or the historic Heaton Park, Manchester’s largest green space with plenty to do and see. Both boast excellent transport links to the city centre or parking close have a read at https://bit.ly/313zA7A
Alternatively if you would prefer somewhere a little more central at the moment then our personal favourites are Cathedral Gardens, in the shadow of Manchester Cathedral and Chetham’s School of Music, New Islington & Ancoats named as Manchester’s most up & coming area; or how about Sackville Gardens just off Canal street where you will find a monument to Manchester’s very own Alan Turin.
If in traditional Manchester style the weather changes this weekend, then don’t let this dampen your spirits, push back the furniture, roll out that blank and have a “carpet picnic”!
So, if that has got you all excited for something a little more than quiche or a cocktail sausage, then why not enter our fantastic Mamucium giveaway with a chance to win a luxury picnic box for 4 people – head over to Mamucium’s Facebook page to enter.