Bank Holiday weekend is just around the corner – hopefully the sun will be shining and, in our house, that means picnic time. I love picnics, but, I must admit, I do find them a pain to prepare. So, I leapt at the chance to try the new ready made picnics from Carluccio’s. There are two adult picnic options at £45 for two people: Classic and Plant Power, which is vegan. Both contain focaccia, antipasto and orzo salad, plus the Classic has a chicken salad, apricot tart and almond macaroons, while Plant Power has Polpette di Fagioli and Blueberry and Polenta Cake Slice. There’s also a £10 children’s picnic, with grissini, vegetable sticks, meatballs in tomato sauce, cookie and apple juice (there’s no vegetarian option for children yet, which is why we opted for Plant Power, but I have given Carluccio’s feedback about that as I feel they’re missing a trick – particularly here in Brighton.
You book the picnic a day in advance, then pick up from your local branch – it comes in a reusable Carluccio’s cool bag with ice block – and head for your favourite spot. The children and I made for our local park, where everything was pronounced a hit, particularly the focaccia and the vegan bean balls and chickpea and aubergine purée in the Polpette di Fagioli. Sadly the focaccia also proved popular with the local herring gull population, so we were forced to go home for dessert – so delicious. This is a great idea from Carluccio’s and, although it seems pricey initially, you get A LOT of food – we had enough for lunch the next day as well – so is perfect for a special occasion. I think the children’s option is a fab idea, but the lack of veggie alternative needs to be addressed. My only other small gripe is the packaging, as I feel the plastic containers could be substituted with cardboard ones, but otherwise a great idea.