“Lazing on a sunny afternoon” sang The Kings as they extolled the virtues of “The Summertime”. Missing from the lyrics though were the perfect addition of verses about a summer picnic to accompany the relaxing hours spent in the local park or on the beach.
The staff at Dunn’s Bakery certainly know that the best way to spend a day in the sun is with picnic nibbles and they have a fantastic range of items to choose from whatever the location.
The essentials of a very British day out
Baked goods are just one part of the archetypal picnic. Seen as quintessentially British, it’s a meal which everyone loves. Traditional wicker baskets or modern cool boxes packed full to the brim with delicious finger food and drinks full of soft fruits and even perhaps a bottle of Pimms.
Those in Crouch End wanting to enjoy a picnic don’t have to travel too far to enjoy the fare of this famous north London bakery. Heading off to nearby Alexandra or Finsbury Park, sharing sandwiches with family and friends whilst catching up on news is the only way to spend a warm, Sunday afternoon.
Unpacking their delicious all butter puff pastry sausage rolls, mature cheddar cheese and bacon turnovers and choosing between the range of sandwiches made with Dunn’s beautiful breads, many must wonder what the origins of the picnic are.
Where it all started
This very British summer tradition has a very long history and dates back to Medieval times in England and France. The ‘pique-nique’ was a meal eaten during hunting meets in the countryside on both sides of the Channel and the name was formally introduced in the 1600s to describe the men who supplied the wine to accompany the meal.
The early French picnic eaters would certainly have enjoyed their traditional dish of quiche. Fast forward to the 21st century and those in the UK can also take a variety of flavours of this egg-based favourite to their al fresco feast with the choices from Dunn’s.
The modern picnic
The Medieval hunter picnic fans would nod with approval at the modern day food basket eaten by the local river. Chunks of watermelon and cold chicken legs along with Dunn’s meat or vegetarian pasties are accompanied by light and refreshing drinks filled with slices of strawberry and cucumber.
A woman before her time, even Mrs Beeton foretold of the picnic of the future. She said that those in the Victorian era should pack cheesecakes and today hampers are not complete without similar items such as the exquisite fresh cream scones, chocolate mousse slices and pieces of fresh cream gateaux made fresh at Dunn’s each day.
For those who want to take all the work out of making sandwiches, there are a number of platters which can be ordered from bakery owners Christopher and Christina at Dunn’s Bakery. Bread rolls, bagels and French sticks can be filled to the brim with traditional fillings such as ham, cheese or tuna or a more exotic mix of prawn, smoked salmon and stilton can be requested. With the addition of soft drinks and kettle chips also available, all that’s needed is to pack a blanket and head off to find a lovely location to enjoy it all and to let the world go by.
The Kings had the right idea when they suggested lazing on a sunny afternoon; they just needed to add some Dunn’s cheese straws for the ultimate chill out experience.