After a weekend of thunderstorms and scorching sunshine around the country, it feels like the UK could almost be considered ‘tropical’. According to the forecast the sun is here to stay, just in time for weekends away as the school holidays begin. Whether you’re entertaining children in the wild outdoors or friends in your garden, IWOOT has a collection of ‘must have’ items for two British summer time traditions, picnics and garden parties. We hope that this list of picnic items, kitchen gadgets and garden accessories help you keep both you and your guests cool during the heatwave.

THE PERFECT PICNIC

The greatest thing about a picnic is that you can have one anywhere; you can grab a sandwich at your local supermarket in London and perch yourself on patch of grass nearby, or spend days strawberry picking and following Mary Berry’s recipes to pack with you on a walking trip to the Lake District. This IWOOT list provides you with all the essentials to make your picnic comfortable, as well as ensuring that anything you do take is kept fresh and chilled even at the height of summer.

Picnic image

1. First of all you need the perfect picnic spot. Whether you’re looking for national parks, heritage sites or just a beautiful view, The National Trust has an excellent guide to picnic areas around the UK.

2. Making sure you have the right bag is extremely important on a picnic outing, it needs to be a good size and easy to carry just in case you wander off the beaten track.

3. In order to give you a little more freedom when choosing your picnic area, ensure you take a picnic blanket with you, perfect for lying on in the sunshine and great when you’re trying to avoid mud-filled sandwiches.

4. If you will be driving or wandering for a few hours it’s important that the food is packed in an air-tight lunchbox. IWOOT has a fun selection of containers perfect for summer picnics or even as a cool and unusual present for someone this season.

My Very Healthy Snacks LunchboxYay Lunch Lunchbox

5. With the high temperatures that are predicted in the coming weeks it will be extremely important to keep yourself hydrated. Cold water and soft drinks are key components of the perfect picnic and IWOOT’s selection of chill sticks, wine chillers and beer sleeves make this not only easy, but possible for everyone.

Now, although the weather looks promising, we can’t guarantee tropical weather everyday, so if it happens to be slightly cooler than predicted on the morning of your picnic, make sure to pack a flask of something warm to keep you nice and toasty.

GARDEN PARTIES

Garden parties can be as formal or informal as you wish. They can be gracious and grand, a celebration fit only for the Queen on her Diamond Jubilee, or they can be relaxed and a great opportunity to enjoy the outdoors. However, to ensure that you are able to enjoy the sunshine with your guests we have a number of garden party ideas with tips, garden accessories and kitchen gadgets that will help you prepare for the event and make the most of your outdoor space.

1. Prepare drinks ahead and display them in jugs and glasses that match the theme of your garden or outdoor area. If you fancy a change from a BBQ, IWOOT’s tapas boards and slate serving dishes in our selection of kitchen accessories are perfect for a get-together with new friends.

Garden Trading Jug - Chalk Garden Trading Tapas Board in Beech with 3 Ceramic PotsNatural Living 7 Piece Slate Tapas SetGarden Trading Jug - Shutter Blue

2.To really impress your guests, IWOOT’s American diner style soft ice cream maker allows you to display beautifully refreshing treats with a twist on the traditional British garden party. You can even get the children to make their own using our Shake n’ Make Ice Cream maker.

3.If you want to stick to a more traditional style, tea pots and tea sets can be displayed alongside tiered cake stands to give your garden party a truly regal feel. Even your little ones can feel like princes and princesses with our Tidlo Tea Set.

4. Although we are lucky to have extremely long and light days throughout the summer months, night eventually draws in. When this happens it is important to remember outdoor lighting and the positive effect it can have on the ambiance of your garden party. IWOOT has a selection of delicate fairy lights, candles and tealight holders perfect for any garden or even as a present for her, you never know it might encourage your friend, mum or sister to have a garden party too!

Grid Tealight Holder Set Of 3 - WhiteCable & Cotton String Light 35 Balls - Mexican

We hope that this guide to picnics and garden parties has helped inspire you to spend some time outdoors with family and friends this summer. We’d love to hear about any picnic trips or garden celebrations that you have, sunshine or rain, tell us all about them in the comments below!

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Team IWOOT

Team IWOOT

Writer and expert

A hub for gifting and homeware ideas, committed to bringing you the quirkiest trends on the market.