run out of womb

... learning how to be a mum from scratch

Tuesday 25 June 2019

Review: Picnic hampers from Carluccio's

Before I became a parent I loved the occasional summer picnic: a lovingly-prepared smorgasbord of cheese and crudites and cakes and olives and... 
Then parenthood meant making picnics A LOT. Most days out involve some kind of outside lunch prep: slices of bread rapidly whacked together to form a sandwich; a bag of Babybels. Fruit that's likely to squash and/or explode en-route. A pack of crisps, if they're lucky. Shoved in a bag with a bottle of water.
The picnic has never been so unglam. And it takes a surprisingly long time to put together every time too! All the wrapping, veg chopping, fridge-ransacking.. 

So you can imagine how excited I was to check out Carluccio's brilliant picnic hampers - especially the kids' one..

It's only £10 and whilst each bag is aimed at one child, it easily fed my four-year-old and toddler - what with a pot of yummy meatballs with tomato sauce, grissini breadsticks, crudites, and apple juice, and a really delicious chewy chocolate chip cookie - it bought the fun back to picnicking.

And we grown-ups had our own Carluccio's picnic too: for £45, you get a three-course meal in a Carluccio's coolbox - it was really generous portions and we were stuffed by the end. We kicked off with antipasti - beautiful prosciutto, mini bellpeppers, olives (which the kids nicked!) and caperberries; then there was a really filling herby chicken salad, with beans, baby potatoes, mixed leaves and two separate pots of toppings - garlicky breadcrumbs and balsamic. Because they were kept in their own pots, the salad was super-crisp rather than soggy. 

To go with it, we loved the orzo salad with barley, black rice, crunchy broccoli, peas and edamame. And when we got to course three - a beautiful apricot tart and chewy almond macaroons.. We were all lazing on the grass ready to snooze (us) and run around the park seeking out the playground (kids). Carluccio's served up such a relaxing family picnic - you don't have to worry about anything, as the plates, cutlery, napkins and cool ice pack is all there too.

The only downside is the amount of plastic packaging - it made me feel guilty to see all our empties piled up. But we've been reusing the pots and coolbag loads with our own (inferior!) home-packed picnics ever since, and remembering this luxury one. We recommend it!

You can order your own by calling your local Carluccio's branch - we went to the Hampstead one, and with the Heath a few steps away, it's the ideal pitstop to pick up your picnic.

* We were invited to try out the picnic hamper, but rest assured we're seriously gobby and only rave about things we really love.

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