Hi there! My name is Alex and I'm currently undertaking my Creative Writing PhD at the University of Lincoln. I'm a big fan of lots of streaming services, books, and am a published poet! I aspire to be a multi-genre,…
Being a university student can be stressful, and after a full year of studying and assessments it’s not uncommon to feel drained when all the work is finally finished. What is key to remember, is that you deserve to be able to unwind and relax after all the hard work you’ve put in. Now with summer in full swing, there is nothing better than a picnic. In this article I’m going to suggest some food and drink options, nice picnic spots in Lincoln, and some general advice for enjoying the outdoors!
The food is always the most important part of a picnic in my opinion, so here are some of my suggestions!
Sandwiches – Everyone can make their own preferences, and it makes sure everyone has something to suit their dietary requirements.
Cheese, Crackers and Chutney – There are a huge range of cheeses, include dairy free, in most supermarkets, and this combination is not only delicious but also easy to transport!
Leafy Salad – Salads are one of the most versatile dishes in history, there are no rules, so you can make something as simple as a Caesar salad, or go fancy and make a Camargue red rice salad with feta cheese!
Fruit Salad – Having a fruit salad will really make it feel like you’re on holiday when you’re eating it out in the sun!
Pastries and Cakes – You can go savoury or sweet, or both! These foods are important because they’re practical to eat with your hands, so you’re not fumbling too much with cutlery!
Ice Creams/Ice Lollies – These are a must-have picnic food item, it’ll really bring the summer vibes!
Also, if you’re planning a picnic with friends, a good practise is assigning everyone a particular food, ie. one person does sandwiches, another cakes etc, to make it more affordable for the group!
For drinks there are countless options, and you can go alcoholic with some summery cocktails if you’d like, but here I’m going to suggest some non-alcoholic options!
Still – Still water, plain and flavoured, is cheap and readily available in most shops – Volvic is an especially affordable brand!
Sparkling – Fizzy drinks like Coke, Pepsi, Fanta, Sprite, and even Irn Bru are readily available in most shops, in both can and bottle form, so you can just pick which is easier for you to carry around!
Juices – Juices from brands like Innocent and Tropicana can be great for a picnic, making the event feel even more summery, but don’t knock supermarket-own juice brands – they’re much cheaper and still taste great!
Coffee – Iced coffees in my opinion are one of the best summer drinks out there, and there are plenty of brands out there that do ready-made iced latte/mocha/cappucino, whichever takes your fancy! You could bulk buy cans of Costa or Starbucks iced coffee, but Arctic is a good brand found in supermarkets.
Homemade Cordials – If you have some time on your hands, you could make use of nature by making your own cordials! Flowers like elderflower, violets and dandelions are common and easy to collect, and there are countless easy online tutorials for how to turns these flowers into cordials (typically you only need the flowers, water and sugar!).
Bits and Bobs
Blankets – These are a must for a comfortable picnic – if you can have a base layer of tarp over your picnic spot before layering softer blankets on top, then you’ll have less laundry to do later too!
Cushions – You want to make sure you don’t become a victim of cramp, so having cushions for lumbar support are a great help!
Cutlery and Crockery – It’s all very well having food and drink… until you realise you’ve got nothing to eat and drink it with! Paper cups, wooden cutlery, paper plates and napkins are available from most supermarkets, but if you can bring your own travel cups or cutlery/plates from home that you’ll re-use in the future, then that’s even better!
Storage – You want to make sure you have the right gear for transporting all your picnic supplies, and of course the main bit of gear is the classic picnic basket. These are easy to purchase online, but if you find it’s too expensive then it’s totally okay to use backpacks with your food in tupperware. Also for drinks a cool bag/box for keeping them cool is ideal, but if you can’t get that then a simple bottle shopping bag will serve you well.
Wireless Speaker – Something to really add to the occasion would be music, so if someone has a wireless speaker you can make use of then go for it!
Suncream – Two things are certain to ruin a picnic: sunburn and sunstroke. Keeping hydrated is important, but making sure you’re wearing suncream is essential for your health and comfort.
Appropriate Clothes – Since it’s summer you want to make sure you’re dressed for the weather, light fabrics in light colours are best, but at least try and have a sunhat and shades on hand!
Bags for Rubbish – It’s important that you have bags on hand for your rubbish so you can leave your picturesque picnic spot looking just as good as you found it!
Liquorice Park – Located off Yarborough Road, this park offers a gorgeous view of Lincoln, which is a great setting for your picnic!
The Arboretum – Located off Monks Road, this huge, gorgeous park is the perfect pictureque space for a picnic!
Delph Pond – Located on Campus near the Isaac Newton Building, by this small, serene pond is a huge green space under the sun that provides plenty of space for a picnic!
So grab your friends, food, drinks, as many blankets as you can and take some time to decompress from all the hard work you’ve accomplished this past year. As a student sometimes it’s difficult to find time or justification to unwind, but trust me, you more than deserve it. So go out with a picnic, and keep safe in the sun!
- Life skills