When daily life feels increasingly hurried and devoid of meaningful connection, our thoughtfully curated hygge gift boxes, brimming with comforting artisan products, promise to infuse more cosiness, calm and reconnection.

Springtime Hygge: The Perfect Hygge Picnic

by Laura Donnelly on March 13, 2024

As the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, my family and I love to spend our free-time outside soaking up nature and exploring our beautiful country. We recently took a trip to Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire, one of our all-time favourite places for family outings. There's just something about the ancient ruins and the running water that makes it the perfect spot for a hygge picnic.

We've got this little nook we love, nestled among the old abbey's boulders, right next to the babbling stream. It's become our go-to spot for spreading out our picnic blanket and digging into some good food together. There's just something about being surrounded by nature that brings us all closer and helps us appreciate each other's company even more. We pay for membership to The National Trust so, for around £12 per month, we have a wealth of beautiful places dotted around the country to explore. 

Fountains Abbey

I will write a seperate blog about our favourite place, Fountains Abbey, as it truly is somewhere you need to see! But for this week's blog I thought I'd share some of our tips for creating the ultimate hygge picnic experience. From picking the right spot to packing the perfect snacks, I'll show you how to make your outdoor meal as cosy and enjoyable as possible. Get ready to embrace the warmth, comfort, and unforgettable moments that come with a hygge picnic!

When it comes to finding the perfect spot for our hygge picnic, it's all about seeking out those places that just make you sigh with contentment. Think about those nearby parks where the trees seem to whisper secrets, or those scenic overlooks that take your breath away with their beauty. Even our own garden has a way of wrapping us up in a cosy blanket of tranquility. The key is to find a place where you can escape from the chaos of everyday life and just soak up the simple pleasures of nature. For us, that's what hygge is all about – finding those moments of peace and connection in the great outdoors.

Fountains Abbey perfect picnic spot

Now, onto the star of the show: the food! Picture this: hearty sandwiches, delectable nibbles, and mouthwatering snacks that you can enjoy with ease. And let's not forget about creating that cosy atmosphere – if you have the space, bring along some soft blankets or cushions to lounge on. Of course, when we're out and about, we make do with what we've got – a couple of backpacks doubling as seats, or simply spreading out our coats for a makeshift picnic spot. So, let's dive into our handpicked selection for the ultimate picnic spread:

Savoury Tartlets: Prepare mini tartlet shells (or you can use the ready-to-roll pastry from the supermarket) and fill them with a variety of savoury fillings such as caramelised onions and goat cheese, spinach and feta, or roasted vegetables with houmous. These bite-sized treats are easy to transport and offer a burst of flavour with every bite. 

Savoury Tartlets

Grilled Chicken and Veggie Wraps: Grill marinated chicken breast until cooked through and slice it into strips. Lay out whole-grain wraps (or easily make your own with 200g self-raising flour and 220g of Greek yoghurt mixed together, rolled into 4 seperate wraps and fry in a pan for 2 minutes each side) and layer them with the grilled chicken strips, sliced avocado, roasted red peppers, spinach leaves, and a dollop of houmous. For the marinade - 50g of Greek yoghurt mixed with a tsp each of ginger puree, garlic puree, garam masala, cumin, mild chilli, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. 

Mason Jar Salads: Layer your favourite salad ingredients in mason jars for a convenient and portable meal option. Start with a dressing at the bottom, followed by hearty vegetables, grains or pasta, protein (such as grilled chicken or chickpeas), and finally, leafy greens. When it's time to eat, simply shake the jar to mix everything together.

Mason Jar Salad

Herbed Potato Salad: Boil baby potatoes until tender, then crush them, air fry for 10-15 minutes then toss them with a tangy dressing made from Greek yogurt, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and fresh herbs like dill and chives.

Caprese Skewers: Thread cherry tomatoes, mozzarella balls, and fresh basil leaves onto skewers for a classic Caprese salad on a stick. Drizzle with a sticky balsamic glaze and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Fruit and Cheese Board: An assortment of sliced fruits (such as grapes, strawberries, and apple slices) and cheeses (such as brie, cheddar, and gouda) on a platter. Add some nuts, crackers, and a jar of honey for dipping to create a beautiful and satisfying spread that everyone will love.

Homemade Granola Bars: Whip up a batch of homemade granola bars packed with oats, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and a touch of honey or maple syrup for sweetness. These hearty and wholesome bars make a perfect on-the-go snack for your picnic adventures. It's so easy! On a baking sheet, mix toasted oats with butter, honey, nuts, seeds, raisins...even chocolate chips...and bake in the oven for 25 minutes. 

Granola Bars

Lemon Blueberry Muffins: Bake a batch of lemon blueberry muffins for a delightful sweet treat that's easy to enjoy outdoors. The bright citrus flavour pairs perfectly with the burst of juicy blueberries, making these muffins a crowd-pleaser for all ages.

Iced Tea or Infused Water: Stay hydrated with a refreshing beverage like homemade iced tea or infused water. Brew your favourite tea and chill it with ice cubes, or infuse water with slices of lemon, cucumber, and mint for a refreshing and hydrating drink.

Grilled Chicken Skewers: Marinate bite-sized pieces of chicken breast in a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and herbs (such as rosemary and thyme) for at least an hour. Thread the marinated chicken onto skewers and grill or air fry until cooked through and slightly charred. Serve the skewers with a tzatziki or barbecue sauce for dipping.

Chicken Skewers

As for activities, if you're not already on a countryside walk, keep things simple with some classic outdoor games like Frisbee, badminton, or a leisurely game of cards. Or, if you're feeling more laid-back, simply sit back and enjoy the sounds of nature while you chat, read a book, or soak up some sunshine.

And finally, don't forget to take some time to appreciate the moment. Whether you're surrounded by friends, family, or enjoying some solo time in nature, take a moment to soak it all in and be grateful for the simple joys of life.

Eva smelling a rose

So, as the weather warms up and the outdoors beckon, why not plan your own hygge picnic? With a little bit of planning and a whole lot of love, you can create a magical outdoor experience that will leave you feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and closer to nature than ever before.

Do you have any great picnic ideas or recipes you can share with us? Leave your ideas in the comments!


Please note, comments must be approved before they are published