A sumptuous gourmet picnic washed down with Perrier-Jouët, prepared and served by your own butler in Green Park? It can only be the DUKES LONDON luxury picnic in the park service
Words: Madeleine Howell
Ian Fleming was a regular at DUKES LONDON in Mayfair, and the legendary bar is even said to have inspired James Bond’s infamous preference for a martini that is shaken, not stirred. But summertime is the season for picnicking – a British tradition that DUKES has perfected with its new picnic in the park offering.
As well as a picnic blanket and your own personal butler, DUKES LONDON will provide you with a hamper packed with traditional treats including Scotch eggs, broccoli quiche sprinkled with pine nuts, poached salmon with lemon mayonnaise, and artisan cheese paired with scrummy chutneys.
The accompanying salads have a European slant – a light feta and mint salad evokes Greek holidays in the Mediterranean sun, and the spinach ricotta samosas are hard to resist. I also particularly liked the tomato brochette with courgette and halloumi on the vegetarian menu – all, of course, best washed down with a generous glass of fizz.
If you haven’t already over indulged, make sure to save room for the rich chocolate mousse with fresh raspberries or the creamy rice pudding crème brulée – it’s a little pot of vanilla heaven. The idyllic alfresco setting is perfect for a birthday party with friends or for a romantic date (provided the sun shines – but rest assured, you can always retreat to the Cognac Garden back at the hotel in case of an untimely downpour). I love it that workers in Central London can even book in as a way to reclaim their lunch break and break the tedious cycle of scoffing lunch al desko.
The children’s menu is also sure to keep little ones happy with pigs in blankets, homemade crisps and a gluttonous strawberry trifle. Why not book in for a play date that’s really all about you?
Picnic/Vegetarian Picnic: £35 per person. Children’s Picnic: £12 per person. Dukes Hotel, 35 St James’s Place SW1A 1NY; 020 7491 4840; dukeshotel.com