Best picnic baskets: top 6 buys for the perfect al fresco luncheon | Real Homes

Best picnic baskets: top 6 buys for the perfect al fresco lunch

These best picnic baskets are perfect for beach trips and feasts on the lawn

Best picnic basket from Not On The High Street
(Image credit: Not On The High Street)

For every gorgeous summer walk, there should be a beautiful picnic basket (packed, obviously, with yummy treats). So, whether you’re driving to your favourite beach or walking to the perfect hilltop spot, we’ve got a great buy for you: we've put together a selection of the best picnic baskets so you can purchase your next sunny weather essential without further ado. Keep scrolling to find the best buys, all at today's best prices, thanks to our clever pricing widget.

When you've chosen the best picnic basket, take a look at the best picnic blankets

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John Lewis & Partners Meadow Filled Wicker Picnic Basket

(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)
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John Lewis & Partners Meadow Filled Wicker Picnic Basket

(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

1. John Lewis & Partners Meadow Filled Wicker Picnic Basket

The best picnic baskets: value and style in one

Specifications
Service for: 2
Dining sets included: Yes
Material: Wicker
Blanket included: No
Reasons to buy
+Easy to carry+Forks, knives, and spoons included
Reasons to avoid
-Crockery is plastic

This jolly little picnic basket for two from John Lewis is our favourite, not least because of the neat handle that clips together at the top, making it easy to carry this basket upright, which means less chance of opened foods spilling out. If you do get spillages, it's very easy to wipe clean the interior, and there are two full cutlery sets. The fact that both the wine glasses and plates are made from plastic isn't very glamorous, perhaps, but it certainly makes this set durable. 

  • Buy the John Lewis & Partners Meadow Filled Wicker Picnic Basket

Goods & Gadgets Wicker Picnic Basket

(Image credit: Amazon)

2. Goods & Gadgets Wicker Picnic Basket

Best value picnic basket: Keep your basket and blanket unified with this complete set

Specifications
Service for: 2
Dining sets included: Yes
Material: Leather and wicker
Blanket included: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Blanket included +Also includes a corkscrew and salt and peppers shakes
Reasons to avoid
-A tad heavy

This wicker picnic basket has literally everything you could possibly want: porcelain plates. stainless steel cutlery, glasses, but also a corkscrew, salt and pepper shakers, and even a picnic blanket. This is fantastic value for money, and looks nice too, with a contrasting black and white look. All that goodness has a bit of a heavy weight to it, but it's totally worth it if you're not carrying it too far.

  • Buy the Goods & Gadgets Wicker Picnic Basket
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Marquis & Dawe Willow Picnic Basket Set Two Person

(Image credit: Not On The High Street)
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Marquis & Dawe Willow Picnic Basket Set Two Person

(Image credit: Not On The High Street)

3. Marquis & Dawe Willow Picnic Basket Set Two Person

Best rustic picnic basket: this traditional hamper style picnic basket is the perfect gift idea

Specifications
Service for: 2
Dining sets included: Yes
Material: Rattan and leather
Blanket included: No
Reasons to buy
+ Two compartmentalised bottle holders + Natural materials
Reasons to avoid
-A bit small

For something slightly different, this hamper style picnic basket with its compartments dedicated to wine bottles is the perfect gift idea. Plates, cutlery and wine glasses are neatly stored away in the middle section, which is easily fastened using the leather strap and there’s a pen knife, salt and pepper shakes, and a bottle opener to complete the set. It's a bit small, so best for a light lunch or afternoon snack.

Fortnum & Mason Canvas best Picnic Backpack

4. Fortnum & Mason Canvas Picnic Backpack

An alternative choice from picnic royalty Fortnum and Mason, this best picnic basket for walkers

Specifications
Service for: 4
Dining sets included: Yes
Material: Fabric
Blanket included: No
Reasons to buy
+ One pocket for dining set, main pocket for food + Adjustable straps 
Reasons to avoid
-Espensive

Nothing ruins your favourite walk more than being lumbered with lugging a heavy picnic basket, which is precisely why Fortnum and Mason have created this backpack. While the inclusive dining set may lack the finesse of our first pick, with four plates, cutlery, plastic tumblers so you don’t need to worry about breaking anything, and a cheeseboard, you everything you need for a rewarding light lunch once you’ve reached your favourite spot.  

  • Buy the Fortnum & Mason Canvas Picnic Backpack

Harrington best Wicker Barrel Picnic Basket

5. Harrington Wicker Barrel Picnic Basket

For a date idea outside the box, consider this barrel picnic basket for two

Specifications
Service for: 2
Dining sets included: Yes
Material: Wicker
Blanket included: Yes
Reasons to buy
+ Comes with a cream blanket + Zipped chiller bag also included 

Grab a bottle of wine, fruit, cheese and some of yummy savoury pastries and head to your favourite spot for some chilled out downtime together. The cool bag is perfect for chilling the wine while the fleece blanket provides somewhere comfy to park your bottoms while you enjoy your meal in the sun. With plates, sturdy wine glasses and a bottle opener included, it features everything you need for a great date.  

  • Buy the Harrington Wicker Barrel Picnic Basket

If you’re looking for a good looking wicker picnic hamper with a decent price tag, this one could fit the bill. Designed for four people to dine and with plenty of space to store your special treats, this is perfect for an afternoon in the park. With tumblers instead of wine glasses and sturdy cutlery and crockery, this hamper has certainly been designed with families in mind.  

VonShef 4 Person Picnic Basket

(Image credit: Amazon)

6. VonShef Wicker Hamper Set

Looking for style without spending a fortune? Then take a look at this VonShef picnic basket

Specifications
Service for: 4
Dining sets included: Yes
Material: Wicker and cotton
Blanket included: Yes
Reasons to buy
+ Plastic glasses + Traditional hamper style 

With its traditional cotton lining and matching waterproof backed blanket, this picnic hamper set is stylish, functional and not particularly pricy. While it lacks the Fortnum and Mason name and quality (plastic glasses and non leather straps), for an impromptu march to the park to watch the kids while they play rounders, this hamper set is the perfect buy. 

  • Buy the VonShef Wicker Hamper Set

What is the best picnic basket? 

Our top pick is the John Lewis & Partners Meadow Filled Wicker Picnic Basket: easy to carry, easy to clean, and good value for money. 

How to choose the best picnic basket

Two or four people?

Most picnic baskets come with sets for two or four people. Unless you regularly have picnic with friends or family, two-people ones are lighter, more compact, and take up less room in the car/on public transport.

What's included?

At the very least, a good picnic basket should include cutlery, plates, and wine glasses. Extras may include a corkscrew, salt and pepper shakers, or even a blanket, although if you already have those things anyway, you might not need them.

Materials

Natural wicker or rattan is always best, as these materials are flexible, durable, and look good. Synthetic materials may be okay, but they tend not to have quite the same feel. 

Lined or unlined?

Without a doubt, a lined picnic basket has a more luxurious look – but how will you clean the lining if the food spills? Synthetic lining is easier to clean than cotton, and no lining at all is best if you don't want  to do any cleaning.

Handles

A picnic basket needs a good handle; it doesn't have to be real leather, but it needs to be sturdy, wide enough for you hand to slide through comfortably, and well attached. 

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