9 fab picnic spots (and where to get your food)
Picnics are officially THE social event of the summer. Dig out your hamper and waterproof blanket, and order a bite before you find a bench - or beach - with your besties.
The spot: Littlehampton beach. A mix of shingle and sand, Littlehampton is perfect for brisk walks, playing in the waves, gazing out to sea, watching all the activity as the River Arun joins the sea, and all that other good seaside stuff.
The pick-up: Grab fresh fish and seafood, cafe classics, brunches, burgers and hot drinks from East Beach Cafe’s takeaway kiosk, directly on the beach.
The spot: Worthing beach. A buzzier beach that’s still quieter and calmer than nearby Brighton, with an Art Deco inspired pier stretching past the shingle and out to sea.
The pick-up: Crabshack overlooks Worthing Beach and serves a small, perfectly-formed menu of fresh fish and seafood including sarnies, boxes, hearty stews and sides.
The spot: Good old Brighton beach, of course. All that sea air is so good for your health! Bustling and buzzing year-round, and home to some spectacular sunsets complete with murmurations of starlings, silhouetted against the skeletal remains of the West Pier.
The pick-up: Lucky Beach Cafe. Best known for brunches and burgers, this award-winning cafe has recently branched out into pies and offers a burger pie, a dish Muddy feels everybody should try at least once in their lives. Plenty of fish, veg and vegan options available too, burger pie nonwithstanding.
The spot: Lancing beach. Easy to get to, heaps of wiiiiide open spaces and a hotspot for watersports, so there’s generally something to look at even during lockdown.
The pick-up: Perch on Lancing Beach has a kiosk open 9-4 daily serving a limited range of breakfasts, baps, lighter meals and hot drinks.
The spot: East Wittering. The less famous of the Witterings is also less crowded, easier to access and better served with local shops and amenities. The beach itself is lively and popular with surfers and paddleboarders.
The pick-up: Drift-In Surf Cafe. Drift in, grab your takeaway from an extensive menu featuring sandwiches, salads, smoothies, juices, breakfasts, pancakes an snacks, and drift right on out again.
PARKS & GARDENS
The spot: Horsham Park. A lovely green space in the heart of Horsham, with plenty of wide open spaces, more formal gardens and activity areas, and a quiet pond.
The pick-up: Kaya in the Park serves breakfasts and lunches to go, including salad bowls and sandwiches as well as snacks, burgers and dirty fries.
The spot: Petworth Park. This lovely National Trust property is a mixture of formal gardens, which are beginning to erupt into spring colour, and a wilder landscape with herds of free-roaming deer.
The pick-up: Cherry’s Deli in Golden Square, owned by author Cherry Menlove, is open for take-aways including graze boxes, soups, cakes and slices – the signature cake for Spring is a lemon, elderflower and rose sponge.
The spot: Lindfield Common. Sit and watch the world go by and let the little ones loose in the playground.
The pick-up: Slake Cafe is right opposite the village pond and offers grab and go lunch bowls as well as coffee, hot drinks and snacks.
The spot: Stanmer Park, Brighton. A mixture of green open space, a quaint village and church, and ancient woodland stretching up onto the South Downs.
The pick-up: Stanmer Tea Rooms for sandwiches, cakes, cafe lunches, hot and cold drinks and the newest addition to the menu, pizza.