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Gone Picnicking: Where to find the best spreads for your next afternoon picnic

The city’s best spot to lay out your checkered blanket, and most importantly, delicious hampers packed to the brim with itty-bitty treats. 

The warm, sunny weather has coaxed us out of cosy duvet dens. With the long Easter weekend right on the horizon, it’s the perfect excuse to get dressed, head outdoors and enjoy a breath of fresh air. A picnic seems like a fantastic way to soak up the good weather: delicious spreads, carefree mood, beautiful views with the light graze of a crisp springtime breeze. Ah, bliss. A considerable alternative to a far-flung vacation.

Busy Hong Kong may not be entirely calming — the sounding of an impatient taxi horn is never far — but the city has its fair share of greenery that one can happily escape to for a moment of peace and quiet (in Hong Kong standards). Hilly landscapes over at Victoria Peak Garden, far far away from the action or the shaded lawns nestled under the shadows of towering sky-rises at Tamar Park are both comfortable locations to stretch out and relax. For picture-perfect views of the Victoria Harbour vantage, West Kowloon Art Park is your best bet, with plenty of opportunity for photogenic Instagram snaps. 

For destinations with furry companions in mind, consider the grassy plains over at Cyberport Waterfront Park or perhaps, trailing a little further than your usual path, over to Penfold Park, a luscious ovular patch of green of over over 20 acres in the centre of the Shatin racecourse. There’s pounds to splash about in and endless fields to run across. Note: Closed on Mondays and Race Days.

The ambience is only as important as the location or food. While a classic red-and-white checkered throw with a sturdy wicker hamper will do, sometimes a well-planned picnic warrants something a little more extravagant, more dramatic. Might as well make a fabulous afternoon out of it. A cosy nook set up with pillows, throw, lanterns and a teepee? Picnicking, the luxury picnic stylist will be your answer to your pretty picnic prayers.

And finally, we arrive at the main event: Picnic hampers. There’s a lot to choose from, naturally, but there’s one for every type of outing. Take your fancy from our list below:

Header image courtesy of Rajasthan Rifles.

These jewel-adjacent pastries from Date by Tate may not come packed in a traditional wicker hamper, but rest assured that the pieces in the Date Tasting Box (HK$160) will be a worthy treat on picnic blankets (especially for photos). A sampling of the two-Michelin’s sweet specials, admire the delicate construction and nibble on the rich chocolate brioche, lemon pound cake and Chinese almond financiers. The set is made for two, so grab a dear friend and a flask of warm tea — it’s a long afternoon scheduled for intimate chatter. Looking for more? The patisserie’s newest honey and strawberry tart (HK$106 for two) is a sweet and refreshing treat; made with lemon sponge, strawberry compote and local honey diplomate cream all loaded into in a vanilla tart shell. 

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15 years of experience has given Relish a fairly good read on feeding crowds in Hong Kong. The events and catering company curates a regular selection of pre-prepped meals and seasonal hampers fit for all types of occasion. There are thematic meal-packs like ones for high-tea or an at home barbecue, but for the Easter weekend, it’s an afternoon outdoors with the at-home Easter picnic (HK$500). Whatever else? A decadent three-course spread packaged with signature Easter staples: hot cross buns, cheese and charcuterie. There’s even a DIY Easter egg basket and egg hunt kit with sweets from Sim’s Sweet Shop.

Relish’s At Home Easter Picnic and serves a minimum of two people.

A picnic basket from fine foods purveyor, Fortnum & Mason is classic. Iconic even. Could you even experience an authentic picnic spread if not? Without surprise, the British brand is rolling out with an extensive selection of picnic hampers — for all kinds of picnic-er. The Easter selection will satisfy all cravings for season staples. Yes, hot cross buns and chocolate Easter eggs are included. The Easter Breakfast Box (HK$1,129) feels like a good grab-and-go for romantic picnic cliff-side at dawn, if that’s how you’re choosing to celebrate Easter Sunday. Or perhaps something with more variation: the Honey Celebration Hamper (HK$3,388) is a dedicated showcase to the sweet condiment, while the Teatime Treats Hamper (HK$1,694) is the one that will recreate a luxurious afternoon tea in a spot of your choosing. There’s a world of choice, so pick and curate one of your own. It’ll most certainly be a wonderful time.

Planning a trip up to The Peak? Do it right and slot in an afternoon picnic overlooking the cityscape after you make the climb to the top. Or ride the trolley, we won’t judge. Rajasthan Rifles has the perfect hamper in mind, having done all the heavy work — the blankets, flatware and flask all come included. All you have to do is clear out an afternoon, kick off your shoes and relax. Read a book. Sketch the natural landscape. Lay back and cloud-watch. Indulge in the restaurant’s classic Anglo-Indian plates too, the samosa chutney is a fabulous starting point.

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In all successful dinner parties, it’s the bottle of bubbly and the cheese and charcuterie board that wins over the evening. Close friends are thrown in for good measure. Afternoon picnics would run along a similar trajectory. Beloved brunch spot Classified seems to agree with a curated handful of hampers that nod to the ultimate trio, and then some more. For more particular palates, there’s a range of cheese-centric hampers (The Cheese Connoisseur (HK$1,888) is by far the most indulgent with eight types of cheeses). For picnics, however, we’ll be going for the A Taste of Home hamper (HK$1,488), a reliable replica of a well-stocked pantry on-the-go. A swipe of cream cheese over a generously stacked Spanish Serrano ham on the sourdough loaf will whip up the perfect afternoon sandwich snack.

It’s an honest tribute to picnic season with The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong’s picnic for two (HK$788), from the pristine crockery right down to its iconic red-and-white checkered blanket. Inside, a gourmet selection of delicious staples, dainty rolls and sandwiches and house-made juices packed to the brim. The five-star hospitality doesn’t end there, the hotel is offering the service a dedicated picnic butler, yes picnic butler, who will hand-deliver the basket and help with the setting up. Of course, why would we even question anything less? The picnic butler won’t come to bring back the basket, sadly. Now, all you need to do is sit back, enjoy and not to forget to return the hamper.

Orders for The Ritz-Carlton picnic for two hampers must be placed 24 hours in advance.

Lorria Sahmet
After two years writing in luxury retail, Lorria now covers food and drink happenings in Hong Kong. When not taste-testing for the best fries in the city (shoestring, always!), find her cosied up at home skimming through Netflix or nurturing baby plants in her indoor greenhouse. She is happiest by the ocean with a giant fishbowl-glass of Aperol Spritz.
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