Wouldn’t You Though?
I love hampers with a passion, mostly because I’m massively lazy and enjoy eating with the hassle of lifting a finger (ever tried picnicking horizontally? It’s a skill you know).
I am a rampant picnicist (? yeah, let’s just say it’s a word) in the summer, always yanking my children out into the garden to bitten by strange jurassic bugs in my unruly garden while I swig something cold and try and interest the little people in olives and scotch eggs.
But I’m more interested in getting The Quince Tree in Stonor – close to Henley if you’re unsure where that is – to sort me out a proper hamper to take to the river, or onto a boat, so I can zonk out underneath the willows for an afternoon.
The Quince Tree has upped its deli offering massively recently, and are offering three different picnic packages, or if you’re fussy (comme moi) they can tailor a bespoke picnic. So think finger sandwiches, deli quiche, sausage roll, scotch egg (yesssssssss!) chocolate brownies, salads, the full works for £25 a head. They’ll even deliver directly down to Hobbs of Henley on the river if you’re planning to hire a boat.
I’d recommend doing that actually – I ordered a Quince Tree hamper last summer when I went out on the river doing a little thing for Radio Oxford. Apart from nearly crashing the boat in the first 5 seconds of driving it, trying to record my piece on my iphone with two kids screaming ‘Mummy, mummy, turn!!’ and the Hobbs man nearly having a heart attack from the docking station (or whatever you call it), it was really good fun.
We chugged up and down the river waving at grumpy men in sailor’s caps, and finally moored up safely away from all other boats, hopping onto the river bank to eat like queens, princesses and princes while I took amateur pictures of dragonflies below (*humph* look closer). Heaven.
The Quince Tree, Stonor, Nr Henley, RG9 6HE. Tel: 01491639039. thequincetree.com
Hobbs of Henley, Station Rd, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire RG9 1AZ. Tel: 01491 572035. hobbsofhenley.com