The weather outside was frightful, but the picnic was so delightful…last week, Mercure London invited me along to Somerset House for an evening picnic. Casually strolling through Stepney with the sun shining down on my face, I was totally up for sandwiches and bubbles in the sunshine.
Then I stepped off the train at Temple to a torrential downpour. Classic British weather, eh?
Thankfully, Mercure had a snazzy tent for us to shelter under with our wicker baskets and drinks, presenting myself and my picnic date Erica with a lovely hamper of tasty goodies to share and a bottle of prosecco. Who cares what the weather’s up to when you have shelter, booze and good company, right?
Tom’s Kitchen restaurant at Somerset House had kindly prepared some tasty picnic baskets full of goodies to make sure we were well fed. I loved their salmon bagel, and the chocolate popcorn was an absolute treat to snack on while we caught up and chatted. We also got some Bottle Green sparkling drinks in case the booze got too much (ha!), and some DELICIOUS hummus, perfect for dipping the vegetable Kettle Chips in (unless you’re an odd one with a beetroot fear. Aka me).
Exclusive to Mercure Hotels, this Bosco Dei Cirmioli Prosecco is billed as the ‘perfect picnic’ bottle of fizz. And after drinking (quite) a few glasses myself (hic), I can totally back up this claim. Really soft and easy to drink – although be careful when you’re popping the cork or you might end up with a red nose a la Erica – it’s quite a lively one. At £26, it’s a decent price for how good it is, especially when you think of the prices in hotel bars usually!
As an extra treat (as if hampers and fizz wasn’t enough eh?), we were given a VIP wine tasting from Susie and Peter, masters of wine and Saturday Kitchen wine experts. And also, married. Aw! We sampled some tasty summery rose and a rich, full-bodied red as well as finding out some facts about the wine world. Most of which I’ve now forgotten. I’m definitely blaming the prosecco for this one.
After chatting away in the tent for ages, we grabbed our awesome purple picnic rugs (waterproof on the bottom, SO handy!) and popped round to the front of Somerset House to catch some of the entertainment. I’ve only been there a handful of times, but always forget how majestic and stunning a building Somerset House is – gorgeous architecture just MADE for Instagrammin’.
Out in the main courtyard, an a capella group were busting out renditions of pop hits – everything from Whitney to Jessie J. They looked like they were having THE MOST fun EVER, and I just want to join their gang. Please?
Mercure had done a fabulous job of decorating the space, with a floral display and giant biscuit cut-outs – as well as a Teapot photo opportunity. Well, we wouldn’t be bloggers if we didn’t get ourselves papped in fun places, right? The photographer was brilliant, and took SEVEN Polaroids so we could have one each to take away with us. Although, it doesn’t look like it, but I was sat in the most awkward position and thought my legs were going to give up by the time number seven had come around.
He also had amazing shoes. Want.
Despite a shaky, showery start, Picnic With Mercure was SUCH a fun evening – and getting to spend it with Erica, Jasmin, Leanne, Angela, Jaclyn and Amanda made it even better. Thanks to Mercure for having me along!
What are your picnic hamper essentials?