What?: “Brought to you by the creative minds behind Gingerline & Flavourology, The Picnic Hunters Club is an alfresco eating adventure for families and friend groups to enjoy (at an appropriate distance) this summer.” Ok so I have no idea what Gingerline is. My friend Tash has been a few times and has tried to explain it to me but I always get really jealous because I can’t go because children and then I switch off because I don’t want to think about the fact that other people go out after 5pm. Anyway, I guess whatever it is isn’t hugely Covid-friendly so they’ve come up with something that is and it’s this.
I don’t want to give too much away because half the fun is not really knowing what to expect, but the clue (but not the actual clues) is in the name: you turn up and you hunt for your picnic. I think I was half expecting to be digging up physical clues, but obviously that would be completely ridiculous and also it’s 2020, not 1952 – not to mention the fact that that definitely wouldn’t be very Covid-friendly judging by how many other people we saw doing the same trail. So yes, obviously the whole thing is done via an app.
Said app tracks your movements around the park, poses six easy or difficult (your choice) riddles and pings when you’ve arrived at each location. It also times you, which was a bit embarrassing since we failed one task for not being quick enough and took more than twice the estimated time overall to find our picnic. And while we’re on the subject of embarrassing, it also made us perform some pretty cringe tasks to camera/microphone that presumably the staff watch together at the end of each day and all have a good laugh at your expense (although, having said that, they all seemed really nice).
The picnic itself was really good, consisting of a selection of healthy salady bits and some cute little treats for dessert. You order your food according to your dietary requirements beforehand but I was pleasantly surprised by how similar my vegetarian picnic was to Adam’s meat one, since I usually feel like vegetarians get a bit of a crap deal when it comes to ‘options’. We also ordered little picnics for Babu and Roro, which looked lovely and were, again, pleasingly healthy, although obviously they’d have been much happier with a bag of chips, the philistines.
Where and When?: You can find your picnic in Clissold Park or Crystal Palace Park. Your starting point will be emailed to you a few days before your picnic. Trails take place on weekends until the end of August.
Best Bits: Great concept, well executed, with a genuinely delicious reward.
Worst Bits: God knows why it took us so long to solve the clues but it did, and Babu was very cross and Roro was asleep by the time we’d collected out picnic (you can skip ahead on the app and go straight to the picnic if you want to, but we thought this kind of defied the point).
Cost: A pretty spenny £34 per adult participant and £10 per child picnic (although they can join for free and share your picnic if you’d prefer).
Would We Come Back?: I’d love to do it again in a different park.
Mummy and Babu are rewarded with food post-hunt in Clissold Park, Stoke Newington.