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Picnics are quintessentially British – be it in the country-side or in one of London’s many beautiful parks tourists and locals alike still love to dine al fresco with friends and family. Now, with the help of Dukes Hotel picnics are bigger and better than ever! The award winning hotel are offering guests the opportunity to enjoy a picnic whilst removing the hassle or complications executing the perfect picnic can provide!

photo 5 (1)Renowned for embracing all that is British, DUKES autumnal gourmet hamper options includes a private picnic butler service exclusively for those looking for a quintessentially luxurious English experience. DUKES’s autumnal picnic service now offer hot water bottles, shrugs and heated blankets to ensure you stay warm and toasty! Guests can have their gourmet hamper delivered to their desired picnic location at a time to suit, with a private butler to deliver and serve the picnic. He will even clear up after you!

Despite living in London having a gourmet picnic hamper provided was something that we never even realised was possible, so we set off for Dukes Hotel looking forward to a new experience. Upon arrival we were greeted by our Butler who introduced himself and led us to the beautiful Green Park which boasts stunning views of Buckingham Palace. During the short 3 minute walk to the park our butler explained some of the areas history and heritage which was a nice touch and added an interesting element to the beginning of our experience.

When we arrived at the park we were asked where we would like to set up our picnic, when we found our spot looking across the green landscape our butler set up the picnic. Visually the set-up is incredible – blankets, hot water bottles, wine and sparkling cutlery temporarily brought a 5-star restaurant table to the grass of Green Park. It was now time for the wow moment as the food was presented – often with food of the highest quality you are provided with the smallest portions but that certainly isn’t the case when the Dukes Hotel are in charge. Seemingly endless amounts of hot and cold food was pulled out of the traditional hamper by our butler and it was presented immaculately.

We started with some delicious pumpkin and parmesan soup – an ideal autumn warmer followed by some incredible venison and black pudding sausages. Like many, I am very fond of sausages but these were among the best I have ever tried; supplied with fresh bread and hot mustard they were plentiful and I could have easily filled up on these for the whole picnic.

photo 1 (1)Continuing the feast we enjoyed a seasonal broccoli, chestnut and onion tart and delicious pheasant rilletes with quince jelly and rye bread. The food did not end there – we were also provided with flasks of rich hot chocolate and large marshmallows, satsumas and stilton cheese and biscuits. With so much food the butler helpfully suggested we take at least an hour and a half to take our time and slowly enjoy all of the amazing food presented before us. It was an amazing experience to spend 90 minutes watching the world go by in the park sipping red wine and being under no time restraint; our butler was ready to return and clean up at our disposal.

We concluded that Dukes St James picnic is one of our favourite culinary experiences of the year and an absolute must-do! For the same price as an average, standard meal in central London it is incredible that you can enjoy an experience as special and unique as this. This picnic would make an amazing treat for a loved one where a mundane dinner simply won’t do!

Priced from £32 per person for a minimum of 2 people, DUKES ST JAMES LONDON’s exquisite hamper assortments by Chef Nigel Mendham can be arranged at www.dukeshotel.com

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