The Perfect Picnic – Charlton Bakehouse

Festivals | 22 June 2023

The Perfect Picnic - Charlton Bakehouse. Some delicious looking sourdough bread

Summer in the Park is back! And this year, we’re offering you some inspiration to jazz up your picnic basket by approaching some of the leading chefs, restaurants and food services in Greenwich & Bexley.

This week’s picnic inspiration comes from Charlton Bakehouse.

What is is about picnics that you love?

Being outside, in the open air, totally relaxed; and the food! It’s our favourite way to eat: little bits of lots of different things, dips and morsels that you can just pop in your mouth. Bumping up a patchwork of picnic blankets next to one another, everyone pitching in and bringing their food to share. (We especially love our friends who are lot better at this sort of thing than us, and make lovely salads they serve with proper picnic plates and things. We’re generally a lot more haphazard than that!)

And being able to lie down for a snooze under a tree afterwards (although a game of boules is also good . . .)

What would you pack for a perfect picnic?

Focaccia, and baguettes, with loads of dips and little tomatoes, olives, crisp lettuce and a green fringed bunch of carrots to just eat whole. We’d also pick up some of The Village Greengrocer’s great selection of fruit juices and Kentish cider, fresh strawberries — and cinnamon buns as a sweet treat for later.

And we love to make great doorstep sandwiches (when the sourdough is fresh it’s impossible to just have a thin slice!). Our favourite fillings are the classics: ham home-baked with gammon from Drings butchers or cheese from the Cheese board or a slice of Ellis & Jones’s gorgeous smoked salmon, with home-made pickle, maybe mayonnaise made with an egg from our chicken; and more of that luscious lettuce. But those aren’t just for picnics!

What Charlton Bakehouse ingredients will you need for your perfect picnic?

If you’re organised and planning your picnic in advance, we can deliver bread and pastries fresh-baked that morning straight to your door. Or pop in to the Village Green Grocer’s or the Old Cottage for picnics in Charlton Park and Maryon Park, or The Cheese Board is your local for Greenwich Park.

Croissants, pains au chocolat, almond croissants make a perfect impromptu picnic when the morning is just too beautiful to head inside.

Focaccia, baguettes — and Simon’s legendary cinnamon buns — are perfect for no-fuss no-prep picnics.

And for sandwiches, if you want to lay out a really impressive spread you could experiment to find the perfect pairing for each of our sourdough loaves. We recommend:

  • Salmon and cream cheese on rye
  • Cucumber and chive on organic white
  • Ham lettuce and pickle on wholemeal
  • Egg mayonnaise and oregano on sun-dried tomato
  • Mackerel pate on spelt
  • Your favourite cheese on olive & rosemary

Happy picnicking!

Who's Who

Charlton Bakehouse. A happy baker delivering sourdough

Charlton Bakehouse

Charlton Bakehouse is just one man, two ovens, working from a purpose-built Bakehouse at the bottom of our garden. Simon has the best commute in the world: a short stroll down the curved brick path he laid himself, past our chicken (we originally had three but alas we also share our garden with several foxes who seem to get bolder every passing year . . .). He’s self-taught, and at the beginning, when he was baking too much for our small family to eat, he had the idea to sell bread at the school gates. From there he got talent-spotted by Sparkes the Butchers in Blackheath Standard, and a micro-bakery was born! When lock-down hit and the small businesses he supplied were forced to close, Simon was able to keep baking from the garden and deliver bread to the door-steps in the local area. We love it when we hear that Charlton Bakehouse bread and pastries have become a part of people’s lives — an almond croissant treat after the Park Run, or popping to the local shop to pick up a loaf for the weekend. It’s amazing to be part of the community in this way.

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