We scoured the city to find the best grub for your hamper — just refer to the numbers on the picture above and get gobbling.
1. Chorizo bagel
2. Iberico ham
WeChat shop Loveat delivers ready-to-eat Marcial (196RMB per 100g) and Cinqo Jotas (228RMB for 80g) Iberico ham straight to your door, along with a number of other luxe delicatessen foods.
3. Uncured ham and walnut sandwich
4. Luxe pumpkin and feta quiche
Served with a green salad and balsamic dressing on the side. Deli de Luxe. 60RMB.
5. Tender Niu semi-hard cheese
6. Iberico ham
7. Applepocalypse, Chunky Punkin', Pecandrogynous, Thai Lime and Cherry Popper pies
Rager Pie. 25-40RMB (pre-order for large pies).
8. Tribe salad
Quinoa, peach, mixed greens, pistachios, fennel and beet hummus. Tribe. 62RMB.
9. Pre-mixed cocktail cans
11. Tussock Jumper pinot noir
Complements cold meats and light cheeses. Cheers. 97RMB.
12. Pares Balta brut cava
Light, fruity and ideal for warm-weather drinking. Traitor Zhou’s Nonkosher Delicatessen. 170RMB.
Our pick of the best parks for picnics
Finding a grassy patch that you’re actually allowed to sit on poses somewhat of a challenge in our fair city, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Throw caution to the wind and pop your blanket down at one of these picnic-friendly parks.
Best for Peace and quiet
Despite its location in the middle of the CBD, picnic spots don’t get much more tranquil than Ritan Park. This urban oasis has plenty of grassy areas, shaded benches, pavilions and lakeside seats where you can set up camp. A popular park throughout the day (and into the night), here you can watch people dancing, practising tai chi. It’s also only a 15 to 30 minute walk away from The Place, Parkview Green and Central Park, so there’s plenty of opportunity for you to load up your picnic basket before you go with treats from the M&S Food Hall, Pekotan, Tavalin Bagels and the Opera Bombana bakery. 6 Ritan Bei Lu, Chaoyang district. Free. Subway station: Yonganli.
Olympic Forest Park
Best for A whole lot of space
While the south entrance is more of a hectic tourist trap than outdoor reprieve, following the trails through the park you’ll easily find a quiet green corner to set up camp. There’s plenty of entertainment, with an amusement park and pedalos available for hire. Build up your appetite by climbing Mount Yangshan for a picturesque view of the park and Bird’s Nest stadium. 33 Kehui Lu, North Fourth Ring Road, Chaoyang district. Free. Subway station: Forest Park South Gate.
Purple Bamboo Park
Best for Lake views
The expanse of grass that greets picnic pioneers entering Purple Bamboo’s east gate is a perfect patch to set down and start your fresh-air feast. There are also plenty of other spots on offer by the lake, in pavilions, or hidden away in one of the park’s plentiful treeshaded nooks. Later, make your way to the park’s northwestern
corner, where you can jump on a canal river cruise to the Summer Palace. 35 Zhongguancun Nan Dajie,
Haidian district. Free. Subway station: National Library.
Best for Escapism
Tucked away in a quiet residential area just north of Gulou, this secluded Xicheng space took Rome’s Unesco-rated Villa d’Este gardens as its inspiration when it was redesigned in the late ’90s. While its southern side is populated by European-style archways and sculptures, the verdant patches that encircle the lake to the park’s north make for a great spot to roll out a rug and tuck in, in surroundings considerably quieter than your normal amusement-laden Beijing park. 11 Liupukang Jie, Xicheng district. Free. Subway station: Andelibeijie.
Best for Carnival atmosphere
Downtown Beijing’s biggest park has got it all: plenty of open green spaces, a boating lake, an amusement park and a fake beach complete with sun-loungers and an outdoor water park. You’ll find the best picnic spots to the northeast of the park, away from the crowds, where vast expanses of green overlook the water. For impromptu picnickers, the west gate of the park is only five-minute walk away from Jenny Lou’s, Annie’s, Comptoirs de France, Deli de Luxe and more. 1 Chaoyang Gongyuan Lu, Chaoyang district. 5RMB (park entrance only). Subway station: Tuanjiehu.
The essentials Tianyi Wholesale Market
From the outside it might look a little like Pinocchio’s Pleasure Island in all its sinister, kitschy grandeur, but Tianyi Market is a one-stop- shop for picnic equipment, as well as a load of other bits and bobs you need for al fresco fun. The market sprawls out over seven floors, but you’ll find most picnic-related goods in the basement
and on the second floor, including picnic rugs (30-65RMB), fold-up stools (20RMB), cool bags (45RMB), full picnic sets (from 70RMB) and more. On the second floor you’ll also find a load of outdoor games, such as badminton sets and frisbees. Head on up to the fourth floor for portable electronics, including handheld fans, Bluetooth speakers and chargers. 259 Fuchengmenwai Dajie, Xicheng district.
Try this Pre-prepared picnic
Sometimes sunny days sneak up on us, leaving little time for picnic preparation. To make sure your picnic game is fully on point, let the deli masters at Modo Urban Deli do the work for you. Choose from three hampers ranging from sandwiches and cold snacks to a full-on three-course meal (200-400RMB for two) and add on a bottle of sparkling, red or white wine for 90RMB. The picnic tote can be ready for pick-up within 15 minutes. Call 6415 7207 or visit modobj.com.