From March 29, the Rule of Six will return, allowing us to reunite with five of our favourite faces outdoors.
After a long winter, we’re delighted at the thought of an in-person chat fuelled by sarnies, drinks and - fingers crossed - plenty of spring sunshine.
If you too are planning a picnic reunion, it’s time to take stock of your seating options. The easiest and most cost effective place to start? Why, a picnic blanket, of course.
A rug allows you to set up camp in your local park at a moment’s notice. You can get ones big enough to maintain social distancing while allowing you both to soak up every last ray of sun for some sorely-needed Vitamin D, while surrounded by blooming flowers.
Picnic blankets often sport waterproof undersides to prevent wet grass or dew from soaking through, making it comfortable to sit on and keeping the worst of the stains away.
Tartan is the most traditional but there are also a whole host of charming prints as well as options large enough to seat the whole group. Look for handy extras like integrated handles that make carrying them around much less of a hassle.
See the best picnic blankets below.
Waterproof picnic rugs
Heating & Plumbing London Picnic Duo - Duck Egg
Heating & Plumbing's picnic blanket comes with a little friend in the form of a champagne bucket bag, perfect for carrying a bottle of bubbles to your long-awaited reunions. The two piece comes in a range of fun colours, and is textbook luxury: think British pure new wool, leather details and a waterproof lining to have your snacks in style.
Buzzy Bee Blue Picnic Blanket
This blue blanket is covered in a sweet bee print and is an XL size (145cm x 250cm) with enough space to seat your lucky six when the happy day comes. It’s made from 100 per cent cotton and is incredibly lightweight. You’ll hardly notice it slung over your shoulder which is a good job as we’re sure your hands will be full carrying far more precious cargo. Comes with carry handles and adjustable straps.
£51 | Joules *On sale from £60
Waterproof Backed Herringbone Rug
With this rug from The National Trust, you’re free to explore the best parks London has to offer with picnics or a spot of sunbathing. The up side is crafted from pure wool while the reverse has a waterproof backing to keep you dry even after downpours. It folds easily and neatly into a compact size with a carry strap.
Black and White Zebra Stripe Picnic Blanket
Bring style points to your al fresco events with this fierce zebra print picnic rug. It has a waterproof backing and rolls up tight to stash away when the weather turns. This is a beach or park essential.
GODDE Beach Blanket
Performing something of a magic trick, you won’t believe how big this blanket opens up and it folds down into a pocket-sized bag. There’s plenty of space (up to six people) and the red, white and blue combination is timeless. Made with water and sand resistant nylon, it’s our meet-up essential.
VonShef Herringbone Picnic Blanket
This elegant blanket comes with a detachable faux leather carrier so you can take it to your next park meet with ease. It's quite large, measuring 147 x 180cm, and has a waterproof PEVA backing so you can carry on even with damp ground.
Harlequin Waterproof Family Picnic Mat
This bold, geometric print picnic mat comes in a variety of sizes to suit your needs. It is also super soft and cosy while also being waterproof and quick-drying. Made with microfibre polyester, it sheds water so that you stay dry whatever the weather.
Matador Pocket Blanket 2.0
This picnic blanket is ideal for ad hoc al fresco dining as it can be folded into a very compact size that you can keep in your bag at all times, ready incase of a surprising ray of sunshine appears.
The rug is water-repellent and can fit up to four people. It is also composed of a tough material to keep up with your active lifestyle.
Tartan and Wool picnic blankets
Tweedmill Eventer Pure New Wool Picnic Blanket - Muted Blue Dress Stewart/Olive
Picnic in Hebridean style, thanks to Tweedmill’s pure new wool blanket that is covered in a beautiful heritage tartan check. Measuring 137 x 170cm, it features a practical waterproof backing underneath and a stitched carry handle so you can take it everywhere from your local park to grander settings like Primrose Hill or the Heath.
Tweedmill Keith Check Recycled Picnic Rug
Be the most stylish picnickers around is this pretty pastel tartan blanket. Tweedmill has reinvented tartan with a contemporary twist, combined with waterproof backing and soft fibres that make it perfect for city living.
Fortnum’s Picnic Rug, Eau de Nil & Navy Blue
Enjoy your St James' Park in majestic style while sitting atop a stunning blanket from royal grocer Fortnum & Mason. In fact the Piccadilly store is a short stroll from three of London's famous parks, making it the perfect pit-stop for a right royal spread. The blue tartan blanket measures 145 x 200cm and is made of a wool and polyester mix. Wipe clean only.
Thermosoft Multicoloured Check Throw
Help your mates find you in a flash with a colourful blanket that will stand out on the grass. Available in small and large sizes, the German-made throw is hard wearing but not completely waterproof - so save for sunny days.
Rectangle picnic blankets
Mallur Picnic Blanket
This Scandi-embellished picnic blanket design from Urbanara has a subtly stylish grey-hued herringbone pattern on one side, while the underneath is PU coated and thus waterproof. It has a rectangle design and a plush padding for added comfort.
Novelty Picnic Blanket
This list would not be complete with at least one novelty option and this ice lolly shaped variation has won our hearts. The Instagram-worthy rug can be used for picnics in the park, camping, garden parties and festivals so you can dine in style.
Hand Embroidered Picnic Blanket
This round picnic blanket adds style points to your picnicking this summer. It is embroidered with the phrase ‘Walking on Sunshine’ and has a fringe embellishment around the exterior. The blanket itself has a cosy cotton construction.
Extra Large picnic blankets
Kyhon Outdoor Beach Mat Picnic Blanket
Get the whole family together this summer with this XXL picnic mat that fits four to six people. It is made up of durable, lightweight and breathable nylon. The bonus? The top is water-resistant while a waterproof coating underneath stops moisture seeping in. It folds up into a phone-sized toggle bag.
Heating & Plumbing’s chic colour palette, super soft fibres and a champagne bucket makes it our star picnic blanket buy. Admittedly it is on the pricier side, so for something high quality that will stand the test of time, Tweedmill’s blankets are a wise investment.