What could be more pleasant than a picnic and a chilled glass of wine on a warm summer evening? A hassle-free picnic is about the only thing that might top that.
Humble Grape Battersea is right at the top of Battersea Rise, a literal stone’s throw away from the edge of Clapham Common. You get hardier folk relaxing on the grass almost from the day the clocks spring forward, but by late May the Common is the perfect spot for enjoying the longer evenings. The run of good weather we’ve had in the last two weeks seems to have reminded Londoners that yes, summer will come again, and that there’s more to do of an evening than binge watching under a blanket.
We started offering takeaway picnic hampers a couple of years ago and they were a huge hit. We love being a part of the neighbourhood, we have loads of regulars who treat HG Battersea as their local, so we wanted to do something to facilitate people having a good time in the area, even if they don’t want to stay on the premises.
Clapham Junction is just down the hill, but “just” is far enough when you’re lugging provisions around, especially after a long day at work. We saw a lot of sweaty people dragging supermarket bags up Battersea Rise! We’re really lucky to be so close to the Common: guests can pick up a basket and then just nip across the road with it. We’ve saved a lot of al fresco chillout sessions from rubbish snacks and warm booze (and probably a few Tinder dates as well, picnics are dead romantic).
But since we can’t provide everything (although we’ve had a good go) we thought we’d russle up some tips on how to stage the perfect extemporaneous picnic:
Location, location, location.
You want: lush grass, perhaps a bit of shade, enough space to spread out a bit. You don’t want: damp bits, Australians playing touch rugby, insects. Here’s some useful local knowledge for you: there is more than one ants nest under Clapham Common, and someone is going to have a picnic on top of them. Don’t let that someone be you.
Bring something to put yourself on
Our picnics come in a hamper, so you can use that as a table/serving area. And all the food is picnic-friendly so you won’t need a chopping board or anything like that. One thing we don’t provide is something to put yer bum on, so unless it’s very dry or your work trousers are due a wash anyway you might want to bring a blanket (or a folding chair if you’re some kind of fancy pants).
Bring good plonk
There’s nothing sadder than warm white wine. We’re a wine bar first and foremost, so we’ve got tonnes of perfect summer tipples waiting in the fridge. Just grab one when you pick up your hamper. If you can’t choose, ask anyone in a purple apron what they recommend. We also sell beer! But whatever you choose, please remember to…
Clean up after yourself
Its very disheartening to arrive at the perfect picnic spot only to find it covered in clutter and rubbish. Do your bit for the neighbourhood and take everything with you when you go. If the bins are full (unfortunately a common lament on Clapham Common) just whack everything back in the hamper and we’ll chuck it away for you.
We honestly cannot stress this enough. The amount of plum-faced individuals returning our baskets has to be seen to be believed, and most of the time they have no idea that they’ve done any more than “caught the sun.” Till they get home, obviously.
So with that caveat, enjoy the sunshine, everyone! We’d love to see you on the Common sometime soon.
Basket deposit £25
Refundable on return of basket
Delicious picnic spread £25
See below (inc. plates and cutlery)
Chilled bottle(s) of winemakers
Pick anything from the shelves (inc. plastic cups)
Selection of 4 cheeses + chutney
Baba Ganoush with flatbread
Blue cheese and onion tartlets
Green barley & tomato salad w/ an egg
Selection of 6 cheeses/charcuteries
Blue cheese and onion tartlets
Rabbit terrine with carrots
Salmon Gravadlax, sourdough & crème fraiche
Pineapple upside-down cake
Grapes, strawberries, clotted cream & shortbread
Humble Grape, 2 Battersea Rise, SW11 1ED
Wine Bar. Wine Shop. Purple Aprons. Good Times.