No way to make good food in your Sydney Australia hotel room? And there's an empty picnic basket to fill? Great picnic food ideas you don't need to prepare.
Plan a no-work picnic
A no-work picnic is ideal when you're on holidays.
Try some of these . . .
Many hotels will make you up a picnic basket with matching food and wine. Your job is merely to choose from the picnic themes they have on offer. These might include Australian bush foods, vegetarian picnic recipes or a seafood based menu.
Or opt for gourmet picnic recipes from the Sydney Picnic Company, creatively presented and delivered to your door. You'll enjoy a hand prepared seasonal hamper of Sydney's best offerings. They prefer 48 hours notice to give them time to source and prepare your perfect picnic menu. It's special. (No credit card payment, bank transfer preferred, cash possible.)
Empty Picnic Basket Blues:
Summer picnic recipes
and picnic lunch ideas
Many of the better delis in Sydney Australia will fill your empty picnic basket for you too. Although they may be able to do it on the spot, you'll get a more interesting picnic basket if you order in advance.
If even this takes more planning than you want to give it, flick straight over to good picnic food at Sydney markets, parks and beaches. Get the complete package on the spot, with a great place to eat it thrown in for free.
Pesto makes picnic chicken sing
If you prefer to put together your own gourmet lunch, again its a case of heading for the nearest good deli.
You'll find plenty of picnic ideas and healthy popular snacks. Your problem will be not to over-fill that once empty picnic basket.
Failing a specialist deli, one of the Westfield shopping malls or other shopping centres in Sydney Australia will offer you plenty of high quality choices, although you'll need to walk around a bit more to find them.
Still - there will be good seafood, there's likely to be at least one Mediterranean and several South East Asian specialist stores. You should find good smallgoods.
You're unlikely to find really good, chewy, artisanal bread though. It's all chains and hot bread shops in the malls.
Borrow some of the picnic ideas from my romantic picnic menus. They're good even without the romance.
There's plenty of choice in wines to fill your empty picnic basket. Again, for interesting boutique wines you'll need to go to one of Sydney's good wine merchants.
If you want the absolute best in matching food and wine, see Jon Osbeiston at Ultimo Wine Centre in Pyrmont. It's close if you're in the Rocks, Sydney downtown or Darling Harbour.
He carries a wide range of imported and Australian wines, and has vintage wines available if you really want to splash out.
I know I sold him all my Grange Hermitage and other interesting Australian wines when I started travelling and no longer wanted to maintain my cellar. He may even have some left. They're worth a try - but perhaps not on a picnic.
What are they? Well, they're ham and chicken and potato salad. Some greens, some fruit, something sweet for after. Perhaps nibbles as well, and a few healthy snacks for teenagers. All easily bought for your empty picnic basket if you can't cook.
Sydney shopping for your picnic ham
If you do have a kitchen, have a look at my easy recipes to fill your empty picnic basket and really cut the cost of eating out.
The quality of ready-made foods in the supermarkets is getting better all the time. Small delis simply can't compete on price, so if you're on a restricted budget go straight to the supermarket.
If you have a bit more to spend, then you'll get food with individual character and flavour from one of Sydney's good small delis. They'll make their own mayonnaise for the potato salad, they'll have home-made pastry around the pie.
I would stick to the smaller delis though, for salads and prepared foods. Avoid the David Jones Food Hall and its ilk.
Everything there looks pretty, but I generally find it somewhat lacking in flavour. It's fine for chacuterie, packaged food and fish.
Nothing fills an empty picnic basket better than sandwiches. Picnics and sandwiches are a magic combination. Things taste better between two slices of great bread.
The secret of a great sandwich - now listen to Sydney Australia's Sandwich Queen - is to be super generous with the fillings. It goes without saying that you'll use a good bread. Otherwise why bother? Fill two bits of cardboard instead.
Spring picnic ideas
You don't have to go super fancy. An egg mayo sandwich with fresh lettuce is a joy to eat. Or just layer up all the vegies you can think of (keep the soggy ones in the middle), use avocado instead of butter and be generous with the salt and pepper. Bliss!Consider
Healthy nutritious snack foods
- trail mix snack
It's not impossible to stay with healthy, nutritious snacks for kids while travelling. Although it's definitely a little harder.
Hit the health food shops for dried fruit and nuts and carry them with you.
Keep fruit on hand - bananas, apples, pears, grapes - whatever's in season.
Afternoon tea sandwiches are always good and fill the gap between lunch and dinner. Cheese and crackers can be packed and taken.
Add little tubs of yoghurt to your empty picnic basket. They travel well. If you're near shops you'll find fresh fruit smoothies, milkshakes and fruit juices of all descriptions readily available.
And if you want your children to be real Sydney kids - buy a small jar of vegemite and spread it very thinly on crackers or bread and butter. Eat as is or add one or more of tomato, lettuce, cheese or celery. Aussies kids love it, your kids may or may not.