Love alfresco dining? What are you waiting for? After all, ‘tis the season to picnic and be merry!

Whether you’re hoping to organise a large picnic party as a means of getting together your nearest and dearest, or hoping to get the chance to make a last minute decision to pack your basket, make sure you’re prepared so you don’t miss out!

To help you out, we’ve put together a roundup of the key picnic essentials for summer 2016.

Comfortable and Cool

Nobody wants a sore derriere or to be mopping up spilt elderflower cordial, so a good foundation is key. This Biederlack fold-up picnic blanket will do just the trick. In a pretty summer shade, it’ll look stylish as well as being cosy and practical. Plus, your friends will be able to spot you a mile off!

Biederlack Fold-Up Picnic Blanket, £12.99 from TK Maxx


Keep Your Cool

Don’t leave home without the ultimate picnic essential, the thing that keeps your fruit crisp, your drinks chilled and sandwiches fresh - the cool bag. This cooler knocks spots off its cool bag competitors thanks to its eye-catching design, carry handles and shoulder strap and considerable size – ideal for fitting in the whole family’s snacks.

Emma Bridgewater Polka Dot Family Cool Bag, £40 from John Lewis


Stay Protected

If you’re heading out for a picnic this summer, you’ll be hoping to see the sun shine. While you’re enjoying your cucumber sandwiches it’s always best to protect yourself from those hidden UV rays. If you want to achieve a natural summer glow as well as be protected, why not try this Nivea protect and bronze with a hint of self-tan and an SPF of 30.

Nivea Protect and Bronze, £9 from Boots


Keep the Little Ones Occupied

If there are little ones joining you on your picnic, you’ll no doubt want to keep them entertained and amused.  Why not set the little treasures up with their very own little picnic and let their imaginations run away with them? With engaging audio, this play set is guaranteed hours of picnic fun.

Leapfrog Shapes and Sharing Basket. £19.99 Toys R Us


No Picnic is Complete Without Music  

No picnic is complete without a soundtrack to the summer’s day, and to make the most of the sound you’re going to need a speaker. This practical yet attractive Bluetooth speaker by Sony means you keep the picnic party alive for up to 12 hours, and it won’t weigh you down either when carrying the load.

Sony Bluetooth Speaker in pink, £49.99Argos


Let us know what you consider to be your ultimate picnic essential? Share a picture of your picnic with us on Facebook and Twitter, using the hashtag #MyPicnic