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Synopsis

Take a warm summer's day, a secluded spot in the dappled shade, a blanket and a bottle of wine, friends and family, and a spread of delicious homemade food, and you have that timeless rustic idyll - the Great British picnic.

Perfect picnic food is simple, elegant and delicious, based around much-loved classics. Hilda Leyel, who wrote this book in 1936, was extraordinarily before her time. She influenced generations of foodies with her wonderfully inventive recipes , where retro meets modern, such as:

Egg mayonnaise on crusty bread

Watercress, beetroot and nasturtium salad

Chicken and leek pie

Spiced plum cake and salted almonds

She championed local, seasonal ingredients like watercress and asparagus; she promoted traditional recipes from raised pies to strawberries and cream; and she set a benchmark of refinement with crab soufflé and spaghetti and truffles.

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