Picnic offerings from Irish restaurants to help plan your weekend
Whether you're going to the beach, taking the kids out for a walk or climbing a mountain, there's a picnic for you, writes Janine Kennedy.

If you're planning some days out hiking or going to the beach but still want to practise social distancing, some Irish restaurants and hotels are now offering picnic hampers you can enjoy outside.

Some cater to couples, perfect for romantic walks on the beach, while others are great for family outings on sunny days. Here's a sampling of what's on offer out there.

Randaddy's, Lahinch, Co Clare

If you frequent Lahinch in summer months, chances are you've eaten at Randaddy's - a quick hop, skip and jump from the waves with a family-friendly menu and a great patio for having afternoon drinks with friends.

Now, Randaddy's is offering picnic baskets for those who want to take their lunch to the beach (or the surrounding area).

Randaddy's two picnic offerings include a family basket (€50) and a couple's basket (€42).

The family basket includes menu items such as sandwiches, salads, pizza rolls, sparkling water and juice for the kids, while the couple's basket includes a beer or wine for each person, a tapas-style cold meats platter, dessert, a coffee on arrival and a 15% voucher off their next meal.

Owner Randy Lewis says when customers are ready to go home, they can simply return the picnic basket to the restaurant.

Praline, Mitchelstown, Co Cork

Praline Pastry & Chocolate is a local go-to for all things sweet, but they also do a mean sandwich. When COVID-19 prompted them to shut the doors on their limited seating area, they decided to swap their dine-in fare for takeaways, including takeaway afternoon tea for two or four, their barbecue box of eight individual desserts (perfect for outdoor barbecues) and, yes, picnic hampers, as well.

"We do little picnic hampers," says owner Norma. "Our sandwiches are made here; they're pre-packed. We do our sandwiches using Stapleton's bread and can do picnic hampers really quickly; we only need an hour's notice."

The baskets include their Belgian chocolate rocky road bites, four vanilla madelines, two drinks and Keogh's crisps. Priced at €22, these baskets are ideal for two, but you can add items as needed to accommodate a larger party.

"They're popular on the sunny days," Norma says. "They're handy because you need to be able to pick up a picnic at the last minute - to take advantage of the changable weather!"

Radisson Blu Hotel and Spa, Limerick

If you're staycationing at the Radisson Blu Hotel and Spa in Limerick, they are offering picnic lunches for families who will be making the most of the great outdoors.

They are offering this service as part of their 'explorers in the city' package, which includes a two-night stay for two adults and two children with the choice of two family activities - including family passes to Bunratty Castle & Folk Park, the picnic hamper or in-room pizza night.

This also includes complimentary access to their Rain Spa and Leisure Club, so, for prices for the package starting at €279, you're getting some bang for your buck.

Ground + Co, Salthill, Co Galway

Salthill's Ground + Co have launched their summer picnic basket which includes wraps, fresh juices from Delight, their in-house baked goods (flapjacks, biscuit cake and cookies) and freshly baked scones.

Hampers are €59 and are available for collection from Salthill. You can order online, but they need to be ordered 24 hours in advance.

In order to help reduce waste, if you can return your hamper to Ground + Co, they will reward your efforts with a free coffee.

Dook's Fine Foods, Fethard, Co Tipperary

If you're planning a hike around Slievenamon this summer, a pre-hike trip into Fethard means you'll be able to avail of Dooks Fine Foods' new picnic hamper offerings.

Consisting of six different Dooks' favourites, the picnic hampers offer a generous meal for two and costs €45. This includes scones with butter and jam (intended for a pre-lunch snack), chef Richard Gleeson's loaded foccacia (stuffed chorizo and local goat's cheese), beetroot hummus-style dip (using their homemade tahini, made from sunflower seeds), fresh sausage rolls, garden leaves, herbs and edible flowers with salad dressing, and their irresistible-sounding elderflower and strawberry cheesecake for dessert.

Chef Richard says demand for the picnic hampers has been great as the restaurant moves toward post-COVID operations.

"We have lots of actual hampers in the shop, so for locals we're going to hire those out or people can put a deposit on them (as we move forward)," he says.

"All of our packaging is completely compostable, so you can be safe in the knowledge you're making minimal impact. The food we've been doing lately has been specifically designed for taking away and eating at home, and I'm really happy with (the quality and taste of) it."

Nook Café, Collooney, Co Sligo

Nook Café is a Co Sligo treasure, with fresh-baked goodies and lip-smacking lunches for locals and visitors alike. “We do tailored picnic boxes - a selection of meats, cheeses, sandwiches, crackers, dips, etc, with wine, also. We do individual ones too!” They offer loads of different meal options, and are operating a click-and-collect system on Saturdays. For more details, contact them or visit their website.

The Pembroke Kilkenny

The Pembroke is offering a few different staycation deals at the moment, and one includes a picturesque picnic at nearby Kilkenny Castle.

The castles boasts the city’s greenest spaces; great for sitting back and enjoying nature. This package starts at €159.

“Stroll around Kilkenny Castle Park. Enjoy a picnic on the luscious green lawns and feed the ducks afterwards! This package includes a freshly made picnic in eco-friendly compostable containers, homemade bag of seed mix to feed the ducks (bread is bad for them!), Trail Kilkenny Walking Guide and full Irish breakfast the next morning, plus complimentary wi-fi, complimentary car parking and free 24-hour cancellation.”

The Twelve Bakery, Barna, Co Galway

The bakery at the popular Twelve Hotel in Co Galway is offering picnic hampers for those taking road trips or a beach day during their stay. We hear the sausage rolls alone are worth the trip to Barna! For more details, visit their website.

Country Choice, Nenagh, Co Tipperary

Peter Ward of Country Choice is well-known throughout Tipperary for his delightful food shop and delicious prepared food offerings. He is offering picnic hampers to go, through the Good Food Ireland website (the website has several picnic experiences offerings, currently).

Wild Atlantic Picnics, Ennistymon, Co Clare

If you’re planning a Co Clare road trip this summer, check out these eco-friendly picnic basket offerings in Ennistymon. Featuring a variety of local dishes, the picnic hamper offerings are hearty, filling and a great alternative to restaurant dining (especially if you’re road tripping with the kids!).