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Al fresco in Ireland: the pragmatic guide to picnics

Perfect for socially distanced meet-ups, Katy McGuinness discovers simple ways to enjoy a picnic

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Chef Gaz Smith, wife Rita and son Felix enjoy a picnic at Howth Head. Photo: Mark Condren

Chef Gaz Smith, wife Rita and son Felix enjoy a picnic at Howth Head. Photo: Mark Condren

Chef Gaz Smith, wife Rita and son Felix enjoy a picnic at Howth Head. Photo: Mark Condren

If you live in Ireland, embarking on a picnic is a manifestation of the triumph of optimism over experience.

Despite the reality of picnics past - the disappointing food (the soggy quiches, the crisps that have disintegrated into bags of flavoured crumbs during transport, the strawberries that looked inviting when packed and yet are so slimy on arrival that nobody wants to eat them); the wasps; other people and their dogs invading our secret spots - as soon as summer rolls around, we want to try again.

And so we root out the picnic paraphernalia from under the stairs and start to make plans to head off for a bucolic excursion, or one to the beach, or local park.