Six of the best hampers

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Indy Lifestyle Online
1 For a good traditional style picnic basket, Arding and Hobbs do a wide range at very reasonable prices. Four pretty gingham check plates, plenty of containers, glasses and mugs and a large flask are all the hardware required for a gastronomic feast. pounds 125. Call 0181 256 7000 for branches of Alders stores.

2 If money's no obstacle, this 4 person picnic basket is the one for you. For your pounds 416 you get a sturdy basket deep enough to hold a hundredweight of smoked salmon and a couple of magnums of champagne. Click Clack tupperware assures no leaks, and the set of eight Burghley plates and high-quality utensils make this a 5-star basket. From the General Trading Company, 144 Sloane Street, SW3, 0171-730 0411.

3 If it's practicality and style you are looking for you will find it at The Conran Shop. Toughened glass containers with lids are designed to be used in and out of doors so tumblers turn into watertight containers, 90p and upwards. Duralex plates from pounds 2.75, milk bottle pounds 7.25, juice jug pounds 3.25, and wire basket pounds 21. For a domestic touch, large black and cream tablecloth pounds 14.95, and colourful checked napkins pounds 1.95. The Conran Shop, Michelin House, 81 Fulham Road, SW3, 0171-589 7401.

4 For a kaleidoscopic picnic selection make your way to Heals, where you can pick-and-mix from frosted plastic beakers in magical hot pastel colours pounds 2, salad bowl, pounds 6.50, salad servers pounds 4.35, thermoses in all different shapes and sizes at around pounds 20. Jewel-coloured clear handled cutlery, from pounds 2.50 a piece, are a delight to eat with and crisp white tea towels, pounds 2.65, are ideal for picnic napkins. Open basket pounds 35.95. Call 0171-636 1666 for branches.

5 Liberty stocks different sized empty picnic hampers with straps and compartments to secure all contents, like this chunky willow basket at pounds 99. A new wave of kitsch has even hit the smartest London stores and amongst it all you will find a range of light alloy vessels made by Bombay Duck. Beakers and bowls around pounds 5, tray, jug, cocktail shaker and wine cooler all around pounds 20. All come in four rich colours, gold, emerald green, ruby red and sapphire blue. Liberty, Regent Street, W1, 0171-734 1234.

6 If you are on a budget or need your picnic to be completely kid-proof you will find everything you need in Asda. A set of four plates, cups and cutlery won't break the bank at pounds 4.99. Bowls, dishes and plates are sold individually starting at 79p in bright colours. Keep chilled with a Coolerbag pounds 5.99 or pack everything in a strong trolley bag 99p. Call 0113 243 5435 for branches.

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