When facing the bounty of the great food markets of the world it’s easy to be overwhelmed – by the crowds, the choice and the endless cornucopia of samples. You might have come in search of simple trappings for a picnic- but you leave with a chaotic mash of things cloistered by brown paper and plastic. Later on you’ll unveil three dips, five wilting wedges of cheese and a melon nobody can cut into. There won’t be enough bread. And there will always be an embarrassing quantity of nuts.

Yet, there’s no need to despair. All you need is a plan. What follows is a simple formula for devising a picnic feast for small groups, garnered after years of hungry travel while researching ‘A Suitcase and a Spatula’ and perfected at what is arguably the world’s best market; Borough.

Whether you consume it in the park, on a bench overlooking the Thames or, if the weather turns… English, draped across the floor of your flat; that choice is entirely up to you.

Formula for perfect picnics: Select one of each of the following:

carbohydrate + protein + cheese + fruit

In practice:

1) Foccacia (The Flour Station) + prosciutto and buffalo Mozzarella (The Parma Ham and Mozzarella Stall) + peaches (Paul Wheeler’s)

Layer the prosciutto over the peaches for antipasti. Make up mini sandwiches with the foccacia, ham and cheese. Then eat the left over peaches for dessert

2) Piadina + salami (Gastronomica) +  goat cheese (Neal’s Yard Dairy+ cherry tomatoes (The Tomato Stall)

Lay it all out in a spread. They’re all friends. It works in any way.

3) Baguette (Le Marché du Quartier) + cooked prawns or picked cooked crab (Furness Fish and Game) + ripe avocado and pears (Ted’s Veg)

The avocado stands in for cheese here. Muddle it into a dip for the prawns, or slices with pears on baguette for sweet crostini. It’s the gentle textures that unite these elements as much as the flavours.

4) White bread (Oliver’s Bakery) + jamon and manchego (Brindisa) + apricots (Turnips)

The saltiness of the jamon and manchego will play well against the sweetness of both the apricots and the white bread.

5) Rye bread (Backaus Bakery) + smoked salmon (Muirenn Smokehouse) + curds or soft cheese (Neal’s Yard) + apples (Chegworth Valley)

Here the apple provides much needed crunch and lightness to contrast with the salmon.

6) Rolls (De Gustibus) +speck (Exquisite Deli) + hard cheese (Borough Cheese Company) +  cherries (Jock Stark).

Cheese and cherries are a match made in heaven. If you need a little extra sweetness at the close, there’s nothing to stop you picking up a few squares of good quality dark chocolate for a Black Forrest inspired dessert.

What are your suggestions for the best possible picnic to be garnered from Borough Markets Traders? Leave a comment on the Borough Markets Blog here and two lucky winners will receive a signed copy of ‘A Suitcase and a Spatula’ and a Borough Market cool bag to take on their next picnic.

See here for the very boring but important T’s & C’s