The Midsummer Nightcap event Picnic At The Palace launched last night and was a great way to spend a summer’s evening, with all of us tucking in to a gorgeous hamper, while sharing a suitably socially distanced and very pretty pergola, with spectacular views of the lake, and live music.

We were far enough from other couples and small groups to feel safe but close enough to feel like we had actually rejoined society!

Katherine MacAlister with Caroline Parkes from We Love Woodstock

Picnic at the Palace was the perfect way to reconnect with our fantastic friends, relax and enjoy the splendour of England’s finest view while nibbling on a delicious picnic hamper, listening to live music and sipping on cocktails, alfresco style.

This was the nearest any of us were going to get to a festival this year, so we were excited not just about the food but also the live music.

So what did we eat? The hampers contained high quality, locally sourced food perfect for sharing. Local cheese, quiche, raspberry tart, olives, strawberries, brownies and sausage rolls – perfect picnic fare.

Another nice touch is using local and independent businesses to source the high quality food, such as Gatineau and The Oxford Cheese Company.

The hampers differ as well; from Tuesday to Thursday you can choose between a luxurious lunchtime feast or an afternoon tea treat, and from Thursday to Sunday there is the option of a delicious dinner hamper.

The vintage caravan bar serves all your favourite alcoholic and non-alcoholic tipples, with the option to even pre-order drinks, making your experience completely hassle-free.

Each sitting has seating overlooking the lake, socially distanced from those around you. Groups of two are provided with lounging deckchairs with a parasol and groups of four and six are assigned a beautiful pergola with tables and chairs.

A range of talented musicians and singers are playing each day, including some very exciting headline acts on Fridays and Saturdays. And you can finish off the week with the Sunday Jazz Sessions, bought to you by David Freeman from Jazz FM.

Performers include Errol Linton, Ed Harcourt, Ric Sanders from Fairport Convention with Vo Fletcher, Jayde Adams, Olga Koch, Micheal Odewale, Jacob Hawley and Rich Wilson, as well as Kedar Friis-Lawrence, The Hoosiers, Tom Bright and Omar.

The event is sponsored by Yarnton Home & Garden and runs until August 16. Book at


We have teamed up with our friends at Midsummer Nightcap and Blenheim Palace to offer one lucky reader the chance to win two tickets for a picnic lunch or afternoon tea at Picnic at The Palace.

To be in with a chance of winning lunch or afternoon tea for two, all you have to do is:

Follow @oxinaboxnew and @MidsummerNightcap on Facebook

Or follow @oxinaboxnew and @picnicatthepalace and @midsummer_nightcap on Instagram 

Comment and like the post 

A winner will be selected at random after the closing date of July 31, usual terms and conditions apply. For all the T&Cs click here.

Sarah Edwards


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