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21st August 1998 at 01:00
Buzz, buzz, the bees are in the summer skies, the honey's in the pot, the flask's in the hamper, and Roo's malt extract is in the cupboard - where it belongs.

Yes, we're having a Winnie the Pooh picnic and we need a large soft blanket, some big balloons and lots of provisions. We'll have honey sandwiches, made with soft, crusty farmhouse bread, and homemade lemonade to wash them down.

Pooh, I'm sure, would like strawberries and cream, and (for the real taste of an English summer) that metallic-flavoured Thermos tea in a china mug; A A Milne, perhaps, would have brought his own portable spirit stove to brew up and poured the tea into bone-china cups.

Pooh seems to be a vegetarian, so Kanga might whip us up some fresh crusty cheese scones for the right savoury note; for the non-veggies, some tiny cocktail sausages (brown as Piglet's haycorns) and cocktail onions (hot as Eeyore's thistles).

To finish off, as we drowse lazily under our Christopher Robin sunhats, perhaps we might allow ourselves just a splash of Pimms to add to our lemonade.

Lemonade

Take six unwaxed lemons (preferably organic), one lime, eight tablespoons of caster sugar and one litre of fizzy mineral water (it takes a surprisingly long time to go flat). Cut the lemons into eighths, put in a blender with the sugar and enough water to cover all the lemon and whizz until foamy. Strain (if you don't like bits) and dilute with rest of mineral water to taste.

Serve with ice-cubes (if the picnic isn't too far away) and sprigs of mint.

Victoria Neumark

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