All summer the German Gymnasium – y’know, the cavernous two-floor restaurant at the foot of Pancras Square – is channelling what it’s calling “Berlin cool”.
Which means what, exactly? In this case, hampers to purchase and scoff in the variety of nearby urban outdoor locations, from the scrubbed-up canal towpath to the Grade II-listed gaff’s own terrace.
The picnic comes in an attractive modern steel box with gifts including two pairs of lurid wayfarer-style shades, the hampers sponsored by Wines Of Germany, so there’s also a booklet with myriad facts about a country whose vino isn’t familiar to the Brits.
You can choose your preferred bottle to accompany the food: we swerved the Sekt (Germany’s answer to champagne) in favour of a pinot noir (or Spätburgunder as it’s known). And the Weingut Claus Schneider is light and spicy, with a touch of raspberry: perfect for an easygoing picnic.
Not wanting to stroll too far, we cracked it open perched on the wide wooden platforms on Granary Square, as the evening sun sank beneath the Fish & Coal buildings, and checked out what there was to eat.
The assortment of “German delicacies” is admittedly rather slight, but matches the wine suitably. We chomped down three varieties of Bavarian Giga rolls, including a rich avocado and cream cheese, salmon, dill and cucumber and – by far the most impressive – a delicious Black Forest ham with Obatzda, a Bavarian cheese delicacy, fennel and cornichons.
There was also a Nussecken, chocolate-dipped buttery shortbread topped with apricot jam and hazelnuts. Our only point of contention? No napkins, leaving us licking our fingers afterwards.