The English do picnics so well, a properly laid table, a table cloth, crockery and cutlery, no paper plates thank you! This oh so very English affair actually is of French origin. The earliest reference found in French text in the 1700's where a "piquenique" was actually a BYO restaurant.
However it was in the 19th century that English society embraced the concept of outdoor dining turning it into a luxurious affair, a grand occasion of sumptuously laid tables set in meadows. Foods prepared by chefs usually consisting of pastries, hams and baked meats, with servants attending to the diners every needs. Unlike wealth the concept of a more formal way of outdoor eating did trickle down to the masses and thus the traditional English picnic entered their culture.