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Thread: Optima picnic sets

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    Jedi Warrior wkilleffer's Avatar
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    Question Optima picnic sets

    Hello everyone,

    Sometime around 2002 or 2003, I bought an English-made picnic set from a vendor at a British car show. It came in a squarish wicker basket and contained service for two, with plates, glasses, mugs for tea, flatware, napkins, and some other items in that vein. Until recently, it was shut away in a closet, never having been on the first picnic.

    Inside the basket, there's a small label affixed that says "Optima- West Sussex." The contents of the basket are pretty nice. The plates are real dinnerware with a glazed finish, the flatware is stainless with plastic accents, the glasses are real glass and made in France... I might have paid around $150US for it at the time of its purchase.

    Curiosity got the better of me, and I decided to find out more about the company. Several searches on Google weren't yielding much. A website called something like www.picnicbaskets.com had a brief blurb from the company about the terms of their warranty, but no Optima proucts for sale on the site. A ten-year-old article from The Guardian about buying a picnic set implied that Optima was the biggest company in this field at the time the article was written. They also mentioned that Optima made a picnic set that fit into a purpose-made backpack for those who wanted the charm of a civilized picnic without having to worry about lugging the wicker basket around. A few other companies were also profiled in the article, some of whom were much more on the high end of the spending spectrum. The article stated that Fortnum & Mason, for a price, would deliver an equipped picnic basket which would also be stocked with the finest of picnic victuals and beverages. Made my set from Optima seem downright middle class...

    The only company I could find with the name Optima located in West Sussex is a provider of network and IT services, and has been doing so for around 30 years. While it seems possible that a company could change their focus like that, it doesn't seem probable. I also doubt that my picnic set had been sitting in storage all that long before I bought it. It wasn't the only one that vendor had for sale, but it was the most appealing.

    Now, I want to know what may have happened to this company. My fear is that the economic downturn that took place around 2008 or 2009 may have hit them too hard for survival, but you'd think that if that were the case, there would be a news item somewhere talking about their demise. The odd thing to me is how there is little or nothing, like they've existed in a parallel universe or something.

    I thought maybe some of the folks on here, especially the ones who call England home, might be able to shed some light on this topic. It's not the most important thing happening in the world right now, but inquiring minds want to know...

    Thank you,
    -William
    William Killeffer
    East Ridge, TN
    1974 MGB

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    Administrator Basil's Avatar
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    Re: Optima picnic sets

    Found a set like your describe for sale on eBay. Not sure this will help but you might contact the seller - maybe they know something?

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Optima-Engl...sAAOSwjx9c5Esd
    “The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.” - Oscar Wilde

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    Jedi Warrior wkilleffer's Avatar
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    Re: Optima picnic sets

    That seller's practically in my back yard...
    William Killeffer
    East Ridge, TN
    1974 MGB

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    Re: Optima picnic sets

    Looks perfect for your LBC when you go on a picnic.

    David
    TR3A TS75524L

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