Nothing beats eating alfresco during the summer months. There’s something about enjoying food and good company outside, that makes the experience more memorable and fun. Of course, eating in the garden is something we can do on most days (weather permitting), but it’s the summer picnic that elevates the occasion to something extra special. Maybe it’s the novelty of being somewhere different, but loading the car with all the necessities for a day out – whether it be the beach or the countryside – is what summer is all about. And while I like the impromptu picnic as much as anyone, planning is half the fun. And there’s every reason and no excuse, not to make it an extra special and stylish occasion too.
Image courtesy of Sainsbury’s Home
1.Comfort is Key
A blanket on the grass might be okay for some, but I need a bit more in the way of comfort. A good old fashioned deckchair does the job. They are easy to fold flat and store in the car after all. Failing that, a large floor cushion is where I’d ideally like to park my bum. Some are big enough for two (cosy), and don’t forget to throw in a few cushions too for that inevitable nap after lunch. An outdoor rug makes the ideal base for tablecloths and cushions etc and if you plan to stay out late, take a few throws to ward off the evening chills.
Image courtesy of Amara
2.A Stylish Basket
There’s no excuse for plastic bags. A proper picnic hamper is the only way to transport those goodies. So much more sophisticated than than a plastic box. They are usually only big enough though for plates, cutlery and glasses so you may need an extra basket or two in which to transport the food and wine. Baskets are idea because they won’t tip over on the journey.
3.Pretty Tableware and Glasses
While I’m against using plastic in the garden. See my recent post about my summer style. It’s only practical to have more durable plates and glasses when out and about. There are such pretty ones available anyway and you don’t have to worry about chips on your best dinnerware, or picking out broken glass from the grass. And while we’re on the subject, I’m still in love with the Safari Melamine tableware that I wrote about in an earlier post.
Woven Rattan Underplate, £16 each. Rattan Cutlery Carry, £58. Aberdare Leather Ice Bucket, £235. Peccioli Melamine range from £30. Set of Four Karira Wine Glasses, £38. All from Oka.
4.Take Along a Wine Cooler
And on the subject of drinks. Take along a wine cooler to keep the fizz at a temperature you like. There’s nothing worse than luke warm wine. Drinks for the little ones can be transported in jars with screw top lids – all you have to do is remember the straws.
Image courtesy of George Home
5.Keep it Real with Cutlery
It might be okay to be practical with the plates and glasses but plastic knives and forks are absolutely forbidden in my book. That’s all.
6.Up the Style Stakes with a Proper Tablecloth and Napkins
This is a stylish picnic after all. Life is short, don’t save the best napkins for best. They will elevate the occasion and won’t blow away at the first sign of a breeze.
Image courtesy of House of Fraser
Wooden platters are robust, easy to pack and look great. Leave the tupperware in the car and serve food as it should be served.
8.Finish with a Flourish
Don’t forget the finishing touches. Some flags for letting guests know what’s in the sandwiches for instance. And a jam jar of freshly picked flowers – something for the kids to do while you lay out your ever so stylish picnic.