There is nothing like sprawling out on a fine day, kicking off your shoes and nibbling on some little treats from your perfectly packed picnic. Picnics should be a lazy session of lying back on your blanket, having a little daydream and grazing on some tasty food.
As a stylist, I am always asked, “how do you make everything look so pretty?” It tends to almost be instinctual these days to style the scene around me, but I do love sharing my insights into helping everyone make life that little bit more beautiful. For some people this might sound like too much trouble to go to, however, I don’t consider that to be the case. It makes me happy and makes me smile, I enjoy doing it and never consider it extra work. Hopefully, it makes those around me smile too.
Here are my five simple tips to help you pack the perfect picnic.
Pick a good spot
Behind any perfect picnic will be the backdrop you choose. Take a moment to consider where you are heading and what’s the weather doing? Will you need shade? You may even need to consider the wind direction – crazy, I know, but we live in a very windy city so we have to do just this. Parks, beaches, and woodlands are all wonderful ideas, just make sure you don’t have to walk too far with your basket otherwise it’s really more of a tramp than a picnic. Remember it’s all about the lounging around!
What’s in your basket?
As much as you can, plan to pack a little selection of treats as it’s much more exciting than having one dish of the same thing and it makes your spread look spectacular. I like to start with a homemade dip served with crackers and cheese. You can get these out as soon as you arrive and start nibbling whilst you get settled. Mr. Edwards is a bit of a pro in the kitchen – for our trip this time he made maple and manuka, home-smoked salmon for our sandwiches and we brought a really nice white loaf as a treat. As you have gone to the trouble of making everything, it’s only right to make sure you pack it up nicely, too. Use baking paper instead of tin foil and take things in glass jars and pots so it looks like you stopped at a trendy deli on the way. It’s a lovely touch.
A basket case
I like to use a nice hamper or basket to pack everything into. It just makes the whole outing feel more romantic and everything looks so tasty spilling out of a hamper. They’re practical and you can use it to hold you drinks glasses or anything that might knock over easily. If you don’t have a basket hamper use a nice tote to pack everything in and take a stylish tray or wooden chopping board to use as a table.
How to serve?
Pack proper glasses and cutlery to take with you. Personally, I always pack little porcelain plates and for napkins, I tend to stay away from packing paper – I am a fan of a linen napkin and always throw those in as well. They make it all feel so much more special and it adds to the enjoyment of your delicious feast. Wine always tastes better from a crystal glass and it’s nice to have plates of your own to eat from especially if you are sharing food servings.
Make sure you take something large enough to lie on for the both of you (or however many you’re entertaining). I like to have another blanket to roll up to support your head in case you fancy having a snooze. To match my traditional style hamper I chose a tartan blanket, but you can match it to your picnic style and this one element really changes the whole look. Imagine a pink one for a ladies lunch in the park!
No matter how you see the day going or plan your picnic, do it with a little flair and a touch of luxury to make the day that much more special. I promise, that you and anyone you are picnicking with will enjoy reaping the rewards of your perfectly planned day out.