Picnic season is here and, with any luck, it’s here to stay. Al fresco dining is one of the great joys of summer – food seems to taste better when eaten in the open air – and the quintessential picnic is no exception. Still, the key to a successful picnic is plenty of planning. The LuxPad has collected a selection of top tips to help you with everything from choosing an ideal picnic location to packing your hamper like a pro. All that’s left is to sit back and look forward to your perfect picnic – and perhaps keep an eye on that weather!
Whether you’re headed for a secluded spot under the trees or basking in the sunshine on the beach, your choice of location can make or break your picnic. Make sure you consider the needs of everyone in your group and you won’t go far wrong.
Perfect for sport-lovers and sun-worshippers alike, a beach picnic is guaranteed to keep everyone happy. Keep the sand from your sandwiches with wicker place mats and plenty of tightly sealed containers! Remember to pack a Frisbee and beach ball for some post-picnic fun.
Find a shady spot and settle in for an afternoon of food and fun in the forest. With rivers to paddle, rocks to climb and plenty of space to explore, kids especially will enjoy a forest-based picnic. Bring warm blankets for when the sun dips below the trees.
The tried and tested picnic in a park never fails to disappoint. Settle down in your local park, meadow or even back garden for a traditional picnic. Easy to get to with guaranteed space for everyone, invite friends and family and bring plenty of games.
Without a doubt – the culinary delights you pull from your picnic hamper should steal the show. But when planning the perfect picnic, it can be difficult to know where to start! Explore our collection of the most picnic-friendly foods and drink around.
If all else fails and you’re having to scrape together a picnic in a matter of hours, take heed of Karen Booth’s words of wisdom: “Make it simple – you don’t have to make acres of sandwiches, people will prefer the tactile nature of cutting the bread themselves and making their own sarnies at the table (or on the picnic rug!) Pies, scones and sandwich spreads are perfect for picnics – just make sure you have knives and spoons for serving them.”
You’ve carefully prepped a selection of delicious snacks and treats – don’t let your hard work go to waste with poor packing. Invest in a good quality hamper and cool bag – and remember, you can never have too much Tupperware! Follow these top tips and make sure your picnic arrives looking its very best.
Don’t forget to factor in the heat when packing your picnic. Oily foods cope well in warm temperatures so look to include sun-dried tomatoes or anchovies into your picnic if you’re heading somewhere warm.
Stay chilled! It’s equally important to keep your cold foods cold. Move perishables straight from the fridge into cool bags and line the sides with plenty of ice packs.
A full cool bag will stay colder for longer than one that is half empty. Try and pack as much as you can into your bag, with heavier, most perishable items on the bottom closest to the ice.
Pack some cocktail sticks for a space-efficient and incredibly useful addition to your picnic cutlery. Nibbling on olives and cheeses with cocktail sticks is more civilised and much less messy than muddy fingers.
Plan ahead and pack a few bin liners to ensure a speedy clean-up. Empty sandwich bags are perfect for filling with any leftovers that can be taken home and eaten at a later date.
Take a look at our top 6 products that will make your picnic packing a breeze…
Don’t forget about the all-important accessories to guarantee your picnic is a cut above the rest. Start collecting some stylish picnic additions that will see you through many a summer season or surprise guests with colourful cups and saucers on the day. Your picnic will be Pinterest-worthy in no time!
Comfort is key! Make sure your picnic blanket is roomy enough for all your guests to stretch out and enjoy the sunshine.
Put down the glass and china and invest in some stylish yet practical plastic cups and saucers. A plastic picnic set will be much easier to carry and is guaranteed to survive the journey in one piece.
Add a level of luxury to your picnic and treat your guests to linen napkins. Not only are these infinitely more stylish than their paper cousins, but they are also eco-friendly and can be enjoyed time and time again.
Scatter outdoor cushions across your picnic setting for added comfort and style. Experiment with different styles, shapes and colours – there are no rules when it comes to picnic styling!
Try as we might to find a flat piece of grass to picnic on, drinks may spill and bowls may tip if you don’t bring a tray or platter for serving. These have the added bonus of looking effortlessly stylish while bringing order to the potential chaos!
Still searching for inspiration? Explore our top pick picnic accessories below…
Planning some post-picnic entertainment can help keep guests of all ages entertained. Introduce one of these fun but simple games to ensure your picnic goes out with a bang.
Reignite your love for the simple Frisbee and set up a game of Frisbee rounders. Throw the Frisbee as far as you can while the fielding team tries to retrieve it before you score your rounder.
Frozen T-shirts – Place some old t-shirts in a plastic bag with some water and leave in freezer overnight. The winner is the person who can ‘defrost’ the t-shirt quickest and put it on. Perfect for a hot day!
Before you leave, prepare a number of treasure hunt ‘items’ for the children to track down while you enjoy the sunshine. The trickier the items, the longer they will stay occupied!
Test your flexibility with a classic game of limbo. Create a makeshift limbo bar with two people holding a long stick at either end. Touch the stick and you’re out.
Of course, even a simple bat and ball can provide plenty of entertainment for your picnic party. Let the games begin!
Will you be planning a picnic this summer? Be sure to pin the image below to keep our handy guide close at hand…