Last weekend I had an early birthday celebration with family and friends, and as part of our weekend away we had a special picnic… Our original intention was to style this beautifully and take lots of photos, but you know what they say about the best laid plans!
I think styling a beautiful picnic if is much easier if you’re at home and you can create something special in your own garden. It’s a little more difficult if you’re in a public space miles from home – as we were!
Planning a Perfect Picnic
Here’s a few picnic tips which you might find useful, all tried and tested last weekend!
1. Keep things simple – crusty bread, cold meats, fresh fruit and pots of salad work wonders! Skewers are also great for making both sweet and savoury ‘nibbles’.
2. Pack two containers—a picnic basket for tableware and nonperishable items and a cool bag for cold food and drinks. I have a new Breton striped cool bag and it’s super stylish for picnics, and large enough to carry a selection of chilled food for all the family too!
3. Use an ice pack or freezer pack to help keep items cold. Frequent opening of your cool bag allows the cool air to escape, so these ice packs are invaluable.
When packing a cool bag, it should be about 25% ice and 75% food. Place ice on the bottom and along the sides of the bag. Then place the heaviest and most perishable foods on top of the ice. Fill in with lighter items, and don’t forget to transfer chilled foods directly from the fridge to the bag.
I was sent some amazing dry gel ice packs from ThermaFreeze and decided to try them out at our picnic… They were super efficient and come in flat sheets which you can cut to size and then hydrate ready for use. The sheets are reusable and can be rehydrated and frozen again. Perfect!
4. Pack food favourites – Closely estimate how much food you will all eat to avoid leftovers. Unless they can be kept very cold or very hot, leftovers of perishable items should be thrown away.
5. Bring along plastic bags to wrap up dirty dishes and tableware, and to use for rubbish bags which can be disposed of at the nearest bin!
Equipped with the above tips and a packed picnic basket and you’re ready to go. All that’s left is choosing a place to spread out your wonderful feast. Consider the banks of a nearby lake or stream, or a beautiful country park. Then sit back, relax and enjoy a perfect picnic!
PS. Don’t forget to pack a ball, Frisbee, or a few bubble wands just to keep the younger family members entertained!