How to

How to Pack the Perfect Picnic

Recent chaotic weather aside (hello, snow in April), we’re ready to welcome spring and warmer weather with open arms. While some places across the globe are opening up and loosening restrictions, others are still firmly in the grips of lockdown. But just because you can’t while away an afternoon on a sunny terrace doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy all the season has to offer. That’s why we’re grabbing a few blankets, packing a picnic and heading outdoors.

As with anything, a truly great picnic requires a little preparation and a lot of care. Sure, you could just toss a few bags of crisps and a can of beers into a bag and head out to the nearest park, but why not do it big? After the year we’ve all had, we deserve to celebrate the little things.

  1. Pick the perfect location. Any patch of sun will do just fine, but we like to scout the ideal location to ensure maximum pleasure. We like somewhere with as much sunshine as possible that still affords a bit of shade for the pale amongst us. Lovely, shady trees are great, but a parasol toted along does the trick just as well. Be sure to consider proximity to WCs as well. There’s nothing worse than finding yourself a bottle of rosé deep and having no loo in sight.

2. Choose your vehicle. For snacks, that is. You can certainly shove everything in an old plastic bag from the supermarket, but if you’re walking or taking public transport, that’ll end up digging into your wrists on your way. Plus, it won’t look as chic when in those artfully composed Instagrams. Pop everything into a big, beautiful basket. They look good, are easy to carry and hold a heck of a lot more than a flimsy bag.

3. Bring a good base. No matter how down-to-earth you are, you’ll be much happier sprawled across a chic towel than grinding grass stains into your new white trousers. Pick something lightweight, stylish and easily machine washable.

4. Consider your tools. You could grab a few plastic cups from the supermarket or guzzle straight from the bottle, but we recommend elevating things – if only just a little. Sturdy ceramic cups or cheery beer goblets will survive the trip while still looking great. Vibrant, lightweight cutlery is far better for spearing potato salad than disposable plastic sporks, and it won’t weigh you down. Schlepping real plates can be a bit cumbersome, so we like to pick up a set or two of palm leaf plates. They’re inexpensive, eco-friendly and can be used again or tossed without guilt. And don’t forget napkins! No one wants to wear rhubarb jam all day.

5. Pack for the duration. In all likelihood, you’ll be holding court in your picnic plot for most of the day. Come prepared! Make sure you toss some sunscreen, plenty of water, a kitchen towel or two and a bottle opener in your basket. We also like to throw in a pack of cards or a Rummikub set in case things stretch into the early evening.

6. Remember the comestibles. Here’s where you can really let your imagination run wild. If you like to eat it or drink it, we say bring it. Just don’t forget about proper packing; if you’re bringing something like tuna salad or, say, popsicles, bring a little cooler or a freezable lunch bag. Because a nice, cold beer is far better than a warm, flat one.

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