June 30, 2021
Ah, an outdoor picnic on a lovely sunny day in beautiful surroundings – it really can’t be beaten. One of the great things about a picnic is that you can have one anywhere; we are all about fields and woodlands here at Penhein but of course beautiful beaches work equally well, somewhere you can curl your toes in the sand and paddle in the sea.
Wherever you decide to go for your en plein air outing, here are a few tips to help you make your picnic, well, perfect.
1.Find the right spot
Choosing where to have your picnic will set the tone for your day. Look for somewhere with wonderful scenery, some flat ground and ideally some shade for the hot days; set up under a tree perhaps. If there is no shade or you are on a beach, pack some parasols or large sun umbrellas to keep you cool. Try and find somewhere with space for children to run around or explore or by a stream so everyone can indulge in a little paddling.
2. A bit of Forward Planning
Once you’ve decided where you are going to go, indulge in a little forward planning to keep stress out of the mix. The main thing is to work out what to eat and, where possible, prepare it the day before. Keep it simple so that you don’t have to worry about needing lots of plates and cutlery. Make a list of what you need to pack apart from the food, so you don’t leave anything behind.
3. Food, Glorious Food
We always think simple is best and finger food is better! Think of things that can be pre-prepared such as sandwiches, cold sausages and perhaps a delicious quiche. Top tip: don’t make a salad, which could just wilt in the heat. Chop some lovely crudites instead, to eat on their own or to use with a lovely creamy minted dip. Follow it with some cool fruit kebabs or strawberries (don’t forget to bring some cream, poured into a kiln jar to avoid spilling) and finish off with some home made brownies as a final treat. Add in a few bags of crisps as an appetiser and voila!
4. Check the weather forecast
Don’t get caught out by the Great British weather. Make sure you have some jumpers and wellies in the car in case it starts raining or a wind blows up. If it is going to be a hot day, don’t forget to pack the sunscreen and perhaps wear long linen or cotton sleeves
5. Table or Rugs?
Work out if you are going to need a picnic table and chairs or if you will all be happy sitting on the ground. This will depend partly on where you are going to eat and how many of you there are. Don’t forget if you are taking rugs, make sure some are waterproof in case the ground is damp. If you are having guests perhaps ask them to bring their own seats/rugs so you don’t have to worry. If you decide against a table see if you can set up near a naturally flat surface instead.
6. Does wicker work best?
The romantic idea of a picnic is it all packed up in a wicker basket with plates and cutlery strapped to the top. Lovely, yes, but not always practical on its own. Why not pack the food separately in a cool box; you can then use the lid as a flat surface for putting a cutting board on if you need it. Put everything else in the wicker basket, to keep the traditional look.
7. Play some games
If you are out in the countryside why not enjoy the space? Take some frisbees, bats and balls or footballs so you can all play a game to get your appetite going.
8. Have a Siesta
If you feel like a little zizz in the shade after the games and food, make sure you have packed some pillows or cushions so you can stretch out in comfort for your nap.
9. Don’t forget the paperwork
Use compostable paper plates and recyclable wooden knives if you don’t feel like doing any washing up when you get home. Take some kitchen roll to use for wipes and spills and paper napkins for a little luxury living.
10. “Take only photographs leave only footprints”
Don’t leave anything behind you when you leave. Bring a dustbin bag to use specifically for your rubbish. Fill it up, tie it up and take it home.
Last but not least… Have fun! What is not to like about eating and playing in the fresh air in beautiful countryside? Not for everyday maybe, but a lovely treat for a special occasion or a wonderful family gathering.