When it comes to the best places to picnic, we love to lay down a blanket and set-up our treats at a sheltered, peaceful spot near the beach in warm weather. Leafy green parks and serene national forests are also welcoming spots to picnic in nature.
Often, these places are limited by weather conditions, and you may feel your options are significantly reduced during rain and cooler temperatures. Add on COVID restrictions for large groups gathering to picnic, and it is a bit more challenging.
We have come up with some tried and tested suggestions to enjoy the best ways to picnic any time of year.
BRING THE PICNIC TO YOU
Who said you can’t enjoy the ambience of atmosphere (and treats) of a picnic from the comfort of your own home? You most certainly can!
If it’s not “outdoor weather”, set up your indoor table with a checked tablecloth, and wrap your picnic goodies in cloth or place them in a straw basket for effect!
If you’d like things to feel a little more authentic, forgo the table and clear some space on the floor to set up on a blanket there instead. Use pillows and throws for decoration (and extra comfort).
If the forecast says it’s a clear day, or your backyard is sheltered/covered, grab your cushions or camping chairs and picnic blanket and pick your perfect spot to set up.
If the ground is wet from rain the day before, use a blanket or mat that has a waterproof base, so you can lay it down on wet surfaces or grassy areas without your toosh and clothes becoming damp! If you don’t have a picnic blanket, don’t worry, just work with what you have on hand, such as towels or exercise mats.
HOW TO PICNIC – THE ESSENTIALS
- Keep it light: opt for ease and safety, and keep things lightweight and portable by using recyclable wooden or paper cups, plates and cutlery
- Add a touch of luxury: if you are indoors, or have time on your side to set up, you can use glass champagne flutes and porcelain teacups to achieve a more luxury touch
- Protect that food: if outdoors or near open windows, use protective covers to stop insects attacking you and your food. A citronella candle is a good eco-friendly way to keep bugs at bay
- Sharing is caring: wooden or plastic boards and/or containers are a great way to lay everything out so everyone can see and share food. Bringing food out in stages is another way to manage not having everything out at once so you still have room on the blanket or table, and sample a little of everything over the course of the picnic
- Set the tone: use a portable speaker or your phone to play some great picnic music – you can find picnic playlists to set the mood on Youtube or Spotify. Did you know that a cup can be an excellent amplifier? Just place your phone in a clean, dry paper cup when you play music
- Dress the part: why not ask everyone in attendance to put on a fabulous hat, and wear your favourite picnic attire, or go barefoot!
PICNIC FOOD MUST-HAVES
For picnic worthy food we recommend a little mix of easy snacking food with some more substantial options too for balance.
Mouth Watering Picnic Food Suggestions:
- Snacks: we recommend a selection of nuts, cheeses, crackers, olives, grapes and cut fruit
- Sun safe: we know to stay sun safe with an umbrella and sunscreen, but when it comes to food, consider leaving foods that aren’t sun friendly like dairy in a cooling bag (you don’t want curdled yoghurt, melted butter or ice cream)!
- Traditional picnic beverages: we love traditional lemonade, sparkling juice or iced tea (or wine or champagne if it’s that kind of celebration)!
- More substantial: finger sandwiches, mini quiches, or a BBQ style picnic are all great options pending on your guests and tastes
- Make it saucy: whatever you decide, don’t forget the sauces to add a gourmet touch and extra flavour to your dish. The Pudding Lady Simply Stirred Mango Chilli Dressing is a customer favourite for picnics. It adds the luscious taste of summer when drizzled over salads, and is also a moreish dipping sauce for seafood, such as prawns and salt and pepper squid. You can also try it as a great BBQ chicken marinade. It is available here
- Bread time: for picnic worthy bread, try a crusty baguette that can be enjoyed with jam, cheese, or dipped in a balsamic dressing. Try mixing a little olive oil and sea salt with your Pudding Lady Caramelised Balsamic Dressing for a delicious healthy and light option. You can find it here
- Finish with a “showstopper”: this might be an apple pie, pudding, chocolate cake or fruit cake to share. Our favourites include the recently released Pudding Lady Chocolate Cake, available in a range of sizes for any size picnic. It is crafted with dark chocolate, and has delicious notes of vanilla and South Australian brandy too! Discover our dessert range here
We hope these tips will help you have a fun and easy picnic, at any time of year!