Picnics are for Lovers
Picnics are about getting away, it’s the unpredictability, the surprise, the unexpected which leads them to being relaxing, a breath of fresh air and potentially a memorable and romantic dining experience.
Planning a picnic is a great idea for a special occasion or to get some quality time together. Getting out of the house on a regular basis is sometimes all that’s needed to reboot the relationship. The trick is to keep it easy yet elegant, so I’m not going to give you recipes here rather ingredients you can pluck out of the fridge or from a supermarket deli or specialty food store.
Personally, I’m a bit of a purist and feel that a true picnic requires you to sit on a blanket on the ground, not in a chair or at a table. I find sitting and eating on the ground a delightful experience that uses my five senses and enhances the moment. Give it a try and if you can’t do without a trusty chair, why not give cushions a whirl instead.
Below I’ve created list of romantic places to hold a picnic and a comprehensive picnic packing list. In my next blog, I’ll be covering evocative picnic themes.
Romantic Places to hold a Picnic
A place with shade or shelter from the elements
At a festival, the races, the polo
At the zoo
Beside a fireplace, brazier or bonfire
Favourite spot from your childhood
Hill or a rise with a view
In your garden or borrow a friend’s
Lunchtime escape from the office in a nearby park
On your bed
On a boat, ferry or train
Open air performance
Orchard or olive grove
Outdoor bath or spa pool
Park or rose garden*
Sunset or sunrise
Waterfall, river, lake, beach or pier
*Visit the i-SITE Visitor Information Centre in your town or region; they should have free information about all parks in your area.
Picnic Packing List
A quilt/large woven beach mat/Persian carpet/a tartan blanket/checked tablecloth/sheepskins
Extra blankets to cover you both for a nap
Tarpaulin for underneath blanket or mat if required
A scatter of cushions
A picnic basket/backpack/cold bag (lighter than chilly bin)/wooden wine crate/ shopping trundler
Sun umbrella/sunhats (or find a shady tree)/sunglasses
Linen napkins/paper napkins/wet wipes/tea towels
Cutlery (try wooden or bamboo instead of plastic, available at delis)/plates/bread board/Swiss Army Knife/bread and cheese knife
Tumblers/wine glasses/champagne flutes/wine tumblers (no stems) – or use wine glass prongs also known as cocktail cradles, which you skewer into the ground
Corkscrew (or uncork bottles in advance)/bottle opener/ice bucket/pre-frozen chill sleeve for wine/ice/ice packs
Bottled water (freeze plastic bottles of water to double as ice packs)
Thermos and cups
Picnic salt & pepper shaker (or twist small amounts into waxed paper)
Condiments such as chilli, horseradish, mayo, mustard, tomato sauce, soya, vinaigrette, butter
Insect repellent/SPF lotion/First Aid kit (in car)
Rubbish bag/toilet paper
Music in the form of iPod and speakers/ghetto blaster
Fire safe lanterns/torch
Books or e-reader/Sunday papers/board games/cards/balls/Frisbee
Things to Remember Before you Set Off
Freeze your ice packs the night before
Check the weather forecast before leaving
Meat, poultry, fish or seafood needs to remain refrigerated or packed in ice and eaten as soon as possible.
Remember to put your phones and other gadgets on silent. You’ll never be able to enjoy your partner and unwind with zings and pings alerting you to incoming texts and emails every few minutes.
Special thanks to Lesley Christensen-Yule for helping edit this piece.