Seductive Picnic Themes

posted by Angelique Meyer | February 27, 2014
POSTED IN couples / date night / food / picnics / travel

This is a list of ideas if you fancy taking on a theme. I’m not suggesting you pack everything in each theme, just do what works for you and is easily at hand.

Take two blankets; one to lie on and another to cover you both should you wish to have a nap and a cuddle. I use a square of plastic tablecloth for the food setting, this helps resist ants. You can buy some by the metre at Plastic Box (NZ) or at fabric/upholstery suppliers. If you already have a nice table-sized plastic tablecloth, use that and fold it down to a manageable size for the meal.


Deconstructed Salad Niçoise

Chilled seared Tuna or smoked Salmon

Boiled eggs

Steamed Asparagus or Green Beans

Salad greens – Cos, Baby Spinach

Cherry tomatoes

Boiled baby potatoes

Olives and Baby Pickled Onions


Aioli or Mayo


French Café

Rosé/Chilled Beer/Orangina/French mineral water
A selection of French-style cheeses — e.g. Brie or Camembert, Blue, Chevré,

A fresh, crusty Baguette baked the same day

Pâté or Smoked Salmon

Slices of Apple or Pear (tossed in a little lemon juice to prevent browning)

Bunch of rinsed then frozen or chilled Seedless Grapes


Checked blue & white tablecloth or crisp White Linen

Pétanque set


Shabby Chic by the Sea

A bottle of champagne (bring a silver ice bucket or frozen wine sleeve)

Takeaway fish and chips with slices of lemon

Additional condiments as desired; Balsamic, Salsa Verde, Tartare

Mixed berries/Sliced fruit in season, drizzled in liquid Honey and Cream


Bamboo cutlery & bright napkins, wet wipes


Fine Dining To Go

Wines of choice plus dessert wine/Sparkling grape juice and/or water

Pre-order take-out mains from your favourite restaurant

Use your nice tableware, stemless wine glasses and table linen


Cheese Plate

Wines to suit/Sparkling water

Artisanal cheeses, one sharp, one creamy and one blue

Ripe pear, sliced

Pesto or walnuts

Cherry tomatoes, rocket leaves

Relish, chutney, piccalilli or fruit paste

Ciabatta, Crackers, Crostini or Lavash

Panforte or a Rich Fruit Cake


Rotisserie Chook to Go

Chilled white wine/Sparkling apple juice

Good quality rotisserie chicken (best to buy this on the way to you destination)

Loaf of crusty bread

Dijon mustard, English mustard, Mayo

Deli coleslaw, Salad greens, Tomatoes

Salt & pepper

Lemon or Jam Tartlets



Saké and cups/Green tea or Miso in a flask

Sushi, Sashimi or Bento Box from your favourite supplier (keep chilled)


Persimmons, Nashi pears or Mochi sweet cakes


Spanish Tapas

Well-chilled Spanish Cava (sparkling), Fino or Manzanilla Sherry, Rosé, Rioja or Pomegranate juice

Pre-ordered, take-out tapas from a tapa bar, or:

Spanish tortilla

Iberico or Seranno ham or Chorizo, with fresh (or caramelised) Figs, or Melon

Manchego cheese and a lighter, creamier Goat Cheese

Anchovies and Spanish olives or Olive Tapenade

Tinned Spanish fish in sauce – ask at your deli

Smoked mussels / Garlic Shrimp / Seared Squid

Meatballs or Chicken Livers in Sherry

Stuffed Piquanté Peppers, Artichokes, Marinated Mushrooms, Bean Salad

Rustic loaf, Crostini or Grissini

Crème caramels (at supermarkets)



Chilled French champagne

Chilled Sparkling mineral water

Two dozen oysters on a bed of ice, bought to eat immediately (keep them iced) Buttered brown bread triangles or Pumpernickel

Slices of Lemon/Tabasco/Little dipping container of white balsamic

Or, sliced Buffalo Mozzarella and Tomato with fresh Basil leaves & extra virgin olive oil

Devils on horseback

Or store-bought Blinis with Sour Cream & Caviar served with a shot of vodka

Grapes/Figs/Mango/Strawberries/Passionfruit/Peaches/Cherries etc

Dipping chocolate*, Mousse, Yoghurt or Custard

*Try Dollop Chocolate Ganache, available at supermarkets.


Love in the Afternoon (in bed)

Small warm Scones (you might have to make these or buy frozen Blinis) with butter, jam, jelly or marmalade

Whipped cream

Or club sandwiches – finger sized

Pot of hot tea made with leaves, china tea cups and saucers

Glass of sherry or Port

Sprinkle bed or tray with rose petals


Persian Carpet

How about putting up a pergola with sheets or netting to create a harem look
with Persian rug and scatter cushions.

White wine or Rosé

Apple tea

Olive selection

Baba Ghanoush/Eggplant Caviar/Hummus

Flatbread/Pita bread/Slices of cucumber

Stuffed grape leaves

Spiced yoghurt

Tabbouleh salad

Goat cheese

Moroccan chutney


Baklava/Fresh Medjool dates/Grapes/Turkish delight


Star Gazing Midnight Feast

Wrap up warmly and surprise your partner by whisking them off to a mystery location after dark somewhere away from too much light pollution.

1 x Planisphere for your hemisphere (available at planetariums or on-line)

A torch with red filter (use cellophane and rubber band)


Sleeping bags or Duvet if it’s really cold

A hot drink in a thermos; Chai tea/Herbal tea/Hot chocolate/Mulled wine/Soup/ Port or Dessert wine

Arrange a platter with any goodies you can find including:

Mini quiche

Mini bagels filled

Little fruit tarts



If it’s very cold, conduct your star gazing while in your car with blankets and hot water bottles. Canoodle in the back seat and view stars out of the windows or through the sunroof.


Afternoon Movie Date

Champagne/Freshly squeezed juice

Your favourite Sandwich/BLT/Filled baguette

Platter of nibbles: mixed nuts, olives, cheeses, fresh fruit, chocolate, popcorn


Champagne Breakfast in Bed

Chilled champagne & Fresh orange juice

Fresh hot croissants with Preserves/Croque-monsieur/French toast

Plate of sliced fruit to eat with fingers with a dip of yoghurt swirled with runny honey

Pot of hot tea/Coffee as desired

Use a nice tray or clean bread board with a linen napkin thrown over it and all your good things.


Pillow dinner (cushions around a fire)

Wine of choice/Champagne/Any cocktail

Prosciutto, Cheese and Mango or Honeydew Melon

Soup with rustic bread

Or Cheese Fondue, crusty Bread and red wine

Roast some nuts on the fire shovel over embers

Toasted marshmallows


Retro Kiwiana

Bacon and Egg pie

Boiled eggs

Iceberg lettuce, Tomatoes, Beetroot

L&P / Thermos of tea

Sponge with Jam and Cream

Pineapple lumps


Special thanks to Lesley Christensen-Yule for helping edit this piece.