Creating a perfect picnic in your garden!

 

“A picnic is a state of mind and can be made anywhere”

Anonymous

Picnics are about being together with your family, friends and loved ones.  It needs very little planning.  Sun, food and good company in a location where the air is fresh, and nature is abundant.  Eating out in the open under the glow of a soft sun and breeze is a small luxury which makes life just that much nicer.  But as we write this, we know that things are a little different right now.  Being outside with company that is not part of your household is ill-advised.  Being in a park or open fields is also to be avoided.  So how does one still experience the joy of a picnic? 

For us the answer is the beloved back garden!  The invitation is open to all those we share our house with!

We are obsessed with eating outdoors, picnic style, mix and match food, drinks and great company.  So to help you plan your perfect garden picnic, have a look at our quick tips:

Guest List:

The is a new world right now.  Lockdown in most parts of the world means that we are not going to be able to invite those we do not live with.  At least there will be no late arrivals!  Guests also need to be informed in advance what to bring so that the picnic has a good balance of sweet and savour, salads, drinks and dips.  A picnic with 4 pasta salads can be a little too filling! 

Location:

We have an abundance of lavender growing in our garden, so we love to be near this as the wind carries the soft smell adding that something special to the garden picnic.  If you have a herb garden this can be a beautiful place to spread out your picnic.

Food:

Keeping things simple does not equal bland.  Ask guests to contribute ideas and supplies.  Sharing the same kitchen does not mean that the person organising the picnic has the sole responsibility for all the food!  Picnics need sweet and savoury.  Soft dips combined with crispy nibbles.  Chilled salads with a sprinkling of fruit are delicious!  Avoid things that you normally snack on.  This will ensure that the garden picnic is something special, not just an extension of your daily eating habit.  Fresh herbs will create tasty toppings to simple dishes, and fresh fruit salads will make the perfect dessert accompaniments.   To give your imagination a kick start, below are some of our all-time go-to favourites:

Dips, dips and dips…we can’t get enough of them! Some yummy dip options on the BBC website.

Missing bread?  Enjoy more than just a regular French stick, have a look at these easy and delicious options!

For quick easy and tasty mains have a look at what our friends at The Guardian are cooking up!

Back garden picnics are perfect for ice creams as they can keep in the freezer until needed.  We also love the options of these easy desserts:

Drinks:

Freshly chilled drinks will keep you nourished and hydrated.  Water flavoured with garden herbs, fresh smoothies, and selection of wines and easy cocktails are some of the drink options we like to have on hand.  Again, don’t despair, we have done the hard work for you with a selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic recipes and recommendations below:

All these ideas deserve multiple picnics!

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/jun/22/what-to-drink-on-a-picnic-fiona-beckett

More here from Southern Kitchen, we especially love their pineapple mint ice tea!

https://www.southernkitchen.com/articles/drink/the-best-portable-beverages-for-picnics-and-other-lazy-outdoor-drinking-occassions

Final tips:

Set a time and make sure your household knows of it.  A guest responsible for bringing bread deciding to be late will not help with the dips waiting to be eaten

😊.

The benefit of your garden picnic is that you don’t need to eat from plastic or paper!  Make it special by using china, linen and proper glasses.   Get help from your flatmates or family to help you set up and clean up!    A generous spread of cushions, with comfy outdoor throws and waterproof blankets to sit on, will just mean that you will not want the day to end! 

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