I feel like October is the perfect time for picnics, no matter where you are in the world. In the northern hemisphere everyone’s getting excited about autumn leaves, pumpkins and tartan blankets. Down here, we’re making the most of the sun and warm weather before the heat gets completely insane.
Picnics are social, fun and eating outside is actually good for you, but so far this season, I’ve found it hard to organise one. People are happy to go out for breakfast, sit in the park with sushi or even organise a full blown barbecue at home, but everyone seems to think picnics are hard. And I blame Pinterest.
These days, it’s like you didn’t actually have a picnic unless your perfect plaid blanket was covered in supermodel friends, an elaborate cheese platter and a butt load of pastel macarons with champagne flutes and silver knives. But let’s be real – you really just need some snacks, a patch of grass and just other person you really like.
Armed thanks to the lovely people at Talking Tables*, I think I’ve managed to find the perfect balance. Here are my tips for pulling together a picnic that looks cute AF and and takes next to no effort, so you can sit back and actually enjoy the food and sunshine.
- No one wants to lug around heavy plates, glasses and cutlery (or have to wash them up again when it’s all over), but life’s too short for boring white paper plates! Talking Tables’ Tropical Fiesta food trays are super cute, made from sustainable birch wood and has both your plate/bowl needs covered. The range also has matching wooden cutlery – stronger than their plastic counterparts, and won’t take a zillion years to break down.
- If you’d prefer not to go disposable, melamine plates are super light, reusable and easy to clean. I couldn’t go past the blues of Talking Tables’ Coastal plates – at 23cm diameter they’re the perfect size and I’ve also been using them in the kitchen at home (so no need to feel like you’re buying things exclusively for picnic use!)
- Although they’re cute, you really don’t need an exxy picnic basket or blanket. Old blankets and large towels work perfectly, while I’ve been using the same massive canvas tote bag for years (all of which are much easier to clean)
- A stash of thick, good quality paper napkins is worth investing in. They can be used for wiping greasy hands, mopping up spills, giving reusable plates a quick swipe before packing them away and for cleaning bird poop off your neck if you’re Brandon. I’m only halfway through my Coastal double pack.
The food and drink
- Time the picnic for between meals e.g. morning tea or afternoon drinks. That way there’s less expectation for it to be a filling, nutritious or cohesive – no salads, BBQ meats etc required.
- Don’t feel guilty about buying food that’s ready to go – for the food in these pictures, I literally just did a lap of my local Sunday markets and a few aisles at Coles, and threw it all in my bag – absolutely no food prep required before or after we arrived, other than opening some packets.
- … but if you really do want to get crafty in the kitchen first, check out this guide to fuss-free picnic menus.
- Bring along single serve drinks. If you feel like you’re missing out on the whimsy factor, go for drinks (soft or alcoholic) n glass bottles (recycleable, yay) and pop some paper straws in – I love Talking Tables’ Modern Metallics foil straws as they go with everything, but you can check out their full range here (currently eyeing off the floral fiesta pack).
- Don’t feel like you need to travel an hour to an exciting location. Parks are lovely, and backyard picnics can be pretty fab too.
- If you’re bringing kiddies along, try to find somewhere that has a playground and let them run loose so that things really can be fuss free for the parents.
- There are a lot of options here (starting with “enjoy your company”) but few things are as versatile as a pack of cards! Click here for a ridiculously long list of games you can play with a standard deck!
Got any other tips!? Drop them in the comments below, I’d love to hear them 🙂
*Talking Tables design and sell fun, vibrant, coordinated party and tableware products. Their quality is top notch, and although UK-based they ship internationally. They were kind enough to gift me the products mentioned in this post, but as always I will never accept a offer from a brand I don’t love and also think you’ll enjoy. You can view my full PR disclaimer here.