The official start of summer is upon us this weekend – and that means it’s time to embrace outdoor entertaining! BBQ’s, pool parties, dining alfresco in the garden – they are all fun! But don’t forget the picnic – whether it is the end-of-the-year school picnic, dinner at a music festival, a picnic on the beach or in your favorite park, or even under the stars in your backyard – picnics are a great way to casually entertain this summer.
So, what’s to set your picnic apart from any old picnic? It’s all in the set-up!
Take time to plan out your picnic the way you would any party – choose a color scheme, define the space with decorations, and choose a fabulous menu. Choose a bold blanket to be the backdrop of your party, and surround the area with stakes draped with either lanterns or ribbon, or tiki torches. Add some bright throw pillows, and a low table to use as your buffet. (the one pictured above from Crate & Barrel is fabulous – it rolls up, which makes for easy transportation!)
Acrylic or melamine plates and glasses are key to outdoor entertaining! We all want to be environmentally-friendly – if you can invest in a set of plates this summer, you will definitely use them time and time again. You can really have fun with these – try to find a bright color, or festive pattern that matches your party’s theme.
When it comes to food, remember that it needs to be transported to your picnic spot in a cooler. Try to pack a separate one for food, and one for drinks (since that one will probably be opening more frequently). Pack your serving dishes separately, and arrange your food on them once you arrive at your location. Don’t forget to pack a sharp knife, a corkscrew and bottle opener, salt & pepper shakers, and garbage bags for easy clean-up. If your picnic will continue into the night, don’t forget your candles!
The food you serve should be fairly easy to eat – traditionally, sandwiches, fruit salad, even burgers or hot dogs are served. Looking for a few new ideas? Try lobster sliders, watermelon salad, and carrot cake cupcakes.
Picnic image via Lollipop Events