One of the great joys of summer is having a picnic in the countryside. Location is paramount, with parks, riversides and hilltops all providing glorious picnicking opportunities. Pack up your favourite food, call up the people you love the most and take them to a gorgeous location out in the sticks to enjoy the scenery.
Originating from France, Picnic, or pique-nique, comes from piquer, the French for “to pick at food”, and nique meaning something small of no value. Once only reserved for wealthy hunters and country people out on their estates, it was the Victorians who popularised the picnic and made it commonplace. Since then it is the past time of many and the great British countryside couldn’t be a more idyllic setting, but the perfect picnic requires careful planning and preparation.
Just because you’re dining al fresco doesn’t mean that all etiquette should be forgotten about. Plus, it’s a much nicer experience when you don’t have sticky fingers! Use Tupperware to pack everything neatly and make sure they are fastened shut securely – nothing dampens spirits more than a leaky cool box. Wrap items that are more likely to leak or smell particularly strong in cling film or a plastic bag for extra protection. Plastic Cutlery, Plates and Glasses will also enhance your experience. Consider packing a lightweight tray to perch glasses on while pouring and between sips, and more importantly, don’t forget the bottle opener!
Remembering to pack cold boxes and ice packs is essential. This ensures items such as meat, fish or dairy stay fresh and means your drink will stay cool. Although it may be tempting to lay everything out on display for a Pinterest worthy photo, food that’s spent an afternoon soaking up the sun can increase the risk of an icky tummy. It’s also important to take anti-bacterial wipes or gel, and make sure that everyone’s hands are clean before tucking into the treats.
Avoid soggy sandwiches and wilted salads by packing dressings, fillings and optional extras in separate Tupperware then adding to the food last minute. This ensures everything is fresh for al fresco dining at its best.
Salads and Sides
Pasta and potato salads are perfect for picnics. Not only are they quick and easy to prepare, they also travel well and fill you up! During preparation, add the heavier ingredients first to avoid a flattened salad and add any sauce or dressing when you arrive.
There are so many sweet treats to choose from that are perfect for a picnic. From strawberries and cream or mixed fruit to sponge cake or brownie. The options are literally endless, just remember that chocolate melts! Slicing or portioning dessert before you leave is a good idea.
This is another reason ice packs are so important. Who wants warm Champagne after all? Wine, Champagne, cold beers or fruity soft drinks are the perfect compliment to any sun-filled picnic day. If you’re feeling especially fancy you could even opt for Gin and Tonic, add a dash of elderflower and some chopped fruit for the perfect summer refreshment. On a cooler day, a thermos flask of coffee, tea or hot chocolate is sure to counter chilly fingers.
Don’t forget to pack a coupe of blankets; one to sit on and one to keep you warm when the sun hides behind the clouds.
If you love the countryside and being at one with nature then you may also enjoy reading Advantages of Country Life over City Living.