Flannel Fete: How To Pack The Perfect Picnic
Relax on a grassy slope with these blanket-friendly tips
Find fitting food
For a no-nonsense feast, opt for a combination of deli food and portable fare. It’s a great way to support local businesses, many of which have invested in offering easy takeaway options.
If you’re feeding a lot of people, skip the multitudes of sandwiches and pack for a super-sized baquet. Assemble at your picnic spot to avoid sogginess.
Crudites, cold meats, crackers, cheeses and savoury muffins are tasty small-ticket items.
Avoid desserts that are particularly sticky, like jam tarts; instead, opt for brownies, biscuits and sweet pastries.
Take a cooler bag
A cooler box can be weighty, especially when you’re lugging it to a scenic site. Use its lighter cousin, the bag, to keep drinks and eatables chilled.
Use environmentally friendly utensils
Put aside the porcelain and pack eco-friendly alternatives to plastic cutlery. The same goes for the rest of your flatware — choose biodegradable or reusable, lightweight plates and bring along sauces and garnishes in jam jars already on-hand.
Tend to your fragiles
If you’re bringing along breakables — a wine bottle, a receptacle — consider wrapping them in dish towels. You can then use them for serving, for laying food on or for when an urgent napkin calls.
Find a blanket balance
The right picnic blanket is a hard-won but endlessly appreciable find: it needs to be durable enough to withstand the outdoors, but not so rough as to spoil the sense of open-air comfort; it needs to be soft, but not so fleecy that it becomes a beacon for twigs, prickles and leafy detritus.
Then there’s size (add on a bit of extra square meterage if you want to lay about), moveability (built-in handles are worth their weight in convenience) and waterproofness (think underlinings).
Consider some extras
A few pillows for scattering, a music-playing device (with its portable charger) and a handful of your favourite condiments and toppings, like pestos, salad dressings, herbs and pomegranate seeds, make for space-taking, but luxurious, additions.