How to Host the Perfect Summer Picnic

How to Host the Perfect Summer Picnic

Packing up a picnic basket and heading to the great outdoors is one of summer’s greatest joys. While the British weather doesn’t always lend itself to this most quintessential of activities, you’ll want to make the most of those perfect picnicking days when the sun makes an appearance.

Alfresco dining can be as simple or extravagant as you like, but at the end of the day, it's all about getting a nice dose of fresh air and sunshine while enjoying some good food with even better company. That said, there are some key points to consider if you want to picnic like a pro. From finding the ideal location to creating a dreamy outdoor set-up, we’re sharing our favourite tips for hosting the perfect picnic this summer (weather permitting!).

Scout out a scenic location

Find a picturesque picnic spot, and you’re well on your way to hosting a heavenly alfresco lunch. Settle down by the riverside, head for the hills to enjoy sweeping countryside views, or simply set up camp in your local park. You can even enjoy a picnic in your back garden – an ideal option if there’s a risk the weather will turn, and you can quickly relocate indoors!

Left: Picnic tablescape with a honey gingham table cloth and country hills in the background. Right: Close up of grasses and flowers with a stone wall.

The most important part is to have a relatively flat, lush grassy area to lay out your picnic rug. If it’s a particularly sunny day, choose a location under some trees for plenty of natural shade in case it gets too hot.  

Select your favourite picnic ‘picky bits’  

Whether you call it ‘British tapas’, ‘girl dinner’ or ‘picky bits’, picnics are the OG finger food feasts. Keep things fuss-free and opt for items that don’t require a knife and fork, like traditional afternoon tea sandwiches or sliced quiche. Plus, is it really a picnic without a scotch egg or sausage roll?

Taking inspiration from the French pique-nique, you also can’t go wrong with a freshly baked baguette or rustic loaf accompanied by a selection of cheeses and charcuterie. Add a beautiful chopping board to your picnic hamper for slicing bread and serving food, or keep extras to a minimum with ‘tear and share’ focaccia.   

Left: rustic loaf on a midnight strip napkin. Right: Berry gingham tablecloth with a bowl of strawberries

If you do want to elevate your alfresco dining with crockery and cutlery, go for food that travels well. For an alternative to a classic potato salad, try out a wholesome and healthy canned bean salad that will still look great even if it's shaken up in transit.

Don’t forget something sweet to finish, like traditional Welsh cakes or a zesty lemon drizzle loaf.

Create a chic picnic set-up

It wouldn’t be a picnic without a beautiful blanket or tablecloth to set the scene. Gingham is always a classic and creates that beautiful ‘rustic picnic chic’ look. A bright colour will also bring the sunshine if it’s a cloudy day. A large linen tablecloth is the perfect basis for a ‘picnicscape’, used directly on the grass instead of a picnic blanket, or covering a makeshift table for next-level picnics. Our tablecloths can easily go in the wash when you get home if you have any food spills or grass stains.

Left: Honey linen tablecloth with honey gingham napkins and cakes. Right: Honey tablecloth on a washing line.

Add matching linen napkins for an elevated look – a simple but sophisticated alternative to disposable paper ones. If you’re bringing any ceramics or glassware, wrap them up in napkins to keep them safe during the journey, and use the napkins as food covers to keep insects away from your food between snacking.

For the ultimate picnic setting, add cushions and throws for extra comfort – they’ll come in handy for any afternoon naps too!

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