Everyone’s lives have been put on hold in one way or another during this global pandemic and whilst it’s been pretty tough, there’s finally a little light at the end of the tunnel…
Lockdown in the UK is slowly beginning to lift, just in time for us to still make the most of our summer and what better way to enjoy the sunshine in the UK than with a picnic? That’s when we get some of course… Whether you’re catching up with a friend who you haven’t seen in months or just fancy getting out of the house with your loved ones, you can’t go wrong with a picnic, even if it has to be socially distanced.
So, here are 7 steps to help you plan the ultimate picnic this summer:
Pick The Perfect Spot
Finding the perfect location can be tricky, especially right now when most people are trying to find outdoor activities to do! So, this is something you should think about in advance. If you’re meeting a friend and you both have to travel, try and find somewhere to meet in the middle. If there’s a few of you and your bags are pretty heavy, make sure you can park close by to where you’re going to have the picnic, so you don’t have to drag heavy bags around. Usual picnic spots like your local park or the beach (if you’re lucky enough to live near a beach!) might be pretty popular, so try and think of somewhere else or visit at a quieter time. Make sure that wherever you choose has some shade to keep the food cool.
Pack your table cloth, blanket and cushions
When I think of a picnic, I picture a cute gingham blanket on the grass, anyone else? If you don’t fancy sitting on the grass/sand then a sheet or a blanket is a great idea, so be sure to pack one. The sheet can also double as a table cloth in case you find a picnic bench that isn’t clean. Cushions just make for a comfier seat on the ground!
If you want to lay food out, picnic plates and cutlery are a great addition to a picnic basket. You can find so many cute reusable picnic sets online too… The type of plates and cutlery you take might depend on who you’re meeting. If you’re meeting friends from another household, even though restrictions are lifting slowly, it’s more hygienic to use disposable plates, cups and cutlery. If you’re with your own household though, reusable ones are perfect – and they’re also better for the environment!
Take a picnic basket or cooler – or both!
A basket is an obvious option when planning a picnic… a top tip is to reverse pack the basket so when you arrive, the items you want first are on the top. If you’re taking fruit, salads or other food/drinks which need to be refrigerated, don’t forget your cooler. Fill it with chunky pieces of ice to keep it cooler for longer. Frozen ice packs are a great shout and the larger they are, the longer they stay frozen.
Plan what food you’re taking
When it comes to food, try to keep it simple. Bitesize food you can pick at is super easy. Plus, it doesn’t require finding a flat surface to rest a plate whilst you use a knife and fork to cut it. Whilst it might look pretty laying out all your food on the blanket, as soon as you’ve got that Instagram shot, put some of it back in the basket/cooler so it doesn’t spoil. Resealable containers are also great at protecting food from random twigs, unwanted flies and sand! Make sure you keep the sandwiches away from the cooling block unless you want soggy sarnies!
Take a rubbish bag
Having a separate bag for rubbish makes it super easy when it comes to packing everything away. You might find it easier to put your rubbish back into the picnic basket but if you have leftover food in there, it’s probably not the nicest place to put it! Pack some spare plastic carrier bags to collect your rubbish afterwards and pop it in the bin on the way home. Don’t forget to recycle where you can!
Whether the conversation is flowing or you need a little entertainment, you can’t go wrong with some picnic games! Easy options are card games or sporty games, especially if you have kids with you. Amazon have some great outdoor game options. My personal favourite is Dobble and there are so many different packs, so it’s suitable for anyone!