Eating al fresco is something that has to be done when you live somewhere with a nice climate. Whether you’re in your yard, in the park or on the beach, a picnic is a fantastic way to enjoy the weather, eat outdoors and have a really great social with your friends and family.
You have the option of chucking a sandwich and some drinks into a bag, keeping your picnic super simple. But there are certain essentials that you can bring to your picnic to ensure everyone attending has a really great time.
Here are 9 picnic essentials every al fresco diner needs:-
Of course, you have to have something to sit on. Sitting on the beach isn’t much fun when the sand is finding its way into your clothes and hair. A park picnic just won’t be the same when the ants are biting everyone’s legs. A picnic in your yard isn’t as enjoyable when the ground feels hard underneath and you’re uncomfortable. You get the point…
Opt for a foil based blanket which is waterproof, provides insulation if the ground is cold and has a comfortable feel to it. If you’re expecting a lot of guests, perhaps ask everyone to bring their own blanket. Handy on a sewing machine? Checkout this DIY picnic blanket tutorial on YouTube.
The food is probably the most important part of the picnic isn’t it? Otherwise you’re all just sat outside having a nice time. So, the food has to be really spot on. Here are some easy picnic crowd-pleasers to consider for your next al fresco dining do:-
? Steak sandwiches – get some baguettes and line them with thick griddled steak. Cut them into portions and have sauces and salad on offer for guests to ‘customize’ their food.
? Prawn salad – easy to make, and always a crowd pleaser. Hold off on sauces and seasonings so that guests can add as they please.
? Beef & Vegetable Pasties – either full size or miniature, pasties are ideal picnic food because you can make tons of them in advance and they taste delicious cold.
? Lamb kofta – provide flatbreads and mint yogurt for delicious meaty treats everyone will enjoy.
? Cake – passion fruit and cream, baked orange and ricotta – be a bit fancy with a big show stopping cake everyone can share.
Of course, you’re going to need drinks as well! Iced tea always goes down well, along with some cold alcohol for the adults.
3. The Gazebo
The gazebo is essential for a picnic in a hot climate because it provides shade. Nobody needs to come home from a picnic burnt when there’s a gazebo providing sun protection. It can be as big as you need, as long as it is keeping your guests from suffering in the sunshine.
4. The Seating
Some people will like to stay seated at a picnic, but others prefer to have a seat to sit in, particularly if they are older and struggle to get up and down off the ground. For this reason, it is always a good idea to have a few foldaway chairs for people to use if they need to. You might also want to see all blankets types out there, making sure that you get a big blanket so everyone on have a space to sit.
It is possible to attend a picnic without the need for knives, forks, plates and other items. For example, if everyone has sandwiches and they drink from cans or bottles. However, if you want to eat more of a selection of food and drink you will need to have some cups, plates and utensils on hand. It is important to be a responsible consumer with everything you purchase, so that you help to protect our fragile environment. So don’t opt for the throwaway plastic pieces and instead choose recyclable paper items, or reusables.
6. Trash Bags
One of the worst things anybody can do when they enjoy a picnic in a beautifully preserved environment is to leave their trash to pollute the place afterwards. Be a responsible al fresco diner and used boxes or recyclable trash bags to collect rubbish after the picnic. Leave the area as you left it for others to enjoy, and for your family to enjoy in the future.
Most good quality cooler boxes will keep ice frozen for days. Ice is a really good idea because you can keep food and drinks nice and cool. Everyone will be thankful for an ice cold beverage once the midday heat has kicked in.
Kids in particular can get bored at picnics so it is important to take some activities for them to enjoy. A few balls, a cricket set and maybe some other outdoor sports kits will work well to keep everyone entertained while the food is being put out.
9. Paper Towels & Recyclable Moist Towelettes
Picnics can get messy, so cleanup items are important. Recyclable moist towelettes can get rid of sandy hands, messy post-food faces and all kinds of dirt and debris that can collect on surfaces during picnics.
Eating outdoors is a great idea when the weather is beautiful and the scenery is impressive. Get your family and friends together and hold your next big meal in a park or on the beach along with these 9 essentials. You’ll be making plenty of amazing memories to last a lifetime.