A picnic setting with food spread across it

In the age of technology and COVID-19, the world feels as if it is moving more quickly than ever as we are constantly attached to screens and inundated with new information. One good place to slow down has always been around good food. It’s a time to take a deep breath, share stories and celebrate all the big and small life moments, no matter what’s going on.

With safe social distancing practices in mind, summer is the time to gather your closest friends and get together for a meal outside. Having the perfect picnic takes some planning. Whether it’s your 10th picnic or your first, here’s your all-inclusive guide to planning the ultimate picnic party.

Summer is the time to gather your closest friends and get together for a meal outside.

Packing

  • Food storage
    Rather than using plastic bags to bring your food along to your picnic, try using
    Bee’s Wrap or silicon Stasher bags to reduce plastic consumption and keep your food fresh. Less plastic means less clean up. 
  • Reusable utensils
    There are lots of great reusable utensils and two-in-one utensil options for the avid camper or picnicker. Try out these
    reusable bamboo utensils from The Earthling Co. that are ethically-sourced and sustainable, meaning they’re good for your picnic and the planet.
  • Cups
    Ditch the red solo cup and try out these sturdy, all-occasion
    YETI rambler tumblers that keep out sand, dirt or extra gunk while keeping your drink cool and fresh. 
  • Linens
    If you’re planning on having a picnic every night this summer like I do, then check out these simple
    West Elm Riveira Handwoven Cotton Napkins that will match any theme or aesthetic. They are easy to wash and reuse for your next picnic. If you do opt for paper napkins, then try some with a fun, geometric design like these Colour Wheel Napkins from Meri Meri.

Attire 

Food 

  • Bread
    Grab a baguette from your local bakery or
    make your own sourdough baguette for a homemade spread.
  • Charcuterie
    Is it really a picnic without a charcuterie board? Cheese, meats, fruits and nuts—you name it. If you don’t eat meat, then you can always try a vegan charcuterie board like
    this one here
  • Salad
    This doesn’t just apply to greens. Switch it up with a pasta, bean or fruit salad. To make a great, easy salad, grab your favorite stone fruit and mix it with mozzarella or feta, fresh basil, nuts and a little bit of balsamic and olive oil.
  • Veggies & Dip
    In addition to the hard cheeses on your charcuterie board, opt for a non-dairy dip like this plant-based herb cream cheese, which will last a bit longer in the heat and taste just as delicious with your favorite dipping veggie, like carrots, cucumbers or celery. 
  • Sweets
    At the end of the meal, you’ll want something sweet to finish off your meal. Avoid chocolate or anything that could melt easily. Instead, try a lighter dessert like homemade berry crumb bars or fresh fruit. You can also opt for a more portable option like
    organic dates with nut butter—a delicious, easy, salty and sweet pairing. 
  • Drinks
    It’s hot, and you’ll definitely want a refreshing drink to wash down all the yummy food. Nothing says a summer picnic like a refreshing glass of rosè or a homemade lemonade. If you’re looking for something new and a casual version of an adult drink, try out hard kombucha. Just like the regular health benefits of kombucha, hard kombucha takes a few more rounds of fermentation yielding a higher alcohol content, but it is still just as delicious. Brands like
    June Shine and Flying Embers are a delicious option for hard kombucha. 

Last but not least, the most important part of an ultimate picnic is the company you surround yourself. Enjoy your picnic!

Is there a must-have item you need to make the perfect picnic? What are some of your go-to foods to pack?

Image via Dana Hursey, Darling Issue No. 16

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