Every year, as soon as the sun shows its elusive face (even if it’s only for a few minutes), we all go picnic-crazy. In fact, some of us go so crazy that we end up forgetting the basics of a good picnic: you need something to sit on and something to drink from… oh, and some food would be handy too.
If you’ve got plans for a picnic over the holidays – whether in the park, on the beach or just in your own back garden – arm yourself with our tips and wow your friends and family with your creativity and initiative, and not a soggy sandwich in sight. Now we just need a hack to control the weather…
No hamper? No problem
You could swear you had a proper picnic hamper lurking in the loft but, just when you were finally about to use it, it’s nowhere to be seen.
Of course, you could just shove your stuff into carrier bags, but a far more practical and stylish solution is to use your blanket for storage too. Simply pop all your bits and bobs into the middle, fasten it at the top and you’re good to go. Also handy for making a fast getaway during the inevitable downpour.
Banish bugs from your beer
Everyone’s got some pretty cupcake cases lurking in a drawer from that baking project that never quite happened, so now’s the time to dust them off and put them to good use – as cute little hats for your al fresco drinks. They’ll keep the creepy crawlies out and, if they have a variety of patterns, make it easy to spot your drink.
No more crying over spilled milk - or Pimms!
Is there anything more annoying than spilling your drink on the grass? But rather than propping your glass up in your shoe (come on, we’ve all done it), take along a muffin tray. It’s perfect for passing around drinks amongst a group, and it can also double up as an easy way to offer around little bits, like condiments, nuts and sweeties.
You can put pretty much anything in a jar
You’ve got a few old jars lying around, right? As well as making trendy cocktail receptacles, empty jars are also ideal for serving simple snacks. You could whack in individual portions of fruit salad, serve up some raw veg sticks with a dip beneath or even cram them with pasta and sauce.
Finally! Sandwiches that don't fall apart
Sandwiches are considered the ultimate on-the-go food, and yet they’re sometimes oddly difficult to eat – and indeed transport. Pressed sandwiches solve this problem. With some cling film and a few heavy books, you can create colourful little slices of yumminess that are very pleasing to the eye too.
Keep cool whatever the weather
What’s worse than a soggy sandwich? A warm soggy sandwich. To keep your picnic food cool and crisp, freeze up some water bottles in advance and stash them in your bag. Voila, a portable fridge – and some much-needed hydration later when you’ve had too much sun.
Fruit never looked so good
Not all rainbow-hued foods involve copious amounts of food colouring. These fruit skewers will put a smile on the kids’ faces without sending them hyper. They’ll enjoy making them too (just watch out for secret scoffing). See, picnics aren’t just about snack food, you can get your fruit fix too.