The Ultimate Picnic Packing List for the Perfect Day Out
Tips and tricks for the ultimate alfresco spread.
It's picnic season; that delightful time of the year when friends and families gather, blankets are spread, and baskets are filled with tasty treats to nibble on well into the late afternoon. Whether you're at the beach or a park, a picnic can truly be one of the most enjoyable ways to spend your time outdoors in the warmer months. What isn't enjoyable, however, is that moment when you open your basket and it dawns on you that you haven't nailed the packing list – forgetting the cheeseboard essentials can totally ruin your day.
Below, we have curated the ultimate list of everything you need to bring with you to make your picnic a successful and stylish affair with expert tips from stylist Jackie Brown who created the dreamy alfresco settings pictured. "Preparation is key! Start from the ground and work your way up," says Jackie.
The easiest way to ensure the good times keep rolling is by ensuring you have a decent amount of food and drinks. Consider foods that are easy to prepare and share like a beautifully curated cheeseboard. Find a few of our favourite easy entertaining recipes you can bring along with you, here.
There's something so satisfying about packing a picnic basket with all your goods, knowing you get to dive into it all later. Having a decent-sized basket to carry your precious cargo is a necessity and if you find one that's stylish as well it makes for a cute decor item on the day. If you've scouted a location which requires a bush walk or plan to hop to different locations you may need to consider a picnic backpack instead.
A true essential for any good picnic, a blanket will protect you from dirt and sand and offer a more comfortable place to sit and kneel. Our beautiful linen throws make for the perfect picnic blankets and are available in a wide range of shades to suit any style or picnic theme you choose. "If the ground is damp, it’s worth popping a plastic liner or tarp underneath," suggests Jackie. "Style with cushions for the ultimate lounging experience."
A picnic table is great for outdoor food prep and serving refreshments Jackie recommends investing in some portable picnic tables like the Stanley Rogers ones she used. "You can set them up in different configurations depending on how many guests you have. Not only will this help elevate the aesthetic of your picnic by adding layers of height, but it will also elevate your food and keep it out of the way of uninvited crawling guests!"
Make sure you have enough cutlery for every guest and stick to non-disposable plates, cups, utensils, and paper napkins – there's no need to create extra waste! "Think about the serveware the same way you would if you were hosting a dinner party at home," says Jackie. For those who want to create the ultimate picnic display, consider using Bed Threads Ceramic Dinner Plates and Bittossi plates for serving food. "Bring bowls and vessels and platters in different shapes and sizes to add interest to the picnic tablescape."
If you aren't using a table consider wine glass holders that can be stuck into the ground. A blanket on grass or sand doesn’t typically provide the best surface for cutting foods like bread, so it’s a good idea to have a chopping block on hand – it can also double up as an extra serving platter. And don't forget a bottle opener!
Things can get messy quickly at picnics so it’s well worth ensuring you have napkins and wipes on hand. Our stylish range of 100% French flax linen Classic and Scolloped Napkins make for the perfect picnic companions and will elevate any spread. It’s also handy to have sanitiser in your kit especially when everyone is sharing food.
If you want to create a stand-out display, Jackie suggests adding some flowers to your set-up. "Don’t go too high with your florals, keep them loose and low-lying so you can all still talk over the table."
Not the prettiest item, but definitely a necessity. Nothing will disappoint you more than rocking up to your picnic area of choice only to serve up a warm salad or pop a room-temperature bottle of champagne. You will thank yourself if you bring along an esky with plenty of ice in it.
As nice as it is to spend hours basking in the glorious sunshine, we can’t deny the fact that harsh sun is terrible for your skin. Bring some sunscreen and a hat with you and if you're feeling extra cautious, a beach umbrella.