The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming – it’s Summer time! For your next event, why not celebrate the glorious weather and host a Summer picnic. Eating outside makes any meal feel like an adventure for children, romantic and intimate date for couples (if you watch the sunset and eat under the stars) or a fun way to get out of the house for the rest of us. We’ve got the go-to guide on what you need, menu ideas, tips on packing up your items and even how to reduce your rubbish. Get ready to soak up the vitamin-D, or enjoy some much needed quality date time with your partner.
Location & Style to Host a Summer Picnic
Whether you have a glorious backyard to make use of, want to travel to a local park to watch the sunset or head off to the beach, styling your picnic is going to be a breeze.
We absolutely love Hip & Hooray’s natural woven with faux leather handles for $29.95, and ships Australia wide. It’s stylish, roomy and study – we suggest lining it with your plastic tablecloth to protect any food spillage. Click the link to purchase.
Annabel Trends have an insulated picnic basket, this innovative design enables the basket to be folded flat for storage and is very easy to pop up and use within seconds. The quality insulation and zip lid on the basket and bottle bag, will help keep your food and drinks cool.
Hip & Hooray also have Medium Tin Buckets in a variety of colours, which can be used to keep your drinks in, whether wine or lemonade or flavoured water. You could also pop in some ice or some ice-packs to keep your drinks cooled. Our pick would be the black tin bucket, it’s easier to re-use – you could fill them with lollies and treats at a party or use them as a makeshift vase.
If you’re on a budget, we recommend heading down to your local K-Mart for some great steals.
Cutlery, plates, cups (or glasses), napkins and straws.
We love this natural tableware set from Love The Occassion. Featuring eco-tableware made from sustainably grown, untreated poplar they are bio-degradable and compostable, you can purchase rectangular bamboo plates here.
Alternatively, if the natural tableware setting isn’t for you or you have children attending, we can’t get enough of Hip & Hooray’s Watermelon collection! Purchase the watermelon plates for $6.50 for a packet of 10. The matching cups are available here also for $6.50.
For either tableware option, we think bamboo cutlery is the way to go, Love The Occassion has bamboo cutlery available for $30 you can purchase 20 forks, 20 knives and 20 spoons! We’d match either of the table settings with these watermelon napkins and white and mint striped straws (pictured above) from Hip & Hooray.
If you’re one that’s looking to protect the environment, or have a super stylish party, you might like these 400ml glass bottles from Hip & Hooray. If you’re drinking alcohol, perhaps you could use the glass bottles as makeshift wine glasses and keep the plastic cups for some water? Add a funky straws and you’re good to go.
Corkscrew – if you’re drinking wine you won’t want to forget one of these bad boys.
Paper towels – for any accidents or spillage.
Baby Wipes –If you’ve got children attending or to keep your hands fresh.
Torch – If you’re out at night.
When it comes to the menu for the day, it’s imperative to choose dishes that can be made in advance, travel well and are safe to be served at room temperature. Limiting sauces or gravy that would make the food soggy is a must. We’re going for easy hand-held style food so there’s no need to pack any extra serving cutlery.
Entrees: Mixed nuts – you can even pre-portion them out while preparing for your guests so everyone has their own bag. Nuts are not only the healthier alternative to potato chips (we’re all trying to get our summer body), but they’re less likely to get smashed during the travel time to your location.
Mains: Sandwiches are the picnic essential. Our tip is to pick out a hard bread (like a baguette), make them open faced, and choose whatever toppings you fancy. Salad boxes (you can purchase some individual ones here) are a great way to cater to gluten free guests, vegans or vegetarians. Pick a sturdy vegetables and grains to centre your salad around, lettuce often fades in the heat.
Desserts: Fruit skewers or fruit cut into little shapes so they can be eaten with a fork or little cookies and cupcakes.
Drinks: homemade lemonade, iced tea, fruit infused water. You could re-use water bottles or mason jars too! Wine is always a picnic favourite if there’s no kids around.
If you’re looking to turn your picnic into a larger celebration. You might like the input of a caterer, this way, instead of worrying about how many people you need to cater for, and if you’ve catered for the fussy eaters, down to those with food intolerances, or vegetarians, you can focus on having a good time and making the other preparations.
Bev’s Catering in Sydney is perfect for catering a picnic, check out our Picnic Birthday Bev catered. From cut out stars and heart shaped fruit, to cheese and salad sandwiches, tomato and cheese skewers and coleslaw – Bev knows how to impress. The fruit served this way is also enticing for kids.
Flavours Catering and Events in Sydney have a great menu when it comes to fussy eaters and guests with dietary requirements. We love these packaged salad boxes – great for people to be able to eat from their own individual salad boxes. They also make these delicious sliders. No event is too big or too small for them, and each event is completely customised for you.
When it comes to cupcakes, if you’re in Sydney, contact Babycakes By Renee, her cupcakes are a work of art. Look at these Alice In Wonderland ones she created!
Lushcups Bakery also cater for last minute events in Sydney. These cupcakes are so cute!
Alternatively, in Melbourne, Couture Bakes can make delicious cupcakes or brownies as pictured here and LaManna can cater macaroons, bonus points if you get pastel ones to match Spring!
Adelaide residents, look no further than Adixions Cakes. Their creations look too good to be true.
Best of all, Sweetcheeks Cookies and Cakes make delicious cookies and cater to dietary requirements too. If you’re organised and get in quick – they ship Australia wide too!
While you might want to make your own delicious homemade lemonade if you’re event will have children, for those of you looking for alcohol – we’ve got you covered.
The Wine Gallery help you choose the best bottles of wine for any occasion from our curated selection of quality affordable wines. Wines are not only matched to your individual taste, but the occasion, season, food being served and of course your budget. Same day shipping in Sydney for orders made before 4pm and The Wine Gallery also ship Australia wide.
If you’re hosting a bigger event, Shorty’s Liquor servicing Sydney are your one stop shop for when it comes to your drinks, providing a total beverage solution for functions. From the alcohol to glass hire, ice and tubs – perfect for if you’re hosting a large picnic event in your home. Their experienced team will help make your function a huge success by tailoring it to your budget, recommending wine styles & food matching, calculating the quantity of beverages required for the number of guests, and organising glass hire, ice & tubs. If you have any left over after the big event, we are happy to collect and refund too.
Packing up your basket seems easy, but with a few little extra tweaks you can make your food last longer and prevent items from getting squashed. If you’re working with 1 picnic basket, we recommend placing your heavier items, such as wine, containers of salad, heavy dishes and cheese first. Above the heavier items, please lighter items such as your sandwiches, fruit, crackers or desserts. Make sure you keep your cool bags and ice-packs handy to keep any food items cold.
If you’d like to divide your food between what needs to be kept chilled and room temperature items, you could keep one insulated bag for food that needs to stay chilled, packed with ice-packs. Try placing a chopping board on top of each layer of food which can turn into a makeshift table for your drinks when you’ve arrived at your location! You could then keep your basket for your dry items.
Instead of generating a tonne of rubbish, to store your food you could consider using baking trays for some of your food items. They will easily pack back into your basket too.
If you re-create your own Spring picnic, please tag us in your event on Instagram @partyaffairs xx