From truant Tupperwares to forgotten forks, picnics somehow always involves missing items. To avoid these wholly unnecessary misfortunes, I’ve decided to give you a list, compiled into a short video, of the ten essential things you need to help your picnic run smoothly.
Now, close your eyes and think back to the most recent picnic you went on.
Listen to the tinkling of foil being unwrapped. See the face of your loved one as they discover, one by one, the surprise elements hiding in your carefully packed picnic basket. Taste the subtle flavours and aromatic depth of your gourmet sandwiches. Feel your sense of pride and self-satisfaction swell as you assess the degree of picnic perfection before you, brought about only by your meticulous attention to detail.
And then the paradise deflates before your very eyes and ears as you hear your loved one enquire about the napkins.
Sandwich insides spill out everywhere. The picnic mat becomes a battle field of chicken tikka and egg mayo. Hands flail as picnickers, panic-stricken, try not to infect the surrounding area with their sandwich-spattered hands.
Your loved one is rocking back and forth, transfixed by her hands, crying “Out, damned spot! Out, I say!”.
To help you avoid the above type of situation, I’ve taken the liberty of compiling a list and crafting a quick slideshow as a pre-picnic reminder.
There’s no excuses – remember those paper towels or descend into picnic pandemonium.
What you need to pop into your hamper (or bag or box or what-have-you) to make your picnic run on oiled wheels:
- Cutlery (knives, forks and spoons – hampers come equipped with these items, and they’re all matching too!)
- Water – I always bring a big container to wash residue off plates so I can reuse those same plates for desert, rather than carrying extra plates. Also, I definitely recommend getting one of those large plastic drinks dispensers with the handle as they are so nifty. *TIP*
- Food containers (be creative, I sometimes use those vintage lunchboxes to store salads and sandwiches, and old colourful chocolate boxes or gift boxes for homemade crisps or anything else that’s dry).
- The bin bag. There’s always dirty foil wrappers or redundant crusts that need to be disposed of. A good idea is also to bring another plastic bag for all your dirty cutlery as well.
- Well, we know about napkins.
- Condiments (sauces, salt and pepper) are a definite must. Just pack them all if you’re not sure.
- Picnic blanket (the ones where one side is waterproof are really useful. Saving up for one of those myself).
- Sun cream if it’s sunny – just give it a permanent place in your hamper anyway, as it will come in handy at some point (even in England).
Extras for the barby:
- Barbecue (you never know, sometimes the most obvious things are the ones that get left behind).
- If you’re cooking chicken, I would definitely advise you to bring an extra, clean pan or foil tray that you can place on top of the barbecue to keep the chicken warm (or smother it in sauce). You don’t want to put your cooked chicken back in the raw-chicken tin.
- Barbecue forks (or really long cutlery).
If you’re keen on being keen…
- A portable picnic table (a por-table: why has no one thought of that yet?). I love my picnic table, even despite it’s hideous lime green colour. For those of you who, like me, find fold-up portable things way more complex that they first appear, this table I got from Notcutts is the lime-easy dream.
- I love a cute little tablecloth.
- Thermos – there’s something very comforting about a hot cup of coffee at a picnic. It helps to draw out those long golden summer afternoons spent spreading out on the picnic mat, recovering from a hamper full of picnic delicacies.