An un-clouded sky can be a bit of a novelty in the UK, and it often leads us into thinking that the only way to enjoy such unexpected weather is to get out of the house. Crowded beaches, sweaty streets, and packed-out parks are our go-to activities when the sun shines. But there’s another way to soak up those golden rays, and it’s on your doorstep.
Garden picnics are a hassle-free alternative to the above sunny day options. Maybe you haven’t had time to organise a full-blown, explorative picnic, or perhaps you – or someone you know – are lucky enough to have a garden that is looking so sumptuous it would be a crime not to indulge in it. But you don’t need excuses, because a garden picnic is a good enough reason to stay at home.
Here are some benefits and tips on enjoying that luxurious combination of sunshine, food and fresh air just a stone’s throw from your kitchen window.
1. You don’t have to have the best garden
I was lucky enough to have access to this astonishing garden over the first bank holiday in May – but this is exceptional. The fact is, even if your garden is small or not the most beautiful, just being outside among greenery is enough to set the picnic juices flowing, and you’re about to make it very special with some of the following tips.
2. You can bring more props
There’s no limit to how much you can bring to jazz up your garden picnic – because your box of props is right next-door i.e. your home.
You may already be surrounded by flowers, but I love to bring along some funky vases of flowers too, just to make the occasion that extra bit special.
4. Cushions and blankets
Comfort is key when it comes when it comes to luxury picnics. There’s also just something rather novel about bringing the indoors out.
5. China plates, dishes and bowls
I love to use beautiful bowls and dishes when serving up food, something that is more difficult to do when you’re transporting them in a wicker basket. Dust off your best dishes, fill them with delicious salads, meats and cheeses, and dot them around your picnic haven.
6. Proper knives, forks and glasses
Forget plastic cutlery and, worse still, plastic cups (which I never bring on my picnics anyway) – because you don’t have to worry about leaving things behind on a garden picnic.
This is a great way to finish off your leftovers. Just bring everything and anything that’s left in your fridge from the past few days (some leftover ham, perhaps a chicken dish you had the night before, some veg). You could even renew your leftovers into an exciting dish.
8. If you forget something, it doesn’t matter
There’ll be no “who forgot the napkins” at your garden picnic, so you can take a deep sigh of relief.
The real bliss of a garden picnic is that you can enjoy the good weather without battling through crowds of sticky people, getting stuck in traffic jams when your car’s AC is broken, or fighting for a grassy space in the park.
10. It’s a novelty
And with all novelty, it’s doubly as memorable. A garden picnic enables you to rediscover your garden, rather than simply admiring it from the other side of your kitchen window. Whether it’s a romantic picnic, family get together, or you’re having some friends round, there’s nothing more carefree than whiling away your day propped up on cushions and munching on salads and sandwiches in the sun.