It’s Summertime! Time to enjoy the beautiful outdoors before school starts or the polar vortex comes back around, and if you’re looking for something relaxing for your family to enjoy together, or another means of hanging out with your girlfriends or a summer day-date with your mate, this weekend –why not plan a picnic?
A picnic is defined as a pleasure excursion at which a meal is eaten outdoors, typically set within a beautifully landscaped surrounding such as a park, lakeside, your own backyard or even at the beach. Although picnics are mainly family-oriented, they can also become a fun gathering for a church or company gathering, friends with families or just an intimate picnic for two and on Hadley Court today, I’ve organized it all for you – to make it easy for you to enjoy your time outdoors!
Picnic styled by Camille Styles.
Traditional basics for a picnic include of course the basket itself, which have come a long way in design since the first picnics held in the 1800’s. One of America’s premiere basket makers is Longaberger. The Longaberger family moved to Dresden, Ohio in 1896. In 1919, a young man named J.W. Longaberger took a job with the Dresden Basket Factory, learning and perfecting the meticulous art of basket weaving, specifically the picnic basket. They perfected the weave so much so that the architecture of the building itself is a replica of a Longaberger basket. You can learn more about the history of Longaberger Baskets by visiting their website at Longaberger.com.
Longaberger Basket Building – Newark, Ohio
Vintage Tin Picnic Baskets…
Traditional woven (bike) basket – Yogi the Bear and Boo-Boo would be proud of!
Besides the picnic basket to carry your meal, you’ll also need to consider these factors when planning your perfect picnic:
1. How many people will be attending your picnic?
2. Where will the picnic be held? backyard? Park? or the Beach?
3. Will you need picnic tables? Or will you set your picnic as traditionally as on the grass?
5. What style picnic will you set? A traditional Americana gingham style? or more Bohemian California style with layered exotic textiles, pillows and pouffs?
Below are a few picnic styles to inspire you…
Gone Glamping? Make a breakfast picnic…
At home? Create a picnic buffet…
Lakeside? Have your picnic on the dock….
Near a park? Bring along the bikes too…
Even a special occasion can be created with a picnic theme in mind – Here tree stumps are made more comfortable for a rustic / Bohemian setting…
Pillows, quilts and crates can help create comfort in the grass for your picnic as well…
Nowadays – Pillows are truly key in creating a comfortable picnic setting…
A simple sheet can also create a no fuss surface for your summer picnic…
Along with the style, you’ll also need to consider the time of day you’ll have your picnic.
If it’s with friends and family during the day, you may consider some outdoor activities such as Twister (painted on the grass), badminton, or volleyball. If you’re having a late afternoon or sunset picnic at the beach, you may also consider building a bonfire, playing music or story telling around the fire.
Create a fun picnic just for the kids!
Pack a picnic for two and bring cutting boards to help create various flat surfaces for your picnic foods…
Plan a summer picnic with friends on the beach.
As for the food, a company picnic could be catered while a neighborhood backyard picnic can become a potluck picnic or evolve into a grilling cook-out with a picnic theme. If you decide to have your picnic in the park, here are a few essentials you’ll need:
These picnic essentials are suggestions from AnneSage.com
PICNIC PACKING ESSENTIALS:
Cloths, blankets or fabric to lay on the ground or cover picnic tables
*Napkins and tea-towels
*Plates and bowls
*Cups (for kids) and stemware (for adults)
*Utensils – including to serve with
Cutting boards and knife
Corkscrew and Bottle Opener
Salt & Pepper Shakers
Dorset basket for Four available at wayfair.com
*Note: Keep in mind*
Pack outdoor friendly tableware such as melamine plates, bamboo handle silverware and cloth napkins – as an effort to help reduce trash.
Create additional shade in the trees draping fabric…
For daytime, you’ll also need sunscreen and if no trees are around, umbrellas can help to create shade. Shifting into the evening, have matches plus citronella candles available as well as insect repellant. Since a picnic can last for a few hours, it’s also a good idea to bring along insulated totes and coolers with ice. This will help ensure foods such as lunch meats, cheeses and salads mixed with mayo will keep fresh and not spoil.
Love the simplicity of these beautifully pre-wrapped picnic sandwiches + a little gingham!
For your picnic safety, here are a few Food Handling Do’s and Dont’s
• Do keep your hands and food prep area clean • Do provide serving utensils to keep foods from being over-handled • Do keep cold foods cold, and hot foods hot (above 140°) • Do not hesitate to throw away food that looks or smells “off” • Do not let raw meats (or utensils that have touched raw meat) and cooked foods cross paths • Do be careful to thoroughly wash all melons and keep them cold as bacteria can be found on the rinds
Tip for the guys: If you want to blow her mind, plan a picnic – Here’s a few tips at askmen.com.
Wondering what to pack for your picnic? Keep it fuss free and light – think snacking on bite-size tastings. But that doesn’t mean you’ll be starving. Some tasty picnic foods to pack are: Sandwiches, salads, cheeses, fruits, nuts, cookies, and iced tea. Martha Stewart has an excellent article to view called “How to Plan & Pack a Picnic.” Some of my favorite picnic planning tips from her are:
Avoid foods that require cutting – Opt for those that need only a fork.
Nuts are a healthy alternative to potato chips and are less likely to be crushed.
Choose a hardy bread, such as a baguette, for sandwiches.
In place of lettuce-based salads, serve ones built on sturdy sliced vegetables or grains.
Do all the cutting at home. Don’t plan on chopping too many things at the picnic.
Visit CountryLiving.com to get 62 Summer Picnic Recipes!
Girls just want to have fun – Plan a picnic with your girlfriends!
Besides having FUN at your picnic, don’t forget to set the mood with a Picnic Playlist. And wear something lightweight and comfortable – picture perfect for all those shots you’ll share on Instagram and Facebook!
What are some of your favorite picnic spots or items to pack for a picnic? Please share your thoughts in the comments and, as always thank you for reading and subscribing to Hadley Court.
for Leslie Hendrix Wood Decorator – Chancellor Interiors Midland, Texas
Founder, Editor In Chief
Gracious Living. Timeless Design. Family Traditions.