Madeleine Taplin

It’s time for a picnic! With restrictions finally beginning to ease, a picnic is the perfect way to hang out with your fully vaxxed friends, have some tasty food and a few laughs, all whilst in a COVID-safe manner. Whether it’s not knowing what food to bring, how to keep everything warm or cold, or even how to pack the basket, we have all the tips you’ll need for picnic success!

The Food:

You can’t have a picnic without the food! The first thing to consider is what the main dish will be. It needs to be easily divided, and able to fill people up. Consider baking or purchasing a Quiche Lorraine. It’s tasty when both warm and slightly chilled and will appeal to even the fussiest of eaters. For snacks, you can’t go wrong with a selection of sandwiches, and mini pies and sausage rolls – they work perfectly as a pre-meal snack. For something a little fancier, purchase a baguette, some cold meat, cheese, lettuce and pesto to make yourself and your guests a colourful veggie sandwich, which is perfect for picnics in warmer weather. Just don’t forget a bread knife to divide amongst your guests. Finally, you can’t have a picnic without a selection of salads and desserts. Pasta and potato salads are always a great choice as the hearty ingredient hold up well in transit. Alternatively, a leafy salad with some added vegetables is sure to keep all happy and can be dressed just before serving. For the final touches, you cannot go wrong with a selection of sweat treats to end your meal in the sun. Consider a traybake, brownies or cookies, and if you have space left in your esky, jelly jars or a strawberry and cream cheesecake is sure to please the masses!

The Drinks:

Whether you go for refreshingly fruity or a little bolder and boozier, it is incredibly important to pack something to sip on. Consider packing a fabulous fruity tea such as a Blueberry and Mint Iced Tea. Not only does it travel well, but it’s soothing yet zingy flavour is sure to be a hit. For the adults, an Elderflower and Cucumber G&T will refresh your palate and help activate the relaxed picnic lifestyle.

Keeping it cool (or warm):

There is no need to risk a funny tummy if you plan and pack carefully. That’s why it is a picnic essential to have a selection of eskies at your disposal to make sure that items normally stored in the fridge stay as cool as possible. Freeze a couple of large icepacks or get a container of ice from the service station to place in your esky, and your food is sure to remain nice and cold. Whilst it may be appealing to lay out the spread for everyone to see, keeping food on ice for as long as possible will reduce risk of food going bad. On the opposite end of the spectrum, for warm food consider transporting the food in its cooking vessel and use a clean dish rag to tie a lid around to keep in the heat. Consider eating these items earlier in your food adventure.

Packing the Basket:

One of the key elements to the perfect picnic is stowing away your spread in style. There is nothing worse than arriving at your lunch spot only to find you forgot the forks, or you put the tablecloth below all the food items! To ensure ultimate success, before you set off place everything on an open bench space so you can see exactly what you have to pack. Start by placing the things you might consume last such as a tub of brownies at the bottom and work your way towards the surface in a reverse fashion. This way once you arrive at your destination, all the plates and utensils will be right at the top, and everything can be removed in a more organised fashion!