Getting outside with a picnic seems like a perfectly acceptable idea, but sometimes the amount of work that can go into something so seemingly simple, can really overwhelm. I’m all about getting maximum result with minimum effort… in other words, I’m a huge fan of working smarter, not harder. That’s the spirit in which I created this summer beach picnic – keeping it simple, but of course, pretty!
I grabbed a few key items from home, and hit up the grocery store for everything else: fresh blooms, a store-bought pie (gasp!), some meats, cheeses, bread and fruit. Oh, and can’t forget a few bottles of rosé and your best girlfriends.
Here is how you can create something just in time for some late-summer fun.
1. Timing is everything.
Depending on where you live, chances are good that summer is pretty sweltering. I prefer to throw a picnic in the early evening, which also makes it easier for your friends to join right after work. It’s cooler, the sun is lower and the lighting is prettier.
2. Find your sweet spot.
Let Mother Nature to do most of the heavy lifting for your beach picnic! Your outdoor location will naturally help create atmosphere. Whether it’s on a beach or at a park, look for a tree to lean against or perhaps a nearby bench or log—my location had a perfectly situated beechwood log that my guests sat on! I also like to bring items from home to add comfort, like pillows and a leather pouf, because making it pretty really is half the fun (hi, Instagram!). As long as your guests stay on the blanket, they won’t get dirty.
3. Simplify the food.
This is where you can take things to the next level, or keep it quite simple. I’m a fan of blending those two ideas, and always pack fruit such as grapes, watermelon, strawberries, cheese, meats, baguettes, wine (rosé for the win!), sparkling water and something sweet, like a pie from your local bakery. Another option to keep it simple, but more bountiful, would be sandwiches and salads (avoid mayo bases if you don’t have any way to keep them cool), which all can be picked up from your local deli if you’re pressed for time.
4. Your beach picnic no-fail packing list:
- Picnic basket or bag
- Wood crate (doubles as a little table and set up area)
- Plates, glasses and forks (disposable is best)
- Knives (for cheese and meat)
- Wood board
- Linen napkins (for décor)
- Fresh blooms
- Roll of paper towels
- Bag for garbage