Here in London we’re in the thick of a heatwave and it feels like the height of summer is truly here. I just want to spend all my time outside, making the most of the weather before it flashes by in the blink of an eye. We live right next to a big park and as soon as I’ve picked up my daughter from nursery we head straight there to see through the evening until bedtime. It’s the perfect time, when the air is a little cooler and the golden light is casting a glow on the nature around us.
These are the moments I want to savour and celebrate. There’s something so lovely about taking an ordinary moment – a daily trip to the park for example – and elevating it. That’s what I’m all about; uplifting the everyday and making something special out of the simple.
Today I’m sharing a few simple ideas to picnic in style this summer. My idea of a beautiful picnic is this: grab a big basket bag, fill it with a nice blanket, a few cups and plates, a punnet of fresh fruit and perhaps a bottle of something cool. It’s easy to elevate your picnic with proper cutlery, linen napkins, real glasses and reusable plates. To me, if I can fit it in my basket, it’s fair game. You’ll find me trudging across the park with everything but the kitchen sink! But it’s worth it when you get to your favourite spot and create a stylish scene that you can share and enjoy.
Here are my tips to help you picnic in style:
– Linen tablecloths make great picnic blankets in the summer when the ground is dry – they’re huge, easy to wash and lightweight enough to roll up in a bag
– You might use proper napkins for dinner at home, so why not bring them with you on a picnic
– Add comfort to your picnic set-up with a couple of cushions. Padded seat cushions are compact enough to carry yet comfy enough to perch on
– Ditch the plastic in favour of reusable alternatives – bamboo plates are light and durable, while glass containers with wooden lids are an upgrade on your standard tupperware
– Swap paper cups for reusable keep cups. Huskee cups are my favourite; they’re made of coffee husks discarded from coffee production – perfect for your morning brew but also ideal as unbreakable picnic cups
– Instead of foil or cling film, transport your favourite salads, pastries, quiches etc in linen bento bags, cotton drawstring bags or beeswax wraps. The process of unwrapping them will be a moment in itself
– If you have time to prep, you can make a picnic that will beat any supermarket dash for ready made meals. A really quick idea I like to do: get a ready made roll of puff pastry, spread it out on a baking sheet and after cooking on its own for 10 minutes, cover in whatever vegetables you have in your fridge. It makes the easiest tartlet. Tomatoes, thin slices of aubergine, mozzarella and red onion works well, as does asparagus, courgette and parmesan.
– Display your picnic food in lightweight enamelware or place cheeses or charcuterie on beautiful wooden boards. It really wasn’t too much added weight popping that little one in my bag
– Fill a vintage style glass bottle with cordial and sparkling water for a refreshing summer drink
– A small portable lamp helps create a cosy glow when the sun begins to set
– Have a look in your kitchen cupboards and bring proper plates, a bowl for fruit or tumbler glasses (French Duralex glasses are perfect because they’re pretty tough and hard wearing) – just because you’re outside of your home, doesn’t mean everything you use should be disposable or low quality. Treat the park as your back garden and bring a bit of your home style out with you
I’ve picked a few simple pieces to help you get the look and picnic in style below, but you can also use what you’ve already got at home. I hope this post has given you some inspiration to elevate your picnic, take the inside out, and swap paper and plastic for things that will stand the test of time, picnic after picnic.
[Some of the links on this page are affiliate links where I earn a small commission on any potential sales, it does not change the price for you]
Glass storage containers, £35, La Redoute *aff
Practical glass containers with a bamboo lid, set of three
Striped linen beach towel, £19.99, H&M Home *aff
Striped beach towel in a linen and cotton weave with fringe trims
Portable lamp, £89, Tea and Kate
A compact, portable and robust LED-based lamp that can go anywhere with you
Striped cotton cushion, £6.99, H&M Home *aff
Seat cushion in a striped cotton weave
Linen bento bags, £38.50, Object Story
Set of two bento bags prewashed for softness, inspired by the Japanese tradition of wrapping with cloth
Picnic basket, £36, Trouva *aff
Woven from seagrass this basket is large enough to store snacks, plates and even a bottle of fizz
Washed linen napkins, £21, La Redoute *aff
Set of four washed linen napkins with a black border
Striped linen napkin, £8, Heal’s
Made using sustainably sourced linen and beautifully finished with hand-sewn borders
Picnic basket, £142.49, Trouva *aff
A compact picnic blanket woven from willow wood, complete with plates and eco-friendly cups, stainless steel cutlery and a bottle opener
Ferm Living picnic blanket, £105, Trouva *aff
With its practical cotton strap, this 100% organic cotton blanket can easily be rolled up and carried to the park or beach
Linen blend tablecloth, £17.99, H&M Home *aff
A simple tablecloth made of organic cotton and linen
Huskee cup, £14, Object Story
A reusable cup made of husks leftover from the production of coffee
String Turtle bag, £6.75, &Keep
Organic cotton bags that can hold up to 40kg – that’s a lot of picnic produce!
Seat cushion, £19, Arket *aff
Add comfort to your picnic with a cushion – this ones made of organic cotton with recycled polyester padding
Organic cotton produce bags, £5, Object Story
100% organic cotton drawstring bags, perfect for transporting fruit, breads, pastries and more