A Picture Perfect Picnic

The sun is out and it is time to get a little color on your cheeks, so I am taking this post alfresco to plan the picture perfect picnic! Everyone can throw a basic picnic, but here are five tips so you look like a picnic expert!

1.  Location, location, location. 

Summer is a time to enjoy the fresh air. So let’s forget dining at crowded, air-conditioned restaurants and find a pleasant place outside. Look for a place where everyone can take off their shoes and relax. Needless to say it’s the best venue for kids and dogs.  You do not necessarily need a park with a bubbling stream or a cool lake. I have had quite a few impromptu get togethers in a quiet courtyard in the heart of DC. There are so many places where the presence of a picnic basket and blanket send the vibe of slowing down and enjoying the long days in the sun….parks, beaches, rooftops, backyards.

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2.  Set the mood with a blanket. 

Choose wisely what you put down because this sets the base for your picnic and therefore sets the mood for the gathering. Going for a classic look? Go for the gingham. Want modern? Pick a black and white geometric design.  How about cheery and fun? Choose some bright stripes.  (pro tip: be careful what lies beneath your blanket because something hard or pointy can be a real mood killer...)

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3.  Manage the crumbs and spills. 

I bet you thought since you were dining in the great outdoors you could forgo placemats, wrong! Paper placemats under the food and plates are the perfect solution. Not only do they catch most food that slips off the plates but you can just toss them in the recycling when you are finished.  Now you can enjoy your food coma and the warm sun. You’ll have a crumb-free blanket for lounging without having to shake it out.

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4.  Fix the drink dilemma. 

Ever try setting your glass down on uneven ground? Yup, that’s right, it tips right over. Bring along a light weight tray to create a level surface to protect your delicious drinks.

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5.  Finger food for the win. 

There really is no limit what foods you can enjoy on a picnic, but packing small bites can help keep packing your picnic simple while still making it feel fresh and fun. Even if you do not live in Paris and have access to boulageries and fromageries, you can still create a delicious charcuterie board. That along with some fresh fruits and veggies and you are all set!  (pro tip: Choose fruits and veggies in a variety of colors to make your food display more interesting.)

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Lucy Dean