After hibernating during the chilly winter, Spring is the season to get outdoors for some fun and to get social again. And nothing could be more fun than a Spring picnic to herald in the great weather. Get ready to assemble your nearest and dearest – and start to think about your soiree.
By planning a picnic party step-by-step a little in a advance, you'll not only be able to relax more on the day, but you'll have the blueprint for a great garden party you can recreate again and again over the Spring and Summer months.
Having a theme for your picnic will make it that little bit more memorable, and photographable! And there is so much to work with for a Spring picnic – think flowers, colour, teepees and throw rugs abound. The best part of a picnic is that it is always going to be casual – it’s not a formal dinner for 10 – so make sure you relax and have fun with it.
Theming adds colour, mood and individuality to your picnic soiree. We hope you’re inspired to theme your party – so here’s a few of our favourites to help you get started.
Having a colour theme is a great way to have your picnic looking polished, even though it’s easy to organise and create. Using pastels means you can utilise any soft coloured throws, rugs and even sheets around the house. If you’ve got some trees to work with, see if you can sling a sheet over a branch to make a tree-pee (like a teepee, but the tree is used in place of a pole). Finish with some bunting or tissue paper pom poms and you’ll have the prettiest picnic in the park!
To add dimension to your picnic, grab any fold away tables, sturdy cardboard boxes – even palettes! These picnic props can all be covered with throws and they’ll look great with your food and floral centrepieces on top of them. Grab any cushions you have that match the hues. With a colour theme, it’s easy to mix and match patterns and textures – you’ll find that big woollen gingham blankets go great with polka dot bunting and fluffy European pillows.
Mason jars filled with little bunches of flowers will finish your Spring picnic off perfectly. And don’t just stick to flowers – grab bunches of lavender or rosemary, tie together with some twine and dot around your area for a Parisian garden party look.
This is fantastic – and easy – as it’s an anything goes aesthetic! Think tribal throws, gypsy floor cushions and mismatched plates and cutlery. Bold colours look great, and when it comes to Boho – you can never have too much. Nothing will clash – because everything is mismatched. Flowers, whether real or faux, can be strewn across picnic rugs or worn in headpieces. Pop a couple of incense sticks in sand-filled mason jars for that added nomad effect.
If you have a spare low table, fling some retro fabric over it and finish with a vintage lace table runner. Hang some paper lanterns from the trees and you’re set for your own bohemian shindig.
The key to a great picnic basket is also the key to you having maximum enjoyment at your party – keep it simple and pre-prepare. Make your key dishes 1 – 2 days in advance, so when it comes to the day, all you need to do is pop a lid and you’re done!
The classic Spanish tortilla is easy and inexpensive, but so delicious. Whip up 1 or 2 days before your picnic, pop it in the fridge and forget about it. The traditional recipe calls for just eggs, potatoes, onion and olive oil but can be spruced up with any extra ingredients you like.
Roast chicken is another easy dish: grab a few from your local chicken shop and ask them to cut up into eighths. Even have a couple of varieties – one classic, one Portuguese, so your guests can customise their feast.
Best to be done just before you run out the door, buy a few fresh, crispy long baguettes and add various fillings. Again, keep it simple by offering one or two options; perhaps one meat and one vegetarian. You really can’t go past a classic ham and cheese (to make it extra special go for a premium Black Forest ham with provolone cheese), and for a vegetarian option try basil, mozzarella and tomato (make sure the tomato is between the basil and mozzarella so the bread doesn’t get damp).
Charcuterie and cheese is always a crowd pleaser, plus it’s something you can buy straight from the store, decant, and that’s the extent of your preparation. Display on big wooden cutting boards or ceramic tiles with a few different cheese knives to make your presentation pop.
And don’t forget to pack some bin liners and sturdier bags for recycling.
Get your hands on some clear pitchers and fill with water, ice, lemon, and fresh sprigs of mint, and have a few bottles of elderflower cordial on hand. For something stiffer, champagne is always welcome as a mid-afternoon beverage – and it’s the classic celebratory drink! Add hibiscus flowers in syrup or strawberries to make flutes look extra pretty. A classic gin and tonic will always be a crowd pleaser, and think about experimenting with garnish to give it a modern edge. Pink grapefruit cut into wedges is a gin and tonic’s best friend, as is thinly sliced cucumber. Bring a couple of bottles of vodka and soda water as well – guests can add ice and a good dash of your elderflower cordial for the perfect floral Spring cocktail.
A few games on hand will keep the young, and the young at heart, happy and energised. Classic games include frisbee, badminton and bocce. If kids are coming along, this is a good way to keep them entertained whilst mum and dad tuck into your banquet and enjoy a glass of bubbles. It’s also a way to keep your guests interacting with each other and keep the laughter flowing. You could even create a hashtag for your games, like #bocceinthepark, so everyone can share their memories together across social media.
Excited and inspired? A Spring picnic is that perfect event to reconnect with friends and loved ones and enjoy the great weather. It’s a little bit more effort than just inviting friends over for lunch, but the effort is well worth it. Throwing down a few lovely picnic blankets, hanging some bunting and paper pom poms, whilst dishing out some no-fuss but scrumptious food will have your nearest and dearest happy and playful. Enjoy Spring!