Family and friends are sitting around a picnic table on the shore of a crystal blue lake. The sun is shining. On a blanket spread atop the table is a feast of delicious finger foods: mini empanadas, thai chicken skewers, bacon-wrapped asparagus and cheddar cheese popovers. The wine is chilling in the ice, the kids are playing tag. You’re enjoying that deliciously dreamy summer pastime: the picnic. Any second soon, your golden retriever will bounce on the table and steal the kids’ hot dogs, a swarm of honey bees will make a beeline for the strawberry shortcake, a gust of wind will blow all the napkins into the lake, and out of nowhere rainclouds will appear and it will start to pour. Welcome to that fun and fearless free-for-all: the great American picnic! #outdoorlivin
Picnics are as much a part of summer as fireworks on the Fourth, damp beach towels in the back of the car, and whipped cream and apple pie. We love them so much here at Elūm we formed our very own picnic posse to share our path to picnic perfection!
1. PIQUE UNE NICHE.
That’s French for “pick a place” which is how picnics got their name. Picnics are all about location, location, location. Do you want sand and sea? Flowers, forests, or fields? Research what’s close by. Most cities have amazing parks and waterways just waiting to be explored. If you’re heading to the beach, don’t forget to bring a kickin’ beach umbrella. If you’re in a park you can usually find shade beneath the trees or under a pavilion, however sun at the beach can be relentless unless you’re packing cover. And no matter where we’re heading, we always keep it stylish and shady in a cool western-style hat.
2. MENU PLANNING.
We might not think a thousand year old mathematician has much to teach us about planning a picnic menu, but we’d be wrong. Turns out Omar Khayyam was the Martha Stewart of his day and his advice on what to pack for a picnic is still right on the money: “A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and thou.” Omar is telling us to keep it simple. You can’t go wrong with a crusty French baguette, a selection of cheese and cured meats, fresh tomatoes and crisp white wine. Just ask @gilliehouston whose Instagram feed is loaded with simple and delicious outdoor treats. Picnics aren’t the time or place to toss salads so precut an assortment of fresh and crunchy vegetables and a pot of lemony dip. Olives, sun dried tomatoes and marinated artichokes can provide easy luxury and zing. And cherries, pears and peaches make perfectly portable desserts.
3. SERVE WITH STYLE.
Mix and match paper plates and napkins turn picnics into parties and outdoor feasts into festivals! Lightweight, biodegradable and instagram-ready, our Sprinkle City Appetizer Plates and Bright Birthday Stripes Dinner Plates and matching napkins are picnic perfect and outdoor friendly. Check out all are outdoor and party products here. Add to the good times with a retro cooler and picnic blanket.
4. THE ESSENTIALS.
We put our heads together and came up with our definitive list of items you absolutely must take on your picnic.
Bug spray. You know you are going to need it—especially when is starts to grow dark.
Sunscreen. You know you’re going to need that, too—especially before it starts to go dark.
“Ice, ice, baby.” As we saw earlier with Omar Khayyam, picnic wisdom can be found in unlikely places, and this is where the rapper from Dallas really comes in to his own. Vanilla Ice knows the secret to picnic success. You can never have enough ice! #vanillapicnic
Corkscrew. Because even though the internet is bursting with clever hacks on how to open wine bottles without a corkscrew, we don’t really want to try them unless there’s a fire extinguisher and first aid kit close at hand. In fact, we might just bring our wine in a can.
A cutting board and knife. Well, this one is pretty self explanatory.
Wet wipes. Because someone is always going to spill something. You know who you are!
A trash bag for easy clean up.
We’ve eaten, we’re enjoying our wine in a can: we are ready to play! The posse knows picnics. We know that within thirty minutes of finishing a picnic, a particular brand of lazy restlessness sets in. We want to do something….just not anything too strenuous. Giant Jenga hits the spot. Or if there’s no one in the party willing to haul fifteen pounds of wooden blocks into the wilderness, then a rousing game of Uno or a very proper round of British croquet will do the trick. And last but not least, never forget that a little Old Town Road breezing from a battery powered watermelon always makes for legendary vibes! #wateryellin
That’s our posses’s idea of picnic perfection. What’s yours?