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It’s time you consider the picnic as a serious summer activity. Sure, they might seem like the stuff of rom-coms, something one might do in theory rather than practice, but in actuality picnics are fun — it’s a scientific fact that food tastes better (and is more fun to eat) when enjoyed outdoors. There’s a distinctly youthful quality to picnics too, as though you’re a child again playing grown-up, and who among us doesn’t wish to be (or at the very least feel) young again?
But the art of picnicking isn’t as easy as throwing some food in a bag, grabbing a couple of towels and calling it a day. Rather, it must be a carefully thought-out and crafted idea, because a picnic is as much about the aesthetic and ambiance as it is the act itself. The proper picnic setup can make all the difference in atmosphere; you could feel like you’re in your backyard or you could feel as though you’re dining en plein air in a quaint Parisian park.
Below, you’ll find everything needed for the ideal picnic, from the quintessential picnic basket to portable cocktails and outdoor games.
Picnic Time Blue & White Stripe Picnic Basket
Arguably the most important aspect of a picnic is the picnic basket, and this wicker one with a blue and white stripe lining is about as picnic basket-y as it gets. For those looking to fully embrace the activity and be the envy of all other picnickers nearby, this is the way to go.
L.L.Bean Softpack Cooler
If a picnic basket is a little too obvious for your taste, a cooler is a more subtle option that’ll get the job done just as well. L.L.Bean’s Softpack Cooler in this dark teal and vibrant red colorway is slightly retro and therefore cute (because aesthetic is still key) while managing to keep all your food and drinks nice and cold.
Brooklinen Hammam Towel
The picnic blanket will serve as your table of sorts, so we recommend investing in one on the nicer side rather than something you just happen to have lying around your house. Although it’s technically a towel, Brooklinen’s Hammam Towel isn’t exclusively for the beach and is big enough to comfortably fit several people. Woven from Turkish cotton, the “blanket” is soft where it counts (i.e., one’s bum) and makes the not-always-comfortable grass much more bearable.
Reusable Travel Flatware
You could go the route of strictly foods that can be eaten with hands, but if you’re looking to class up your picnic a little, flatware will heighten the dining experience. Don’t risk losing your precious silver utensils and forgo any disposable plastic options for these reusable forks, knives and spoons that manage to all fit together for easy transport.
HAY Large Picnic Container
Besides the basket or cooler, you’re going to need something that’ll keep your food at the desired temperature. These stackable stainless steel containers from HAY will hold plenty of food while keeping them hot or cold, depending on the contents, all while remaining compact and convenient thanks to their stackability. Eat directly out of them or transfer their contents to a plate.
Bamboo Dinner Plates 4 Pack
Again, if you’re looking for a more sophisticated dining experience (or as sophisticated as eating on the ground can get), you’ll want to bring along some actual plates. We’re by no means suggesting you retrieve your finest China for the occasion; something like these durable, sustainable bamboo dinner plates will do just fine.
Kesslyr Dean Arch Block Print Napkin Set of 2
To avoid having to wipe your hands on the grass or risk soiling your blanket, these fun printed cloth napkins from Kesslyr Dean are both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Plus, at the end of your picnic there won’t be any excessive paper towels and napkins to dispose of — just toss these in the wash and use ’em again and again.
W&P Porter Glass
While it would appear the laws regarding drinking in public have been more lax in recent months, there’s no reason to risk it when you can instead use this portable glass from W&P for sipping on any alcoholic bevs. The high-quality glass will be a step up from your red solo cup days while the protective silicone wrapping lends it better to outdoor use (and keeping a strong grip).
Poketo Glass Straws Set
Because we’re still trying to save the turtles, people.
Opinel #10 Corkscrew Knife
Imagine this: you’re settling down to what you believe is going to be a lovely picnic, only to realize you were the idiot who forgot a corkscrew. Don’t be that idiot. This corkscrew-knife combo from Opinel is small enough so that you can always keep the knife handy and then come to the rescue in any dire situations. Consider the picnic saved.
Carry On Cocktail Kit – The Italian Spritz
Prepare this cocktail kit before heading out for your picnic and enjoy a refreshing, citrus-y Italian aperitif as you bask in the sun.
Murray’s Cheese Greatest Hits
For those of us who lack any culinary skills whatsoever, there’s no fucking up a cheeseboard, especially one already prepared and ready to consume. Impress your picnic guests with this spread of cheeses from Murray’s Cheese, which includes four of their most popular cheeses, cherry preserves, crackers and almonds.
Kreafunk aGlow Bluetooth Speaker
Play your carefully curated picnic playlist (and establish the vibes) with this bluetooth speaker from Kreafunk, which also doubles as a dimming lantern, meaning you can continue to picnic into the wee hours of the night.
As much as picnics are about relaxing and doing nothing, sometimes you get bored, and what better way to stave off boredom than with a jumbo set of dice? It’ll be the Yahtzee game to end all Yahtzee games.
Filson Citronella Candle
If you fancy a dusk picnic, set the mood (remember, it’s all about the ambience) with this petite citronella-scented candle. In addition to providing a little bit of light, the scent will also help to ward off any bugs that’ll try and ruin the atmosphere.
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