22 Jan Host An Unforgettable Picnic This Weekend
Summer has well and truly come to town and she’s a scorcher! If you haven’t been enjoying your meals in the great outdoors, then be sure to find time this weekend for an ‘al fresco’ picnic dining experience. It’s hard to beat eating delicious food in nature all while sitting on a comfy rug with your favourite people.
Feeling a little rusty on what to organize? Here are 5 steps to planning the ultimate New Zealand summer picnic:
1. Set the Scene
• Picnic rug
• Basket or bag
• Chilly bin
• Reusable plates, cutlery, cups
• Blankets and cushions
• Magazines, books, cards and games
• Portable speaker and a well-curated playlist
• Sunscreen, togs, towel, hats and sunnies
If you aren’t set up from the previous summer, take a trip to your local op-shop to scavenge for the items you’re missing. Suggest to your fellow picnickers to bring their own plate, cutlery and cups; it’s a great way to reduce single-use waste.
2. Platter like a boss
Grab fresh seasonal fruit, mixed nuts, your favourite cheeses and or even a tasty homemade pesto. Consider fresh sourdough, colourful salads, spicy samosas, and homemade falafels with a delicious Forty Thieves Tahini dipping sauce. Try your hand at our Satay Tofu skewers, or simply slather some Crunchy Almond Butter on carrots, apples, or celery for an easy and wholesome snack. Not only will your picnic be super Insta-worthy but opting for healthy and nourishing food leaves you less lethargic and totally ready for volleyball on the beach.
Be sure to take all your waste home with you to recycle, compost, and dispose of responsibly. Try wrapping your food in beeswax wraps, glass containers, or fabric bags. Challenge yourself to avoid buying snacks in plastic wrappers, and the planet will thank you later.
3. ‘X’ marks the spot
All picnic spots are not created equal: finding the right one could make or break the entire picnic experience. Before you freak out, we’ve got you covered on how to choose the ultimate spot that everyone will love.
Who’s coming with you? If you have kids or elderly, you’ll have to choose a space that’s easy to access.
How popular is the area? Picnicking in popular tourist spots could mean you’ll get photo bombers in all your snaps. You also might accidentally end up learning more about your picnic neighbour’s Aunt Susan’s holiday to Fiji, rather than what your best mates are up to. Research the area online before you visit, and choose your timing carefully if you want a more intimate picnic.
Will there be water? In NZ, the answer should always be yes! Pick a spot near the beach, river, or lake. Make sure to remind everyone to bring their togs and towels.
Will there be a view? A stunning view is a picnicker’s dream. Place yourself on top of a hill, summit, or flatlands that look out towards a scene you love.
What’s the weather like? If your picnic time is forecast for rain or wind, find shelter, or postpone the event.
If you’re on the Hibiscus Coast, check out our list of top beaches, there are plenty of perfect spots our way.
4. Mix it up
Yes, this most definitely applies for any delicious cocktails/mocktails you’re planning to bring but also for your activities. Don’t let the food preparations distract you from throwing a few balls and bats into the picnic basket too. A New Zealand picnic is never complete without a few games of cricket, volleyball, frisbee, or touch rugby.
Bring along a portable speaker and a well-curated playlist, or alternatively invite a friend that plays the guitar and practice your singing. Pull out your favourite card games or flip through your favourite magazines. Whatever you do, keep your phones in your bags and relish the moment.
5. Feast in good company
A picnic can be enjoyed solo, but picnicking with fantastic friends and family makes all the difference. Ask everyone to bring a plate of food and seek advice on their best picnic spots. If you’re new to an area or looking to meet new people, find some like-minded people at local meetups, on community Facebook pages, or even start your own.
A picnic is a super way to spend more time outdoors. With just a little preparation, you’ll be known as ‘the picnic guru’ by the end of Summer!