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Seven steps to achieve picnic perfection

National Picnic Month2

With summer now here, it can only mean one thing – it’s picnic season!

But forget about the uninspiring beige spread of sandwiches, crisps and sausage rolls, the itchy blankets and lack of things to do. Avant Life is on hand to help you achieve picnic perfection, in celebration of National Picnic Month!

These are the seven steps you need to take to ensure your picnic goes down in folklore for all the right reasons.

1. Choosing the right hamper

The quintessential idea of a picnic is a spread of sandwiches, delicately stacked within a wicker basket – oh, how British! But the simple basket has well and truly evolved, with the hamper now becoming the picnic standard.

If you’re looking  for just a hamper to pack yourself, John Lewis has the perfect empty hamper that’ll hold a whole host of picnic treats. Or if you’re really looking to push the boat out, go for full luxury with Regency Hampers and get this 15-piece hamper which comes with all your cutlery needs, as well as mini salt and pepper shakers!

2. Solving the seating dilemma

Blankets, stools, chairs, benches –  there will always be an argument on the best way to set up shop when it comes to a picnic! The traditionalists among us will state their case for the classic gingham blanket to be used – this one from Les Jardins de la Comtesse is a great example – whereas others might prefer something a little more 21st century, like this spotted, abstract blanket from John Lewis.

If you’d rather give your picnic a little bit of height, opting for a table and chair set is a good call. It could be as simple as this two-chair set from Argos, or you could go a little bit more up-market with a full folding table and bench set.

3.  Step away from the cucumber sandwich!

Soggy sandwiches need to be banished to the past! Modern picnic meals are a must, with different options to suit all tastes and requirements needed to keep everyone happy. We’ve offered a few tasty picnic recipe ideas we love below:

  • Fig and Serrano ham picnic bread – this one will really impress everyone! A boat load of texture and flavours that combine to make a super-tasty sandwich alternative
  • Veggie rainbow pie – jammed packed with veggies, feta cheese and eggs, this vegetarian option will wow at any picnic
  • Chive potato salad– nope, this isn’t just a bowl of mayonnaise and potatoes! Mix olive oil, chives and Dijon mustard for a great side dish
  • Tomato and Manchego tartlets– a perfect bite-sized dish, these tartlets mix Manchego cheese and tomatoes to create a yummy treat for everyone

4. Drinky-poos with a difference

Don’t go down the classic route when it comes to your picnic’s drink selection. We’ve pulled together some deliciously divine picnic drink ideas for everyone to wet their whistles on!

  • Mermaid lemonade – with versions for kids and adults, bring some bold blue to your drinks table!
  • Ginger and peach soda – mixing soda water, fresh ginger and ripe peaches, this drink will get everyone coming back for more
  • The Finnish Mule – one just for the adults! A cocktail of grapefruit, vodka, ginger and lime, it’s a whole burst of boozy flavours!
  • Virgin Pina Colada – get a taste of the tropical without the hangover! This coconut-infused drink will go down a storm

5. Picnic 2.0

Of course, having a little bit of technology at your picnic is now a must! It’s inevitable that there will be a need for some form of phone charging device, so make sure you’ve got a power-charging block to revive any flat mobiles. To create a bit of a party mood, bringing a small portable speaker like this one from ALDI is always a good idea – just remember not to turn your picnic into a full-blown rave!

6. Keep everyone entertained

For family picnics, the key is to keep people entertained. So make sure you’ve got plenty on offer to stop everyone being glued to their phones. A great place to start is with Drawsome People – a drawing game all ages can get involved in.

Why not keep it old school with a classic game of boules or a ring toss? Or for a bit of physical fun, the blow-up dual battle game from Menkind will be sure to get a few people competitive!

7. Don’t forget to take all your rubbish!

Like with any picnic, make sure you pack away all your rubbish to keep the environment clean and litter free! This foldable waste bin is a must-have for eating outdoors, as everyone can easily throw their rubbish in one place  for it to be taken away once they’re finished.