How to Have an Impromptu Summer Picnic in Style
Where has the summer gone? It’s already mid-July and I feel like I’ve barely taken advantage of these blissful summer days. Don’t you just hate that? You look forward to these magical days all winter long – the list of things you want to see and do is seriously a mile long. Yet actually accomplishing all of them never seems to happen. To make up for this, I usually tell myself there’s always next year and then have a glass of rosé, are you with me on that? However, if you’re feeling like me right now and you’re in a small panic that you may have missed those valuable summer moments, an impromptu summer picnic may be exactly what you need – along with that yummy glass of rosé wine, of course!
Here’s how to have an impromptu summer picnic in style and take in every last drop of these warm summer months.
Take advantage of a sunrise or sunset
There’s nothing more fun or romantic than taking your loved one to watch the sunset or even a sunrise. Those seriously are my favorite times of the day, but any time of the day works just as well. Hence the term “impromptu”. If it’s midday, make sure to bring along a hat and sunscreen for those warm rays above. A sunrise may call from a bit more planning on your behalf, for example, at least deciding the night before that this is your plan and then finding a 24-hour grocery store to pick up some breakfast pastries.
For our picnic, we chose an old dock, well hidden on one of the Minnetonka lakes here in Minnesota. It gave us a full view of the sun as it set behind the trees. However, a beach or a large field would be perfect – an orchard would be just magical!
Keep the food super simple!
One of the best memories to date was when I was in Paris. My friend and I were wandering the markets as lunch was approaching. Being famished from a morning of exploring, we stopped by one of the open-air stalls and grabbed some pate, the creamiest of brie and a baguette. We then headed back towards our hotel but not before stopping along the Seine river. Along the banks was a small park to relax and devour our small, but wildly delicious lunch. It was so simple, yet the most amazing thing I had ever experience! Of course, we also enjoyed a beautiful bottle of wine as we sat there and chatted about the wonderments of life. I dream of that moment! Any chance to have a picnic is the opportunity to relive that experience yet again. Sigh!
With that being said, don’t over think the food. A simple meat and cheese tray, some breakfast pastries (if it’s a sunrise picnic) or even sandwiches purchased from a local grocery store, is the perfect menu for your impromptu summer picnic.
Depending on what you serve, don’t forget the correct utensils. A cheese tray may need 1 large plate, a cheese knife, a fork, napkins and a few small plates. Sandwiches and breakfast pastries will need napkins, a knife, and small plates.
Our menu consisted of brie cheese, goat cheese, hard salami (sliced), nuts, fruit, macaroons, and a baguette. One thing to note, try to avoid garlic. There’s nothing like giving your special someone a kiss and their breath full of garlic. Not so yum!
Just because it’s impromptu doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be comfortable
The epitome of a great picnic is the blanket, for obvious reasons as it keeps you from sitting directly on a dirty ground. Equally important, is how a big comfy blanket can turn an outdoor meal into a blissful day meant for hours of great conversation, possibly a good book, laziness, and daydreaming. Who wants to leave when you’re relaxed and having a good time? Here, we opted for a bohemian-styled rug we had lying around and a few plush pillows. I find that pillows always take your picnic to the next level of relaxed.
Set the mood with flowers, candles, and music
I love how fresh flowers, candles, and some soft music can elevate the mood – adding a little romantic touch to your impromptu picnic. And it’s not hard to add this touch. Let’s be honest, so many markets and grocery stores have a floral department and usually a few candles. Here we opted for a huge bouquet of fresh flowers from our local Trader Joe’s. It was there that we also picked up the meats, cheeses, and accompaniments for our cheese plate – making this basically a one-stop shopping moment before heading to our impromptu summer picnic. Thanks to technology and a decent speaker on my phone, I had some chill tunes playing in the background as we relaxed lakeside.
Bring a little wine to your impromptu summer picnic
I say this with caution because ultimately it depends on where you are going. Back in California, we used to picnic at the wineries which clearly allowed for wine. We’ve also had some incredible picnics at a few of the beaches, with wine to pair. However, most state parks will not allow wine, along with a lot of public places. In the end, you need to use your own discretion and determine if the place you are going allows it. Safety and wisdom should always be first when it comes to enjoying wine.