Perfect picnics with Thatchers Family Reserve
It’s a beautiful summer’s day, and you are celebrating. Maybe it’s a local festival, a family outing, a birthday party or simply an afternoon out with friends; whatever your reason, summer is the time for celebrating with a picnic. We all know and love picnics, but when it comes to organising your own, it’s trickier than you might imagine to get everyone in place and having a good time.
In order to help you come up with your perfect picnic, I’ve partnered with Thatchers Family Reserve – the Somerset sparkling apple wine from the wonderful Thatchers family – to bring you my guide to preparing for the perfect picnic.
There are six areas you want to think about – people, location, style, food, drink and a plan B – together they make up your guide to the little portable party that is your perfect picnic.
People – Who is coming along? This will have a big impact on everything else, as it’s the people we are celebrating with, and each of us has slightly different needs and wants. Friends, families with kids or older relatives, your significant other (or someone you’re hoping will soon be!), a big group or just a couple of people and the dog – each will need something slightly different, so start with the ‘who’ and the ‘why’ and the rest will fit nicely into place.
Location – where is this picnic going to be? This will determine a lot of the practical concerns. If you’re going to be hiking up a mountainside to get there, you’ll need a chilling backpack, not a gorgeous wicker hamper. Setting up in the back garden or down at the park? Get the plates and crystal champagne flutes out!
Style – are we going to be sitting on the grass? A convenient log? Are we bringing a rug? What’s the ground likely to be like underneath? That red gingham make look beautiful, but if it’s damp underneath you don’t want someone sitting on a patch that’s going to give them a damp behind. Likewise, there might be people who would be more comfortable in a chair. Also, make sure there’s plenty of room on the rug – you’ll want to spread out the food and drink, but people will also want to sit down.
What we’re eating – since this is a food blog, naturally I think the food is a super important part of the picnic. It will be, to some extent, related to where you are picnicking and what time of day it is, but beyond that feel free to be adventurous! Be creative with your quiches and look at alternatives to standard dishes – like tabbouleh instead of a pre-made salad, or roasted chickpeas instead of crisps.
Depending on who you are bringing, you might also want to add in a few wraps or sandwiches, and remember that strawberries are a picnic classic for a reason!
What we’re drinking – well that one is pretty easy – you want some bubbles, because all good celebrations have bubbles. There are of course the obvious bubbly options, but if you are looking for something more interesting, then the Thatchers Special Reserve – a Somerset sparkling apple wine – is absolutely perfect. It’s best served cold, so make sure your bottles stay nice and chilled as everyone arrives. It’s also good to have a non-alcoholic drink with you too – whether it’s for someone who doesn’t drink or perhaps is driving – bring along some iced tea or elderflower cordial to make sure everyone has something to put in their glass.
Plan B – What are we going to do if the UK does what it does best and there’s more than just a couple drops of rain. If people are looking forward to the picnic, let’s not let some rain spoil the day. This might be a convenient tree to shelter under, a little pop-up gazebo, or – if all else fails – there’s nothing wrong with getting the picnic rug out in the living room!
And so with a little planning and organisation, we’ve got the perfect people at the right spot, the food is being complimented and there’s something delicious to drink too. There’s chat galore, possibly a bit of music and everyone’s having a good time. You’ve planned it perfectly, so remember to take a moment to enjoy yourself. Maybe it was a little bit of work, but you should be enjoying the celebrations alongside everyone else.