If there is one thing I absolutely adore about the warmer weather we’ve been having lately, it’s being able to eat alfresco. I’m not sure if it appeals to our primal instincts but enjoying a meal with friends or family in the great outdoors is definitely one of life’s greatest pleasures. Plus, there are so many gorgeous products out there that will make whatever you decide to serve look pretty spectacular as well so I thought I’d share a few tips for creating a bright and colourful outdoor picnic with you today, just in time for the weekend!
This isn’t a sponsored (paid-for) post but I have recently been gifted a few bits from Anthropologie which are one of my go-to brands when it comes to choosing beautiful pieces for dining and entertaining. In the interests of full disclosure, some of the items I’ve linked to are affiliate links so I make a small commission if you use my links (although you’ll never pay any more). However, what is most important is how much I love their stuff. As you know, I only ever recommend products that I love and use myself and Anthropologie are right up there with my all-time favourites.
They have a new summer line created by artist Bridgette Thornton called Paint + Petals which is so bold and colourful and I knew it’d be perfect for giving my picnic a fresh summer vibe. Best of all, most of the pieces are melamine so you don’t have to worry about breaking anything and they are super light-weight so they are easy to cart to your nearest park – or in my case – my own back garden!
Summer Picnic Styling Essentials
You are going to want to start with a soft blanket base that’s big enough for a few people to sit on. The Paint + Petals picnic blanket is huge – nearly 2.5 metres in length and well over a metre in width – so it’s plenty big enough to place your food as well as your bottom (!) comfortably. It’s made from a wonderfully thick cotton and it has cute little fringing and a joyful illustrated floral pattern that matches the serving plates, platters and bowls perfectly. It’s also machine washable so any spills will clean up nicely.
I chose the large platter and a few of the matching plates to serve up fresh bread, a selection of meat, cheese, chutney and fruit. Set this right in the middle of your feast for everyone to just pick and help themselves. I also chose the serving bowl and the matching serving utensils for a big pasta salad I whipped up.
Because this was in my own back garden, I felt I could get away with having a few glasses – I’m not a fan of drinking out of plastic cups and so the beautiful Webster wine glasses with their thick sturdy base are wonderful – they won’t easily tip over, especially if you bring along some coasters which will help to stabilise everything on the soft ground. If you did fancy taking them out with you to the local park or beach, wrap them well in some gorgeous cloth napkins – the Sunray napkins are the ones featured in my post and have cute metallic embroidery and a little tassel.
I chose Pearlised Capiz Coasters for the glasses and also used the Slivered Geode Coasters I already had to place the Optic pitcher and any glass bottles on – they are a bit chunkier and so make for a great base on soft ground. To match the geode coasters, I adore this beautiful Zebra Stone serving tray, perfect for cheese alongside the Mikata cheese knife set. While I wouldn’t necessarily carry this with me to a park (it’s heavy!), if you are enjoying your meal closer to home, then it makes a really stunning base for cutting.
I also found a few little bowls that I’d purchased from Anthropologie over the years – their products always mix and match so wonderfully – including a set of really cute hedgehog measuring cups I’ve had for years. I don’t think I’ve ever used them for measuring to be honest but they have always been a conversation piece when filled with things like nuts or berries. Sadly, they don’t carry this particular set anymore, but how cute are these kitty cat ones as an alternative?! The crazy cat lady in me is dying.
The little pink and gold bowl was actually a candle (also purchased at Anthropologie!) but once the candle was gone, I cleaned it really well and now use it as a bowl! It’s super pretty and so versatile.
To finish off, a vase of summer blooms creates a really pretty centrepiece and a few extra cushions plucked from indoors makes seating so much more inviting. I pulled cushions that worked with the pinks and peaches in the design to keep everything well-coordinated and the flowers are a colourful mix too.
Food to serve at a Summer Picnic
Here’s what I decided to serve at my summer picnic because when it comes to the summer months, the last thing I fancy doing is slaving over a cooker for hours or have to hit 14 different stores so I’ve kept it REALLY easy – I got everything at my local Sainsbury’s!
- Pre-sliced meats: Prosciutto Crudo Slices, Napoli Salami Slices and Milano Salami
- Fresh crusty bread
- Greek pasta salad (I followed this recipe nearly to the letter, simply substituting normal pasta for gluten-free penne and left out the red onions – which I realise my Greek readers will hate me for but I hate raw onions! It was still nice and easily made the night before so the flavours come to life the following day! ;))
- Gluten-free crackers
- Tabbouleh Salad (pre-bought because I already made one salad and that’s plenty enough in my books!)
- Apple, Pear and Fig Chutney (the one I linked to is utterly GORGEOUS and so nice on a cracker with a bit of cheese – yum)
- Cocktail Pickled Gherkins
- 5 Types of cheese: French Brie, Mature Cheddar, Red Leicester, Wensleydale Cheese with cranberries and Blue Stilton (it’s always good to get a mix of strong and mild cheeses as well as hard and soft for the best variety!)
- Macarons (because they were far too pretty to pass up but I think next time, I’d got to a patisserie in town to get them!)
- Grapes, blackberries, strawberries
- To drink, I chose a couple of selections from Belvoir’s range – their Raspberry & Lemon and Lemonade – which not only look beautiful but also taste lovely as well and are a fantastic grown-up alternative for those who aren’t drinking alcohol. For those that are, a sparkling rose is light enough to enjoy in the sunshine! A filled ice bucket will keep everything cold.
Shop the Post
I’ve linked all the items used in the styling below if you fancy having a perfectly styled summer picnic too!
I hope you’ve enjoyed a little look at styling your summer picnic and some of my suggestions. Is eating outdoors a love we share? What’s your favourite thing to serve at a summer picnic? Let me know in the comments below!
Disclaimer: I was gifted items from Anthropologie for this post. Affiliate links have been used throughout. As always, I only work with brands I love and hope you’ll love too! Thanks for supporting the brands that support Swoon Worthy.