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Picnic like a pro

By BaxterStorey 17 Jun 2023

Your guide to a cheap summer staple.

It's June, meaning it's (basically) summer time and the chances of those sunny days are just getting better and better. You'll likely be heading to the closest park when you hit the weather jackpot, but why not bring along a picnic basket as well? It's National Picnic Week this month (17th - 25th) and to celebrate, we've got all the tips you need to arrange the best picnic on a healthy budget.

What are the essentials?

First up, there are a few bits you need to take along with you if you want your picnic to run as smoothly as possible:

  • Blanket - Not just for the aesthetic, but also for the comfort. Sometimes the spot you find, the grass may be still a little damp or the terrain slightly rough.
  • Food and drink (plus container) - Obviously you will need plenty of snacks and liquids to get you through the day. Ideally, you'll also want to carry and store the munch in some sort of basket that will keep it cool from the sun.
  • Utensils and napkins - Easy to forget but always missed, make sure you have all the equipment you need to properly serve the food and drink. For example, utensils to distribute the food, plates to eat on (recommend paper) and cutlery to eat with.
  • Bin bags - At the end of your picnic, it will be clean-up time and you'll want to make this part a doddle by bringing along all the necessary cleaning items. Bin bags will allow you to easily dispose of all your rubbish, as a lot of the time park bins are full so you might have to carry it along with you to find the nearest empty one.

Top picnic picks

Now these tips are all optional but we'd recommend taking these extra steps to ensure you have a great time:

  • Find the right spot - So if the sun is shining then you might want to consider finding a spot close to the shade so you can easily cool down if you need to. You should also think about whether you want a more peace and quiet vibe or whether you want to be in the heart of the action. Either way, take your time and explore the area before deciding. 
  • Pack plenty of water - It's easy for the heat to get to you, especially if there's no cloud cover, so bring a good litre of water along and keep topping up through the day if you can. 
  • Make your own food - For your main dish, put in the extra effort and make it yourself! Classic picnic foods are usually finger foods (such as sandwiches), meaning they will be easy to make and for a reasonable price. You can save time by buying your snacks in but don't be lazy with the rest.

Top picnic don'ts

Avoid making these common mistakes for picnic perfection:

  • Don't forget a backup layer - The weather can be unpredictable but even on a good day, the temperature will eventually drop as it gets late in the day. That's why you can't forget to bring along an extra layer like a jacket or jumper, so you can still enjoy the evening hours and maybe even a gorgeous sunset.
  • Don't skimp on the entertainment - Picnics can be an all-day activity if you play your cards right. Make sure to pack any form of entertainment you and your friends might want, such as cards, balls, frisbee, books, portable speakers, etc. A variety will help keep things fresh in the heat.
  • Don't neglect the sun cream - As tempting as cooking yourself in the sunshine might sound, the long-term regrets of a sunburn make it definitely not worth it. Just a little bit of sun cream applied to all the obvious spots at the start of the day can make all the difference. Don't skip your neck and back either, get a friend to do yours and then return the favour!

So with all that in mind, you are now ready to host the ultimate picnic. For more food-related topics and activities, stick with @ualcatering.


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