Forget the Soggy Fried Chicken and the Ants: Here’s How to Picnic in Style

Swap the sloppy sandwiches and warm beer for charcuterie, cheese, and salads, accompanied by glasses of crisp, chilled wine
Sweet Blueberry Coffee Cake

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Forget the Soggy Fried Chicken and the Ants: Here’s How to Picnic in Style

Picnic

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Glamorous picnicking may sound like an oxymoron, but we promise that it really is possible. With the right equipment, an easily accessible location, and simple, yet elegant dishes, you can host a picnic that is just as sophisticated as a dinner party would be. Find a beautiful spot in the dappled sunlight, which is easily accessible by car or a short walk, and, with your wicker picnic basket filled with chilled wine, cheese, bread, and summertime salads, set out your blanket, and settle in for the afternoon. Many hours of nibbling on the tastiest meal, sipping on refreshing drinks, and basking in the sun’s rays will lead to the happiest of summer days.

Equipment: Chairs and Tables

Equipment: Chairs and Tables

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An extravagant picnic shouldn’t involve sitting in the wet grass and eating food off your lap. Set up some foldable chairs and a small table to transform your picnic into a beautiful outdoor feast.

Equipment: Flatware, Crockery, and Glassware

Equipment: Flatware, Crockery, and Glassware

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By exchanging paper plates, plastic knives and forks, and disposable cups for proper flatware, ceramic plates, and either normal glasses, or stylish shatterproof wine glasses like these ones, you’ll instantly transform your picnic from a basic, rustic lunch, into an elegant al fresco meal.

Equipment: Perfect Picnic Basket

Equipment: Perfect Picnic Basket

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Don’t shove all your picnic essentials and food into a random collection of backpacks, plastic bags, and tote bags. Pack everything neatly and carefully, and place it in a beautiful, old-fashioned, wicker picnic basket to make your picnic even more classic and impressive.

Equipment: Picnic Blanket

Equipment: Picnic Blanket

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Even if you’re going to be sitting on chairs, no picnic can begin without a blanket being spread out on the ground. Make sure it’s big enough to comfortably accommodate everybody, and is so soft that you can’t even feel the itchy grass through it.

Equipment: Well-Chilled Drinks

Equipment: Well-Chilled Drinks

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Warm wine, beer, cocktails, and soft drinks should not feature at any stylish picnic. Make sure your drinks are well chilled before you leave, and keep them either in a cooler on ice, or wrapped up in a frozen wine cooler.

For the Rosemary Lemonade recipe, click here.

Savory: Arugula Salad

Arugula Salad

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Fresh, crunchy, spicy greens, served with a salty coppa, and sprinkled with nutty pecorino cheese makes the most delicate of salads, which perfectly matches every other picnic dish.

For the Arugula Salad With Coppa and Pecorino recipe, click here.

Savory: Charcuterie Board

Savory: Charcuterie Board

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Set out a selection of cured meats, hams, and cheese with various pickles and maybe some jams, and let everyone pick on the tasty, moreish slices of meat, throughout the afternoon.

For tips on building a charcuterie board, click here.

Savory: Dips With Crudités

Savory: Dips With Crudités

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A selection of homemade dips such as hummuswhipped feta, and smoky baba ghanoush, served with crudités and vegetable chips make a tasty, easy, and pretty array of appetizers to serve at your picnic, and balance out the richness of all the meat and cheese.

For 9 Healthy Dip recipes, click here.

Savory: Fresh Focaccia

Savory: Fresh Focaccia

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You’re going to need some carbohydrates to accompany all the platters of cured meats and crunchy salads. Serving fresh bread is the best and tastiest way to fill this gap. We love taking oil- and herb-covered focaccia for an indulgent, delicious, and totally shareable addition to your picnic.

For the Versatile Focaccia recipe, click here.

Savory: Heirloom Tomato Caprese

Savory: Heirloom Tomato Caprese

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Summer’s beautiful heirloom tomatoes, mixed with creamy mozzarella, and topped with basil and a sweet vinaigrette will be everybody’s favorite salad, especially when served alongside that focaccia and the wonderful charcuterie.

For the Heirloom Tomato Caprese recipe, click here.

Savory: Japanese Cucumber Salad

Savory: Japanese Cucumber Salad

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This crunchy Japanese cucumber salad makes an elegantly refreshing addition to your picnic menu.

For the Japanese Cucumber Salad recipe, click here.

Savory: Nuts, Olives, Pickles

Savory: Nuts, Olives, Pickles

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Set out roasted nutssalty olives, and vinegary pickles for everybody to nibble on. Small bowlfuls of these treats will provide a perfect accompaniment to the cheese and charcuterie, and will be really enjoyed when accompanied by a glass of crisp rosé.

For the Spicy Rosemary Roasted Nuts recipe, click here.

Savory: Porchetta

Savory: Porchetta

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Porchetta is one roast meat that is wonderful when served at room temperature, making it perfect for picnics.

For the Porchetta recipe, click here.

Savory: Seasonings and Dressings

Savory: Seasonings and Dressings

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Having a picnic should not lead to bland or dry food. Remember to pack little pots of salt and pepper, some extra-virgin olive oil and some lemon juice, so people can season their own food as they like.

Savory: Sesame-Spinach Onigiri

Savory: Sesame-Spinach Onigiri

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These Japanese rice balls are picnic-perfect: easily transportable, perfect for eating with your hands, and such an interesting, exciting, and novel picnic dish.

For the Sesame-Spinach Onigiri recipe, click here.

Savory: Summer Chickpea Salad

Savory: Summer Chickpea Salad

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A delicate chickpea, tomato, and corn salad, coated in a sweet, citrusy dressing, is the perfect pretty and tasty accompaniment to all your picnic meats, cheeses, and leafy green salads.

For the Summer Chickpea Salad recipe, click here.

Savory: Zucchini Pasta With Almond Pesto

Savory: Zucchini Pasta With Almond Pesto

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Don’t get weighed down by too many carbohydrates, and don’t force yourself to eat piles of stodgy, gloopy pasta salad, by swapping the pasta for zucchini noodles tossed in a fresh, vibrant pesto.

For the Zucchini Pasta With Almond Pesto recipe, click here.

Sweet: Blueberry Coffee Cake

Sweet: Blueberry Coffee Cake

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End your picnic with a simple cake filled with bursting blueberries, and topped with a crumbling streusel.

For the Blueberry Coffee Cake recipe, click here.

Sweet: Fresh Berries and Cream

Sweet: Fresh Berries and Cream

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Bowls filled with summer berries, sprinkled with a tablespoonful of sugar, and maybe topped with whipped cream are the ultimate simple picnic dessert.

Sweet: Homemade Red Velvet Oreos

Sweet: Homemade Red Velvet Oreos

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At a stylish picnic, nothing should come out of a packet. Swap those store-bought cookies for homemade versions of everybody’s favorite: Oreos.

For the Red Velvet Oreos recipe, click here.

Sweet: Puff Pastry Strawberry Tart

Sweet: Puff Pastry Strawberry Tart

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For the most grown-up ending to your elegant picnic, slice up this simple, summery puff pastry strawberry tart at the end of the meal.

For the Puff Pastry Strawberry Tart recipe, click here.