A Romantic Picnic for Two: What to Cook, What to Bring, and What Not to Do

Dinner eaten outside while watching the sunset is easily our favorite summer date night
Chocolate Strawberries

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A Romantic Picnic for Two: What to Cook, What to Bring, and What Not to Do

Picnic

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There’s no question that our all-time favorite summer date would consist of a picnic, enjoyed in the golden evening light, under the dappled shade of an old oak tree. We’d sip on Champagne, nibble on salty nutscitrusy olives, and fresh summer salads, and when the sun sets and the fireflies appear, we’d light the citronella candles, indulge in chocolate brownies and fresh strawberries, and lie back stargazing until we couldn’t keep our eyes open any longer. This picturesque evening may sound simple to set up, but there are many pitfalls that could trip you up along the way of planning this romantic picnic. We’re here to guide you through every step of the way and to help you have the most beautiful al fresco date night — while the evenings are still warm enough to do so.

What to Bring: Champagne on Ice

What to Bring: Champagne on Ice

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Champagne, or another sparkling wine, is essential to every romantic date. Make sure you keep it chilled, and don’t shake it up too much, otherwise that satisfying pop! sound when you open the bottle will be followed by a warm mass of sticky, bubbling foam.

What to Bring: Citronella Candles

What to Bring: Citronella Candles

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If you’re having your picnic with a view of the sunset and intend to stay out late into the night and gaze at the stars, make sure you pack some flickering candles. Not only do they conjure up the most romantic scene, but if you pack citronella ones, they’ll also keep the bugs away.

What to Bring: Fresh Bread

What to Bring: Fresh Bread

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Pack a baguette in your basket, not just so you look like the perfect Parisian partner, but also because tearing into a slice of crunchy bread is the tastiest and simplest way to start every picnic.

What to Bring: Glasses

What to Bring: Glasses

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This picnic date is not the right time to pull out those red plastic cups. Make your picnic feel even more extravagant by packing real glasses to sip that Champagne out of.

What to Bring: Napkins

What to Bring: Napkins

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Whether you go all out and pack cotton or linen napkins or simply opt for paper ones, anything is better than nothing. Napkins are practical, useful, and will also make your picnic feel more like a special occasion.

What to Bring: Old-Fashioned Picnic Basket

What to Bring: Old-Fashioned Picnic Basket

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There’s not a more romantic view than a picnic blanket spread out in the dappled shade under a tree with a wicker picnic basket, bursting with food and wine. Make sure you can recreate this scene by transporting as much as you can in your old-school, woven picnic basket.

What to Bring: Proper Tableware

What to Bring: Proper Tableware

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Eating off paper plates, with plastic cutlery, and drinking out of plastic cups, doesn’t exactly make for the most elegant picnic. This is easily solved by taking ceramic plates, proper knives and forks, and drinking out of fragile glasses.

What to Bring: Spacious Picnic blanket

What to Bring: Spacious Picnic blanket

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You may want to be intimate with your date, but that doesn’t mean being forced to squeeze up uncomfortably tight just so that you can both fit on the picnic blanket. Bring a spacious one so you can both sit comfortably, lie down, and spread out as much as you desire.

What to Cook: Caprese Salad

What to Cook: Caprese Salad

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Caprese salad is incredibly simple to prepare, but is also one of the most elegant, and popular summer salads. Pack the dressing up separately and pour it over the tomatoes and mozzarella when you’re ready to eat.

For the Caprese Salad recipe, click here.

What to Cook: Cherry Tomato and Ricotta Tart

What to Cook: Cherry Tomato and Ricotta Tart

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A slice of this buttery, cheesy, sweet, summer-perfect tomato tart will be sure to win the heart of your picnic date.

For the Cherry Tomato and Ricotta Tart recipe, click here.

What to Cook: Chocolate Pomegranate Brownies

What to Cook: Chocolate Pomegranate Brownies

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Every romantic picnic should end with multiple sweet treats. Rich, dark chocolate brownies studded with pretty pomegranate seeds are a suitably decadent picnic dessert.

For the Chocolate Pomegranate Brownies recipe, click here.

What to Cook: Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries

What to Cook: Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries

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Don’t miss an opportunity to consume summer’s sweet berries. Dip them in chocolate and let the chocolate set before packing them up for your picnic for an even more spectacular dessert.

For the Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries recipe, click here.

What to Cook: Lemon and Herb Olives

What to Cook: Lemon and Herb Olives

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No one could ever fail to be impressed by beginning a picnic with a jar of salty, citrusy, home-flavored olives.

For the Lemon and Herb Olives recipe, click here.

What to Cook: Popcorn With Sriracha Butter and Parmesan

What to Cook: Popcorn With Sriracha Butter and Parmesan

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Crunchy, salty, freshly popped popcorn is one of the most addictive snacks. Show off your gourmet side by transforming simple popcorn into a date-worthy treat.

For the Popcorn With Sriracha Butter and Parmesan recipe, click here.

What to Cook: Shaved Zucchini Salad

What to Cook: Shaved Zucchini Salad

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This shaved zucchini salad is picture perfect and is also packed full of flavor: It’s a great light, zingy dish to serve at a romantic picnic.

For the Shaved Zucchini Salad recipe, click here.

What to Cook: Shrimp Summer Rolls

What to Cook: Shrimp Summer Rolls

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Standard sandwiches and wraps are not suitable for romantic picnics, however, summer rolls stuffed with shrimp and finely chopped vegetables really are.

For the Shrimp Summer Rolls recipe, click here.  

What to Cook: Spicy Rosemary Roasted Nuts

What to Cook: Spicy Rosemary Roasted Nuts

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Salty, spicy, herb-coated nuts are the perfect accompaniment to that chilled sparkling wine that you’ll be sipping on as soon as you’ve laid out the picnic blanket.

For the Spicy Rosemary Roasted Nuts recipe, click here.

What Not to Do: Leave Anything to Chance

What Not to Do: Leave Anything to Chance

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romantic picnic involves a certain amount of planning and preparation. Don’t ruin all your efforts by leaving one single detail to chance. Make sure you’ve got your location set, your transportation sorted, your food is ready to go, and that you haven’t forgotten any essential equipment.

What Not to Do: Pack Anything Messy or Sticky

What Not to Do: Pack Anything Messy or Sticky

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We encourage you to indulge in all number of tasty dishes at your picnic, but try to avoid bringing anything too messy or sticky, as this is just going to create stress and an uncomfortable picnicking situation.

What Not to Do: Pack Anything Smelly

What Not to Do: Pack Anything Smelly

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Kimchi may be one of your all-time favorite foods, you may love garlic as much as vampires hate it, or you may think that that gooey French cheese would make the perfect end to your picnic, but you need to delete all these thoughts. Bringing anything pungent to your picnic date is going to kill the mood instantly.

What Not to Do: Use Stained, Old Tupperware

What Not to Do: Use Stained, Old Tupperware

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Make sure that when you’re packing up your picnic, you’re doing it as elegantly as possible. Use your best storage boxes and jars, wrap everything up neatly, and don’t be tempted to just throw everything in your stained Tupperware. No food is appealing when served in slightly yellow plastic boxes.