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Anywhere Is Good For A Picnic

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When the weather is sunny and warm, there’s absolutely no excuse not to eat outside. And while most restaurants (and some houses) offer the possibility of dining al fresco, I find that no culinary event is as magical as a picnic. And it’s such a versatile way to eat, too! Whether you’re in the city or in the wild, alone or with friends, there’s no reason you couldn’t have yourself a little picnic: it’s easy to prepare, can be as cheap or expensive as you can afford, and it’s always tonnes of fun. To get you started, here are just four ways that you can have a picnic this summer.

1. Metropolitan Mnimalism: In the City Park

On your next lunch hour, take a break from the cafeteria and bring a home packed lunch to the park nearest your office. Sit yourself down on a bench or prop yourself against a tree in the grass, and enjoy a quick escape from the world of humming machinery an dissatisfied bosses into a garden of chirping birds and playful squirrels. All you need is a paper bag or cardboard box with a hearty sandwich or nutritious salad, a bottle of water, and some fruit or yoghurt to put the cherry on the cake. You don’t even need company! Take this time to be with yourself. Within the hour, you can be back at your desk with a smile on your lips and renewed élan.

2. Forest Feast: On a Hiking Trip

Week-end day trips lend themselves best to picnics. Next time you take your bike out for a spin in the forest, bring along some picnic fare! It doesn’t have to be anything fancy: a blanket, a baguette, some cheese, cherry tomatoes, and fruit along with generous amounts of liquids, and you’re all set for a forest feast. It saves you the trouble of looking for an inn and allows you more time in the magical folds of nature’s nooks.

3. Beach Barbecue: By the Sea

Picnics by the sea (or any body of water, really) are among the most picturesque and most fun in my memory. Get a bunch of friends together and organise an epic beach bash: load a portable grill into an old VW van, toss some veggie and meat skewers into a cooling box, and pack enough beer and lemonade to make you burp until your tummy hurts. Don’t forget games, folding chairs, and a couple of parasols as well as your swimsuit and beach towel!

4. Lavish Lounging: In Your Back Yard

Who says picnics can’t be had at home? If you have a garden, you can have a picnic without setting foot out of your front door! Moreover, a picnic in your own garden doesn’t require you to carry provisions and utensils anywhere and back, which means that you can do it in a grand style: create a lavish ambiance with pillows, blankets, flower arrangements and glowing lanterns; add class with real silverware, plates and bowls and cups and saucers, and serve fancy bites on cake stands and tiered plates and in tinkling champagne glasses.

* * *

But you know what? Even if the outside is cold and pouring with rain, you can still have your picnic. Lay a soft blanket on your floor, take out the cheese and crackers, light some candles, and put on a movie. What’s that? Why, a carpet picnic, of course! (That’s for introducing me to the term, Charlotte!) Which would be your favourite way to picnic? Personally, I’m torn between the beach barbecue and lavish lounging.

{image credits, from top left: 123, 4 unknown}
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