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Tips for a perfect backyard picnic

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16 Nov 2012

You don’t have to go out and sit in a park to appreciate nature, your backyard or balcony works just as well. It is a space where you can get a breath of fresh air and appreciate the silence. It is also a perfect place to have an impromptu picnic, without breaking your budget.

Where to take root

Picnics are a time-out, a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life, so take advantage of having a garden and relax outdoors.

If you have a garden you should make an effort to spend time in it, as it is a valuable asset to your property. Pick a cosy spot and lay a soft blanket under a tree, away from any windows that you might be able to see the TV through.

Picnics are a time out, a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life, so avoid an area with too many distractions. Try to pick a spot in the garden where you don’t usually spend a lot of time, as it can make you see your garden from a different perspective.

If you live in an apartment and don’t have a garden but have a balcony, this will work just as well. Although you will not have as much choice for space, you can still create the perfect picnic location. Throw a blanket down in the corner, if possible making sure the participants of the picnic will be able to look out across the balcony to whichever view you happen to have.

Creating an atmosphere

Just because you are having a picnic, on the ground, outside, doesn’t mean you have to sit in the dirt. Grab a few bright coloured cushions to lay back on.

Dial-a-Picnic, Bedfordview defines a perfect picnic 'by the company you share it with' and suggest turning off all cell phones. Picnics are the perfect time to focus on the person you are with, whether it be a partner, friend or family member, and nothing is more frustrating than trying to have a conversation with someone who is always on their phone.

Candles specially at night are the most effective way to create an intimate mood, and they look great when carefully placed around the picnic blanket. Be sure to place them on solid, even ground to avoid any nasty incidents.

Tip: You don’t want to shroud your picnic in a cloud of bug spray, so light a few citronella candles to deter any insects from flying into your food and space.

If you are trying to create a particularly romantic setting for a special occasion, you could opt to toss some rose petals across the picnic blanket. Or you could simply make a few small bouquets, using lavender, jasmine and your partner's favourite flowers, and place some on their side of the blanket and on top of the basket.

Sips and snacks

A chilled bottle of champagne or wine goes down well, but make sure you have a cold bottle of water to keep yourself hydrated.

Everyone has different tastes, but ultimately picnic food should be light and healthy, as you want to feel content and relaxed, not full and bloated. Salads, French breads, a variety of cheeses and cold meats and chips and dips are great for these occasions. Make sure you prepare all the food safely and organically to fit in with the natural, Zen-like feel of a picnic.

Dial-a-Picnic says strawberries or fruit of any kind are a must. A chilled bottle of champagne or red wine go down well, but be sure to have a bottle of water or fruit juice in the basket to keep you hydrated.

Sit comfortably in style

Just because you are having a picnic, on the ground, outside, doesn’t mean you have to sit in the dirt. Pick a thick, soft blanket that can be machine washed (just in case) and grab a few plush cushions to lean back on.

Your picnic basket should contain a few small side plates, knives for cheese and bread, a bottle opener, wine glasses, serviettes and spoons for dessert, as well as an ice pack to keep your meats cold. Most importantly, you should have a bucket of ice for your drinks.

It doesn’t have to be anything fancy; it could just be you and a friend having lunch in the garden, but a backyard picnic is a great way to escape stress, enjoy great food and catch up with the people who mean the most to you. Victoria Taylor

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