Here’s your go-to guide as we celebrate National Picnic Day! From inspirational locations to menus, from handy hacks to general things to steer clear of, we’ve got you covered. Blankets at the ready, folks…
Everyone loves a good picnic. And yes, we know North Wales is rife with picturesque picnic spots from coastlines to castles to countryside coves. So we thought we’d put together this helpful list of do’s and dont’s to help you picnic like a prince/princess on your holiday. Here goes…
1. Choose your location wisely
We had to start with this first tip. Because yes, North Wales is beautiful and scenic and all things nice. But that doesn’t mean you can pitch up your picnic blanket anywhere you like. It’s best to look at your accompanying party and factor in a place that everyone would like. Grumpy grandad, who hates sand? Avoid the beach. A handful of little ones with wandering feet? Avoid large pools of water that could lead to unnecessary, accidental topples. That being said, we do recommend these stunning locations that will keep everyone happy this summer.
2. Save the bugs
There’s nothing more frustrating than taking a nice sip of orange juice (or prosecco) and finding it full of drowning bugs. Well we’ve got the #hack for you! Get a fairy cake case (or a cupcake case if you’ve been watching too much American Netflix) and pierce a hole in the middle. Place this upside down over the rim of your glass or bottle, and feed your straw through the hole. Voila, a handy and affordable bug-free life.
3. Keep it cool
The trusty coolbox makes an appearance again – would you even be a British family without this tourist must-have? While these can be great, they often don’t keep things quite as fresh as they are at home. So we recommend grabbing some ice cube trays, filling them with fresh juice, and popping them in the freezer overnight.
Before you head off on your travels, transfer the frozen cubes to an airtight container or lunchbox and use them to pad out your other items. This will keep things fresher for longer, and it’s also a great way to maximise space without lugging around those ice cube blocks. When the frozen juice cubes start to freeze, pop them in a glass, top up with soda water, and enjoy your ice-cold beverage.
4. Use jam jars
Now, this might sound like the latest hipster fad, but it actually makes a lot of sense for keeping salads fresh and non-mushy. Start off by layering the base of the jar with your dressing.
Then put something on top that absorbs like beetroot, chickpeas, or cheese. This will keep the juices at the bottom, and your leafy things like lettuce, spinach, or kale crispy and fresh. When you’re ready to eat it, simply turn it upside down onto a plastic plate or Tupperware, and it will have all mixed nicely.
5. Tie up loose ends
It’s all well and good making up snacks at home, but it’s not so fun when sandwiches flop everywhere, or sliced apples go brown. Simply pop an elastic band around the sliced apple as a whole to hold the segments together. You can also use some string to keep sandwiches held tight – slip in a thin line of parchment or baking paper underneath if you don’t want fuzzy bits of wool on your wholemeal slice!
6. Plump up with pillows
Choosing your turf correctly is always wise, but there’s no doubt that sitting on a blanket on the ground can lead to aching glutes. Pack a few extra cushions – perfect for propping up plates, to evidently sit on, or doze off after your bellies are full and your hearts are glad.
7. Throwback to the 90s
Do you remember CDs? Yes, we do, along with the painful wait when burning your favourite tunes to a disc from your Windows 98 PC. Well, do you remember those plastic tubs with the plastic bit in the middle when you purchased blank CDs as a multipack? Dig out some old ones, and use them as a bagel holder!
The plastic ring in the middle should fit right through the hole. This is the perfect way to keep that bacon and brie bagel safe and sound and prevents them from being squished by other overbearing items in the cool bag.
8. Make some tunes
Music always makes everything better and can turn a munch in the park into a semi-party with your nearest and dearest. The vibe music provides will contribute to a lovely atmosphere. Just make sure it’s not too loud and you haven’t picked a spot next to a quiet fishing lake!
9. Avoid soggy bums and buns
You’ve picked your favourite spot: fab. You’ve packed a blanket (obviously and it’s a lovely summer’s day. But little did you know it was raining the night before. This could lead to some awkward patches on your back jean pockets – and even soggy bread. No one wants that. So we suggest placing a sheet of plastic (think shower curtain, bike cover, tarpaulin or whatever you have stored in the shed!) underneath the blanket. This will keep both your guests, food and blanket dry.
10. Make some shade
Picnics appeal to everyone, and the best ones are the ones that make everyone happy. But you can’t always please all parties, so instead of fighting over where you’re going to set up, make sure there are variables. This means taking a parasol or umbrella to cover up the sun-haters, and of course, sun cream for the sun-worshippers. Consider taking a windbreaker for shelter from cool summer breezes or even for some extra privacy.
Where’s your favourite picnic spot? Let us know in the comments below, or take a look on Facebook at how we’ve been celebrating National Picnic Day at Lyons Robin Hood this year!