Fancy something extravagant for your next picnic date? Just a few special touches can help to turn your picnic party into a first-class affair or a real adventure – all affordable and comfortable. Check out our thrifty ideas on how to make sure your picnic party is the most anticipated party of this season and the hottest topic amongst your friends for a long time.
#1 Set a theme
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While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the classic picnic that we all know and love, try snazzing up your next summer gathering with a picnic theme – it’s a real winner! From Golf Picnic to Nautical Party to a Royal Afternoon Tea Party and more resourceful ideas, you can really get your guests excited about a picnic. Have a go at creating a picnic theme with a real Scottish twist!
#2 Put up a homemade sun shade
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It may sound complicated at first, but fear not. All it really takes is draping some fabric – like nice curtains – between four poles sunk in the ground. You may as well use discarded branches to attach string and put up a canopy, or build a homemade tipi (build a tripod-type central pole first, throw over a canvas and roll it up). Not only will it look great and add a splash of colour and soul to the setting, but will provide a comforting shade from the sun and wind protection at night, if you, for example, are planning a stargazing date. Alternatively, set up your picnic under a tree for a similar effect. Did you know that Perthshire is home to Europe’s oldest tree, Fortingall Yew?
#3 Hang up paper lanterns
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That, or no-wire fairy lights or sconces. Hang them from tree branches or trellises and set your party aglow – they will warm up and brighten your experience even on the coldest of nights, and may come in handy if you’re planning on some reading. If you, indeed, are a bookworm, how about taking your friends on a literary adventure of Scotland and set up your picnic in a location linked to your favourite Scottish writer or that features in your favourite book?
#4 The devil’s in the details
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Forget your tote bag or backpack – replace it with a stylish picnic basket. It’s not only totally adorable but also very practical. Picture yourself pedalling on a town bike with a wicker hamper at the front to your local farmers’ market where you pick up some freshly-cut flowers and ripe seasonal fruits and veggies. If you can almost capture the smell of freshness as you read this, grab the moment, jump on your bike and cycle along one of Scotland’s many stunning cycling routes and paths, where you can enjoy your morning purchases with a dash of fresh air. Other things to consider are refined picnic plates and bowls, tiered cake stands, rustic mason jars for your salads and food labels, to name just a few.
#5 Add plush comfort
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Bring cushions that are easy to wipe clean after meals, and enjoy the great outdoors in a comfy setting, be it reading a book or cuddling up to your loved one watching the sun set – or sun rise. You probably will get a bonus point if there will be a hammock too. A tartan blanket is probably the most quintessential piece of picnic equipment, or if this doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, the beautiful and intricate Harris Tweed cloth or a classic Shetland wool blanket may be another option.
#6 Serve up a culinary feast
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While it’s most certainly a truth that picnics are usually an easy-breezy sort of affair, when it comes to packing the food hamper – it does require some earlier thought and consideration. Don’t just resort to convenience food – get creative in the kitchen and cook up a feast with our easy-to-follow picnic recipes devised by Scottish chefs! Stock up on fresh seasonal fruits and veggies at local farmers’ markets or forage for some berries or mushrooms yourself.
Idea #7 Raining? Move indoors
Rain clouds may be rolling in, but this doesn’t mean you should cancel on your picnic plan – you can simply put a roof over your picnic by moving the set up indoors. Spread a cloth on your living room floor in front of a real fire, if you have one, and still enjoy the quirkiness of a picnic experience. Not that we’re suggesting that you should watch television on your date, but do you know how many great films were shot on location in Scotland, or have been inspired by the country’s fascinating culture and unparalleled landscape? You may have already even watched one or two without realising that it was Scotland in the movie!