5 essentials for the perfect summer picnic

If I had an iconic song about my favourite things like Julie Andrews does in The Sound of Music, picnics would be at the top of the list (though I also like whiskers on kittens). Although I often take the opportunity to enjoy an impromptu/surprise picnic at any time of year (I've been known to set up picnics in February in the back of my Mazda 3), a beautiful summer day is certainly the best setting. 

Summer and picnic season officially begins on Sunday. So here is a list of essential items that every picnic requires.

1. Tablecloth or blanket

Unless you're setting up a certain theme, any old tablecloth or blanket will do. You just want something that will define your picnic space (especially important on a busy beach) and that you and your sweetie can sit on without getting sand or grass stains on your bums. If you are setting up a theme, base your colour scheme around a blanket that you already have and match to that. It will be much easier. Just don't use a super expensive tablecloth or a family heirloom. It will get dirty!

2. Basket

Sure you could just use a backpack or bags to carry things...but why would you? Baskets are so cute and truly epitomize the picnic. It's a scientific fact that they elevate the romance in a picnic (but don't quote me on that). If you can buy, beg, borrow, or rent one, do it! No stealing...

3. Wine

I feel like this one goes without saying... but I had to say it anyways. To really class up your evening, grab a bottle of sparkling wine and glasses. A lot of picnic baskets come with plastic wine glasses, but you can always pick some up from the dollar store. Don't forget your corkscrew if necessary, and make sure to pre-chill your whites. If you can incorporate an ice pack into your packing, even better. My favourite sparkling wine that is readily available in the BC Liquor Stores right now is Miss Molly Bubbly from South Africa. (Keep in mind your local liquor laws... sorry I had to say that).

4. Another blanket

You're probably thinking... why would I need another blanket? It's beautiful outside! Because a picnic cut short by a cold "person" is so very sad... It might be beautiful and 25 degrees when you stake out your spot but once the sun starts creeping down it can get a bit chilly. More importantly, Vancouver is windy, especially on the beaches. It could just be a shawl or a sweater but make sure you're prepared. And yes I said "person" but I meant "girlfriend/wife". I'm shivering just thinking about it.

5. Food

You thought I forgot that one right? Without food a picnic is nothing. To class up your date consider a made-to-order spread. Some restaurants and bakeries in Vancouver sell gourmet take out picnic dinners. My favourite is The Dirty Apron. They set you up with sandwiches, salads, cheeses, a dessert etc. If you're more of a DIY-er, there is no better place to assemble a stellar picnic than the Granville Island Market. They've got everything you need... sandwich fixings, salads, fruit, charcuterie, desserts... I could go on. Granville Island is also a great place to stage your evening.

Those are my 5 picnic essentials. Now get out there and start picnic-ing! I wish you all a fabulous picnic season!

Do you love picnics? Are you thinking of surprising your partner with a fab picnic on the beach? I want to hear all about it! And if there's someone out there you'd like to throw you a picnic, and you want to send them a gentle hint... please like and share this article! Thanks for reading and, as always, you can connect with me over social media on Facebook, Twitter, and  Instagram.