A summer without at least one day spent at the beach, just isn’t right. There’s something special about finding that perfect spot to lay out a blanket in order to soak up the summer sun and dine on delicious food! To help you prepare for your picture-perfect day at the beach, our contributing editor, Erin Sousa, is sharing her advice for hosting a sweet beach picnic you’ll never forget.
It doesn’t get much more seasonal than a picnic on the beach. An evening spent with friends at the park or beach can actually be a lot easier to pull together than you think! I’ve created this beach picnic to show you exactly how you can recreate it with a few key décor pieces and nibbles, plus a packing list to keep you totally organized.
1. Timing is everything.
Depending on where you live, chances are good that summer is pretty sweltering. I prefer to throw a picnic in the early evening, which also makes it easier for your friends to join right after work. It’s cooler, the sun is lower and the lighting is prettier.
2. Find your sweet spot.
Let Mother Nature to do most of the heavy lifting! Your outdoor location will naturally help create atmosphere. Whether it’s on a beach or at a park, look for a tree to lean against or perhaps a nearby bench or log—my location had a perfectly situated beechwood log that my guests sat on! I also like to bring items from home to add comfort, like pillows and a leather pouf, because making it pretty really is half the fun (hi, Instagram!). As long as your guests stay on the blanket, they won’t get dirty.
3. Simplify the food.
This is where you can take things to the next level, or keep it quite simple. I’m a fan of blending those two ideas, and always pack fruit such as grapes, watermelon, strawberries, cheese, meats, baguettes, wine (rosé for the win!), sparkling water and something sweet, like a pie from your local bakery. Another option to keep it simple, but more bountiful, would be sandwiches and salads (avoid mayo bases if you don’t have any way to keep them cool), which all can be picked up from your local deli if you’re pressed for time.
4. Your no-fail packing list:
- Picnic basket or bag
- Wood crate (doubles as a little table and set up area)
- Plates, glasses and forks (disposable is best)
- Knives (for cheese and meat)
- Wood board
- Linen napkins (for décor)
- Fresh blooms
- Roll of paper towels
- Bag for garbage