Thursday, 28 August 2014

Penny'sTop Ten Tips #2 Planning the Perfect Picnic

Welcome to the second Penny's Top Ten Tips! To start with, a few weekends back was the first time I ever went on a picnic. That's right. I've never been on one! My boyfriend was down for the weekend and he thought that was so sad that we decided to go for it and plan a picnic!
In Hyde Park, London no less. We went on a sunny Saturday afternoon with a couple of bottles of cider, a cheapy mini bottle of prosecco and some foodie goodies. So learning from this wonderful experience here is my tip tops for planning the perfect picnic. 

1. Check your location-
The ideal location for your picnic should have a lot of room for your group to eat and maybe play some games. Locations such as a park, beach or a really big back garden near your house.

2.Check the weather-
There's nothing worst then getting to your picnic spot and its just about to pour down with rain. Not fun. Once you've confirmed your ideal, check the weather and keep yourself updated. If the weather is terrible for your chosen day you may need to, -dare I say it-, take a rain-check!

3. Have a 'basics' list-
I do love lists. In fact this will end up being a list within a list. That's how much I love lists. This one is my personal picnic list, that is a fail safe. Your basic picnic list should be remembered or written down on some cute stationary and add any extra items accordingly:
           *Bottle opener
           *Plastic cups
           *Disposable cutlery and plates
           *A spare plastic bag to get rid of rubbish
           *Cool bags/Ice Box

4. Keep in mind how many people are you catering for. I say this as very often many picnic goers pack too much food and much of this is thrown away and wasted. I don't know about you but I can't stand wasting food. To avoid this pack only what you need. For hungry two people for example, 2 sandwiches each, 2 drinks, 2 water bottles, 4 cookies each, 1 cake slice, 1/4 quiche slice and 2 packets of crisps. I mean its up to you what you bring as its your picnic. My ideal picnic foods are Pissaladiere, Chocolate Chunky Chocolate Chip Cookies, Cheese and Tomato QuicheChocolate Cola Cake and sandwiches made with my Assessment Bread

5. Food needs cooling-Cool bags are your friend!
 If your location is on public transport taking a massive cool box may not be visible. If your taking a car, then by all means go for it. If your having a small picnic that requires some travel then cool bags are a life saver. You can turn any back-pack into a portable-fridge with enough these cool bags! They will keep the food as fresh as possible while traveling.

6.Pack only what you need-
 I suppose I've made this point once already in step 4 but I'm talking about the extra stuff. I'm talking about the Ipad, the miniature stereo, the extra pair of flip-flop shoes, the other blanket, and a kitchen sink because you never know. This is a bit exaggerated of course but don't over-pack with stuff that you will not use.

7.Protect yourself!-
Sitting in bright, warm weather is a simple pleasure in life. Moments like that can be ruined by sunburn. Sunblock, sun-glasses and hats if the weather is scorching hot. I know you've heard this all before but sunburn pain is not worth it. You'll thank me for it later.

8. Live in the moment-
Enjoy the day for what it is and try not to live on your phone. Its a hard habit to break not to keep updating your facebook status  or posting an awesome picture of your picnic food every five minutes (both which I'm guilty of). Don't get me wrong take some pictures, and actually enjoy the picnic-Right there and then- rather than in cyberspace. You can always upload pictures when you go home.

9. Stay hydrated- Always bring a bottle of water with you on a hot day. Keep your water levels up to avoid de-hydration. Common sense really.

10. Have some games planned-
Frisbee, volleyball, football, rugby, the possibilities are endless. Some other games including my personal favourite which my friends Sofia and Farah introduced me to is: Snog, Marry or Throw off a Cliff. Sofia and I played this game whilst in Disneyland Paris to pass the time while waiting for the Disney Dreams Firework Show. It requires nothing but the imagination. You can play with as many people as you like as well.
How it goes is someone picks a theme such as Disney Villains.
The other players must decide on 3 people for the first player to either kiss/snog, marry or throw of a cliff. The first player has to come up with an answer and a reason why they would pick that person and then is moved on to the other players. If a player refuses to answer then they are out of the game. There are no winners or losers but its so funny to play.

Example: Disney Villains
Other Players: Who would Snog, Marry or Throw off the Cliff... Javar? Captain Hook? or Doctor Facilier, AKA"The Shadow Man"?

First Player: Seriously? Fine.... I'd marry Captain Hook cause he has a boat... Snog Doctor Facilier cause he's... kinda hot? And I'm throwing Javar off the cliff because he's a moron. ..

Its always such a laugh to play this, mix it up by adding real celebrities, Harry Potter characters, anyone that you feel is cringy enough to make people squirm.

This is the last unofficial point in the post, remember to leave the place as you found it. Pick up any bits of rubbish and pack up everything so your perfect picnic spot is ready for the next person to enjoy.

What's been your favourite picnic location?

Bake On! Penny x
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