Set The Table
Picnics conjure up visions of Édouard Manet, Brideshead Revisited and Emma Woodhouse. Heady, hazy sunshine with butterflies flitting by and skylarks overhead. The reality is always far from this: someone spills the prosecco over the sandwiches and a shower is usually lingering on the horizon. But that contrast is half the fun. Even if you get rained on, I feel like the outdoors makes the laughter louder, the food tastier and the joy more profound. Everyone just relaxes so much more lounging on a few cushions than sitting up straight with a starched napkin on their laps indoors.
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HELLO! FASHION MAGAZINE
Whether lying on a blanket or sitting cross-legged, I find some sort of table makes eating much easier, especially if you’re wanting to while away the hours long into the afternoon. I made this one (pictured) by placing a piece of wood across two laundry baskets (who knew?!) I never bother lugging around picnic chairs but a few cushions are heavenly, particularly if you feel like drifting off for a nap in the sun (is there anything better?)
Even for a special occasion, I don't take china plates outdoors (cumbersome and risky), especially when there’s such a range of pretty melamine or enamelled tin options. They are light to carry too. I always prefer proper cutlery and glasses though (the sustainability factor of disposable plastic is a big no-go for me)... Wrap them in napkins and I’ve never had a breakage!
I love to use table linens and napkins; they can just go in the wash when you get home. A large tablecloth can sub in for a picnic rug and become the basis for a bit of a ‘picnicscape’.
I keep the flowers wild and worthy of a meadow: in this case, cow parsley, canadian poppies and soloman's seal tumbling out of clay jugs and jam jars.
Comfort is crucial or you will all want to leave early: rugs for warmth, lots of tupperware to prevent wasps and a gorgeous, colourful parasol to protect you from the sun (we can but hope!)
A poolside breakfast at Deeppura Garh hotel, styled with block printed green table linens.
Scenting a festive dining table with Jo Malone London.
Highlights from the festive entertaining masterclasses in Belgravia, London.
A pop-up on Elizabeth Street in Belgravia with two masterclasses in aid of non-profit Vimukti Sanstha in Jaipur.