The 5Ws and an H for that perfect day in the outdoors

As the month of November sets in, the temperature dips and ushers in the perfect weather to explore the outdoors. After all, what’s not to love about relaxing in nature’s lap, enjoying good company and a plate full of delicious food? Food blogger, Bhakti Menon takes you through the finer nuances of planning a perfect outdoor picnic.

30 Nov 2016
Image source: Gaurang Mehta

Picnics are about celebrating the finer things in life; enjoying the crisp weather, waltzing in the picturesque outdoors alongside the company of loved ones and relishing on some delish food. Planning a picnic is just like planning a mini, mobile party. Approach the planning session with this in mind, thinking through the ‘5Ws and an H’—who, what, when, where, why and how— to ensure that none of the important details are missing and you have a winner in hand.

Perfect the plan

Depending on the nature of picnics—is it a family reunion, romantic getaway, corporate or school picnic— the planning changes. However the fun element remains the same. So what goes into planning a perfect outdoor picnic? It takes some good food, a perfect outdoor spot, essentials like blankets/quilts/chatai and great company to enjoy a picnic. Pack for your picnic keeping your guests in mind. For instance, if you are inviting elders, ensure you take enough folding chairs for them. If there are children involved, don’t forget to carry some games like frisbee, badminton or a deck of playing cards to double the fun.

If you thrive on spontaneity, then there could be nothing better than spur-of-the moment picnics. However, as much as they are fun, finding an ideal picnic spot at the last moment could be a challenge. Also, your location will have a certain say in the menu you plan. For a beach picnic, the planning is slightly tricky as compared to a picnic in the park. While items like wraps and whole fruits are easier to handle on the beach, a leisurely park picnic calls for sandwiches, bruschettas and quiche. Another perspective to base your menu plan is on the time of the day. If it’s a breakfast picnic or an indulgent lunch picnic, the set of food and beverage choices will vary.

Now which picnic is whole without a picnic basket? To decide on the type of basket you will need, you will have to keep in mind the menu as well as the location. If you intend to carry heavy items, choose a sturdy wooden crate over a picnic basket. If the picnic spot involves a small trek, a backpack is a better choice.

Project food & drinks

Plan your drinks well. Carry enough drinking water, lemonade, juices and a bottle of wine. Choose your glassware carefully and opt for unbreakable or disposable glasses and cups.

Serve food and drinks at proper temperatures. Investing in a cooler is a great idea as they are portable, compact and protect your picnic food from the outdoor humidity. Godrej Chotukool is one such mobile food and beverage cooler that helps you carry your picnic party outdoors. Store your cold salads, cheese, drinks and more in Chotukool and charm your guests.

Gourmet cuisine in my picnic basket

Sounds like too much work? Well, if you feel flustered with all the effort that goes into planning a picnic, take help from gourmet stores like Nature’s Basket. Here’s how we planned a perfect picnic with the range available across their stores.

We chose gourmet snacks like nachos paired with Mexican salsa from the L’Exclusif range. The salsa was thoughtfully packaged in a beautiful jar which made it easy to dip the nachos. Mix fruit crunch and baked makhana pops from the Healthy Alternatives range were a fuss free way to pass around and share. Whole fruits like grapes from Nature’s Basket were perfect picnic pleasers. Choosing grapes over cut fruits helped us do away with the need of packing extra plates or forks.

For wine, we opted for a red Merlot from the house of Grovers Vineyards. The intensely aromatic red wine paired beautifully with our delicately flavoured nachos and bruschettas. Desserts called for indulgence with two flavours from the L’Exclusif range. Dark chocolate with cranberry was perfectly rich and tangy, while the dark chocolate with mixed dry fruits made for a perfect ending to our picnic.

Looks like, we've covered almost every possible detail for that perfect picnic. Now tell us about your favorite picnic spot? What are your favourite picnic foods? Will you be picnicking this winter? Let us know in the comments section below.

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