One of the advantages of travelling on your own doorstep is having all the conveniences of home at your fingertips. Picnics are much easier when you have access to table wear, your picnic rug, access to your own kitchen and/or know where to go to get all the best picnic food locally. Picnics are also a hell of a lot easier when you have your own car to carry your load of picnic gear to your chosen destination!
Many of my suggestions for things to do in Sydney are based around picnics, so here is my fuss-free guide for packing the most delicious (and practical) picnic.
1. BBQ Chicken: A family favourite, the BBQ chicken is found readily in most suburbs and is great on it’s own with salad or in a fresh baked bread roll. It’s delicious meat can stretch to many picnic guests and ‘dressed up’ with a Spanish chill sauce or a delicious chutney. Accompany it with a home-made or store bought salad and you’re done!
2. Frittata/Quiche: For vegetarians you can’t go past a great frittata or quiche at a picnic.
3. Fresh baked baguette: For me, a picnic isn’t complete unless you have a French bread stick. Whether you use it with dips, cut it up for individual rolls or simply as a side, the versatility of a baguette, and the fact it can extend to multiple people makes it perfect for picnics with friends.
4. Pull-aparts: Bread pull-aparts that are packed full of delicious ingredients are a crowd-pleaser but are also easy, impressive and filling. If you are in the inner west of Sydney you can’t go past Strawberry Fields’ Award wining Potato, rosemary and truffle bread- delicious!
5. Dips & crackers: Picnics (the good ones at least) last several hours and sometimes it is good to have snacks on hand for either before or after the main picnic feast. Rice crackers and dips are easy and are great options when you don’t want to be bringing knives and boards to have a full cheese platter.
5. Grapes: Grapes are well loved, are a great healthy snack and go really well with other foods. They are a super- easy option to complement the ideal picnic. The can tide over hungry bellies until everyone is ready for the picnic, and they can also round-off a meal and leave you with a cleansed palette. Best of all, they help avoid food waste as anything you don’t eat can simply be taken home to eat at a later date..
6. Thermos: Especially in winter, a thermos of boiling water so you can make a hot cup of tea or coffee will warm you up even if the winter air is chilly is definitely a must. Don’t forget to pack your tea bags or else perhaps brew your coffee before you leave home.
7. Sweet Treat: Thanks to your Doorstep Travelling, you can bake your own sweet treats, but if you are short on time or motivation, simply find you favourite bakery or Patisserie and select some treats to round off the perfect picnic. I love to get a selection for picnic guests to choose from to leave everyone feeling very spoilt.
8. Picnic Blanket: Don’t forget a picnic blanket- whether you have access to a picnic table at your destination of choice or not, it is always handy to have a waterproof backed picnic blanket to use either as a table cloth or on the ground. I find we often need a couple- one for the food to be laid out on and another for us to sit on!
9. Plastic bag: This is an easy item to forget but doubtless you will create waste with your picnic. Whether it be food packaging or leftovers, you will be glad to have a bag on-hand to discard of your rubbish. It’ not always easy to find a rubbish bin so be sure to take your bag of rubbish with you if there are none around.
10. Don’t forget: You will need a sharp knife for your BBQ Chicken, to cut up your frittata,and slice your baguette. You will need a chopping board, plates, cutlery, mugs and cups. A godsend on a picnic trip is when you also have the foresight to pack snap-lock bags for any leftovers.
Do you have any picnic favourites? I’d love to hear them.