Turn your picnic into a ‘blanquet’ with these alfresco essentials

Top event designer Fiona Leahy shares her tips on how to create a very stylish spread and turn your picnic into an impressive ‘blanquet’.

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  • Ask guests to BYOC (bring your own cushions), so everyone has a padded seat. You can never have too many pillows and cushions to relax on.
  • Use an assortment of vintage or older crockery. Melamine and enamel plates are great, but why not use a picnic as an opportunity to bring out those lesser-used plates from the back of your cupboard to introduce some retro styling?
  • Position the ‘blanquet’ under a tree and hang fairy lights from the branches or under a few colourful giant parasols for added wow-factor.
  • Be prepared and plan ahead. I love the idea of having a box full of essentials to help your feast go seamlessly. I would fill a big wicker hamper with all the elements you would normally need when hosting a meal.
  • Keep a supply of brollies in a nearby car. They’re as important for providing shade and sun protection as they are for rain cover. And make sure you have SPF on hand for everyone, too.

The Picnic Cool Kit

These alfresco essentials are guaranteed to pack a punch for your picnic.

Book, £21.99, Waterstones

Wicker basket with glasses, £110, Amara

Bamboo lunch pot, £10, John Lewis

Picnic basket, £50, Amara

Throw, £225, Johnstons of Elgin, Fortnum and Mason

Tray, £10.25, Oyoy Living Design

Coolbox, £200, Selfridges

Bamboo cutlery, from £2.75 for a ten-piece pack, Re-found Objects

Tablecloth, £135, Smallable

Tablecloth, £125, Oka

Picnic set, £380, Alessi, Made in Design

Cool bag, £40, John Lewis

Vacuum flask, £42, Farrar-tanner

Shatterproof tumblers, £13.95 for two, Bodum

Picnic blanket, £125, Heating and Plumbing

READ MORE: From M&S to Lina Stores, these are the best pre-made picnic platters and hampers