Picnics are not just for summer.
Autumns are great for picnics too – just think of all the lovely colours of the season, cooler weather and not having to share your food with persistent insects.
And here are five tips for a perfect autumn picnic.
1. Plan on plenty of easy or make ahead food.
Cheese, cured meats, olives, fruit and bread are all easy food that could provide the centre piece for any picnic. “Make ahead” food like chillis, soups and muffins can make your life much easier. An autumn picnic would be incomplete without ingredients that pull in the flavour of the season – like this curried pumpkin soup, Thai red pumpkin curry or apple muffins. My current big secret for picnics are brioche loaves like this one from Broiche Pasquier. The sweetness of the brioche goes really well with strong savoury flavours such as chilli and cheese.
2. Pretty up drinks.
Serve lots of colourful or seasonal drinks like raspberry lemonade, guava coconut mocktails or apple cocktails in mismatched glasses and jars. And pretty them up drinks with a mix of coloured paper straws. For warming drinks like cinnamon spiced apple juice, you can jazz them up with the whole spices and fruit slices instead.
3. Set up a dessert corner.
Set up a dessert area and stuff it full of sweets like “make ahead” apple muffins, chocolate, nuts and fruits. Image all the fun guest would have making up their own fruits kebabs and dipping them in yogurt and a gazillion toppings.
I also think children would love the new individually wrapped milk chocolate filled brioches from Brioche Pasquier. Just the perfect size for little hands as they run round playing tag and “what’s the time Mr Wolf”.
4. Incorporate autumn elements into the settings.
Your autumn harvest is not just for eating. Use your pumpkins, squashes, satsumas and apples to add a bit of edible colour to your picnic setting. And you can get your guests involved too by collecting pine cones, twigs and beautiful coloured leaves to help decorate. Besides this decoration could end up as part of the entertainment – pumpkin or apple carving anyone?
5. Stock up on blankets and scarves – plenty of them.
Blankets can add instant colour to any picnic. Throw one over a picnic table or spread some on the grass for guests to sit on. Scarves can also be used to line individual baskets servings for guests. And of course, if the weather isn’t quite as agreeable as you’d like, having plenty of blankets is the one thing that will guarantee that everyone stays happy.
Please do leave me a comment with your tips for the perfect autumn picnic.
Thanks to Brioche Pasquier for sending me some lovely samples to try out.