Everyone loves a picnic – from renaissance painters to teddy bears. With our help, set the stage for your outdoor meal with fabulous style – under the stars, at the beach or in your own backyard. Summer is made for picnics and food just tastes better outside, doesn’t it? So grab a blanket and a straw tote with some simple snacks and head outside—with good friends or even just a good book.
Ditch The Old-Fashioned Picnic Basket
Turn in that old-fashioned picnic basket for a handwoven tote – just make sure it’s large enough to hold everything – your blanket, your glassware (yes, real glass), your plates and cutlery, if required. It’s really a lot simpler to just bring finger foods but it depends on how ambitious you are feeling. Use a thermal bag to carry anything that needs to stay cold (did someone say champagne?) and a second tote for items like bread and condiments. Oh yes, we’re going all out to make this a picnic to remember. We’ll show you how to set the mood with elegant touches that set the scene.
Make it Easy on Yourself
Choose foods that can be prepared in advance, so all you need to do on picnic day is pack it up, grab your hat and enjoy your day. Make a couple of special summer dishes yourself the day before – dishes you can serve at room temperature – and fill in the blanks with cheese, olives, veggies and a fresh baguette. Keep your food simple – and locally sourced. Pre-pack food (and accessories) that don’t need refrigeration.
Use Fresh Flowers
Fresh flowers elevate everything and are an unexpected detail at a picnic. Remember, you’re setting a scene. Even just a single blossom in a bud vase works – or you could go for the summer bouquet in a larger vase. Bring water for the vase in a closed container and assemble it onsite.
Real Glassware, Dinnerware and Cutlery
Nothing deflates a special occasion like plastic glasses, paper plates (yes, even the biodegradable ones) and plastic cutlery. Use real glassware – our Italian borosilicate glass is highly durable (not to mention highly elegant). Use ceramic plates and real cutlery. And don’t forget the wooden Charcuterie board for the olives and cheese. Set your picnic places as though you were having a casual but elegant dinner party.
Your Blank Canvas
What could be more elegant than a picnic under the stars? As our days get shorter, don’t despair – turn this into a plus for your picnic. Scatter some battery-operated twinkle lights around your blanket as dusk falls, and bring along a candle or two. Just make sure you have some sturdy candleholders like our cast iron candle stands from Japan. They are particularly suited to settings like this with their solid construction. And take along our vegan sumac candles with hollow wicks to provide an ethereal glow to your evening. (But all the normal rules still apply – never leave a candle unattended.)
Don’t forget the Music and the Mood
All it takes is your phone and a small portable speaker. And barring a portable speaker, put your phone inside a large glass or a small open container, as long as it has smooth walls, the sound will amplify. Another great mood setter is incense – we often ignore our sense of smell, but it can be a powerful tool. Our Japanese incense is a smokeless, sustainable incense with subtle, calming scents – perfect for an enchanted afternoon or evening picnic. Pair with our best-selling Australian incense burner.
‘Tis the season – for outdoor dining and it’s time to get those picnics happening. The summer won’t last forever, you know. But if you seize that sunny day, your summer memories just might.
Cork: From Champagne to Chic
From the birth of champagne – French Benedictine monk Pierre Dom Perignon was the first to realize this humble bark could be used to seal the bottle and preserve champagne’s effervescence – to its status as a popular home improvement material, cork is home to stay.
DESIGNER INTERVIEW SERIES: Craig Stanghetta of Ste. Marie
Well technically food, family and restaurants came first. Growing up with Italian friends and family, food became synonymous with those moments. My grandfather owned the oldest hotel in town and it was passed to my uncle so we spent a lot of time there as kids.
Weaving A Tale of Two Cultures
When you look at your basket, think of the thousands of years of knowledge, of trial and error, and of family connections that have been woven into the strands. Baskets around the world are made of many materials, many designs, and many ancestors.