Dating can be a right old jungle, but if you’re after a solid idea, don’t panic! A simple, wicker-basketed inventory will convert your wilderness of singledom into a veritable botanic garden of decent, dapper courtship. The shopping list: 2 blankets, 1 fresh baguette, 1 cheese and charcuterie selection, 1 bottle prosecco, 1 punnet fresh strawberries and 1 pocketful of conversation starters. Sound appealing? Yes, dear chums, it’s everybody’s favourite barbeque-minus-the-macho food outing: the venerable picnic date.
There are dates, and then there are picnic dates. Don’t overcomplicate this beautiful date idea. Simplicity is key. All you need is good company, good food, and the most charming wicker receptacle you can lay your hands on. The weather will respect your choice, obviously…
Raising your game, the picnic way
If you think the classic simplicity which characterises picnics of the ancient (and best) variety won’t quite take your date where it needs to go, complicate it if you must. You can add all sorts of left-field details to fuel-inject your picnic with a little luxury and romance.
A blanket date under the stars
You’ve guessed it: pack your baskets for a night picnic. Bring some hot chocolate or a flask of tea to keep you warm, and an extra blanket as a cosy and romantic prop. Bubbly and grapes will see the sun down in haughty bacchanalian style, and chocolate will provide texture in the dark.
Now is a good time to brush up on your astronomy, if you need to prepare some good conversation. If you’re feeling particularly romantic and daring, bring some poetry: Baudelaire or good old Willie Shakespeare will both provide oodles of the right tone, but try to avoid the overly intense and corny.
Love on the water
There’s nothing more romantic than loading your picnic basket on to a low, steady craft and drifting down the glistening surface of a slow, old river. This date needs a perfect summer’s day of course; how else will you dry off after you’ve fallen in! Need some pop-culture inspiration? Check out the scene in the first Bridget Jones’ Diary, where René and Hugh are boating on a weekend away. You get the picture.
Not brave enough? The river bank is just as romantic
If you’re not a rower (oh, shame on you), you might still enjoy sitting by the river and taking your picnic date there. This is where your baguette, cheese and wine really come into their own. Cap it off with a stroll along the river, and sit down on your blanket when you find an irresistible spot.
Keeping it indoors
You can still have a picnic in deepest, darkest, wettest winter. Just not outdoors. Deck your living room out with candles and prepare the classics on the shopping list. You know you want to try this: build a little tent (come on, we all know it’s really a fort) with sheets and dine in there on the floor. Fairy lights will create a gorgeous atmosphere, and if the food is right, it’s still indisputably a picnic.
Summer’s coming ladies and gentlemen, and it’s time to bring the picnic back into our courting. How will you be respect the picnic this year?