With the sun shining, life getting that little bit closer to normal (plus four weeks, cheers Boris), and most importantly it being International Picnic Day, it's time to start planning a romantic picnic date with Elate!
A picnic is the ideal outdoor date; it’s fun, it’s easy to plan and it doesn’t have to be a big faff - you can keep it simple with a blanket and BYO food and drink.
From escaping a bee attack to must-know picnic hacks that will BLOW YOUR MIND, here’s everything you need to know to impress your date on a picnic for pros.
What to bring
A picnic date isn’t something you can really do spontaneously. But it’s great for a casual first date, as you can both agree to bring your own food and drink to avoid any awkwardness. Here’s everything you need to remember:
Mess-free food; check out our next tip for the best recipes and pre-made picnic snacks.
Bubbly. Because no picnic is complete without the Prosecco.
Glasses for the bubbly. Drinking from the bottle might be a step too far.
Disposable, eco-friendly cutlery for ease and to show you actually care about the environment (a good thing to have in common). And because eating with your might not be that attractive.
Picnic basket to carry everything. Unless you’re an octopus.
A comfortable blanket (waterproof if possible).
Baby wipes / napkins, just in case.
A bin bag for rubbish. No one likes a litterer.
Battery pack in case your phone dies; got to keep the tunes playing.
Suncream and sunglasses. The practical necessities.
No one likes sticky fingers and stained clothes, do they? We suggest opting for more simple, snacky foods, avoiding stuff like pizza and wings.
If you’re looking for easy picnic recipe ideas, from salads to sandwiches, check these out.
For everything BUT sandwiches (since that’s all we ate for lunch during lockdown), try out these simple ideas.
The location of your picnic is quite important. It’s England, so a light shower during the summer isn’t a shock, which is why choosing a picnic spot with shelter nearby is always a good idea. Here’s how to choose the best spot for your date.
Even if you choose a spot near some shelter, always have an umbrella on hand. Your efficiency is sure to bag you some brownie points if it does start to rain. It can also double up as shade from the sun (or if you need an extra bit of privacy!).
If it’s supposed to rain, maybe avoid the large, open-spaced parks such as Hampstead Heath, Greenwich Park and Hyde Park.
If you’re boozing it up, make sure to choose a spot that’s not too far from a toilet (or too close for that matter - the smell would be one quick way to kill the romance). You don’t want to break the seal and end up having to go on a hike just to go to the loo.
Our favourite picnic hacks
Who doesn’t love a good hack? Make your life easier and impress your date all at the same time. Thank us later!
Pop a cupcake case (with a hole in the middle to fit your straw into) over your drink to keep the bugs away. You can also use cupcake cases at the bottom of your ice lolly to prevent getting all sticky and messy.
Music is great for getting the vibe going, but sometimes a speaker can be too loud and our phones too quiet. Try putting your phone in an empty glass for a sound that’s just right.
Open your crisp packet and push the bottom upwards inside itself, creating a faff-free bowl to share out of.
Gonna be a hot day? Freeze your water bottles to keep everything cool and for when you need a hydrating drink.
Buy a waterproof picnic blanket because you can’t trust the English weather, (and we all get a bit clumsy after a few glasses, so no need to worry about spillages).
How to deal with unwanted visitors, aka bees
One of the worst parts of the summer is the range of guests that come out to play. Bees being one of them. They won’t leave you alone sometimes, but you don’t want to make a scene on your first date… so here’s how to style out a bee attack, as gracefully as possible.
Stay completely still. We always struggle with this one.
Gently put your glass/cup down (this could be what the bee is attracted to) and slowly back away from any nearby sweet foods.
Stay away from pools of water, bins, and tall grass; these all naturally attract bees.
Bring along foods that contain bee-deterrent scents such as peppermint, spearmint, eucalyptus, and thyme.
Use insect repellent to mask the scent of your perfume and hair products etc.
Now imagine the scene. The sun’s out, you’ve got a glass of your favourite drink in hand, your outfit looks banging, music is playing, you’re laughing. Everything is going surprisingly well. Then you hear it, buzzing around your ear. Your body freezes.
This is where you have two choices. You can either choose to go ape sh*t and make a run for it, or you can follow our advice and attempt to smile through the pain. Much easier said than done, we know.
However, if it ends up being a wasp and not a bee… ignore everything we’ve just said and RUN AND DON’T LOOK BACK.
Tell us your dating disasters
Finally… we’re keen to hear any dating picnic disasters you’ve had, what you would do differently from experience, and any tips you have for daters going on their first one!