When you think of romantic picnics, images of shady trees, beautiful flowers, a sunny day, a charming quilt, a bottle of wine, cheese, crusty bread, and a very in love couple come to mind. That’s what comes to mind for me.
Picnics are a perfect way to celebrate a day with someone special. Use this guide full of expert tips for packing lovely picnics and picnic date ideas. You’ll be able to let the logistics melt away, set up a love story on a quilt, and focus on each other and your Romance! Isn’t that the way it is supposed to be?
Take care in setting the mood ~ Romance. The quilt as the backdrop and the meal as the theatre performance are the leading players in this romantic al fresco dining experience.
Let’s put it all together, starting with a few picnic theme ideas. Here’s a book to get your juices started.
Picnic Ideas ~ Romantic Picnics
Pour on the Romance
- Rose petals on the quilt
- String lights/twinkle lights (battery operated)
- Candles (be safe)
- Linen spray on the quilt (smell is the strongest memory sensor)
- Bonus if you play a guitar or harmonica, bring it, and if the moment strikes, go for it
- In a meadow
- Big fluffy pillows
- A romantic audio short story on the speakers, after dinner, to snuggle up to.
- A small picnic table for the food
- An elegant table cloth
- Bonus if everything is in an antique white and lace
- Over the top, a valet sets up the picnic setting and dinner for you while you stroll nearby
- Set up about two hours before sunset. This one is all about timing.
- The location should have a view of the sunset.
- Extra quilt for a chilly evening.
- Take a few selfies at the golden hour; the light is beautiful (read up on taking sunset photos).
- Stargazing app
- A little research on the weather and clear skies
- Red flashlight
- White light flashlight
- Extra quilt for a chilly night, focus here is on keeping warm
Movie Buff night
- iPad for a movie after dark (make sure it is fully charged)
- Popcorn and chocolate bars
- Extra quilt for a chilly evening
- Local park
- Local lake
- Local beach – A beach setting affords you to walk the beach barefoot.
- Botanical garden – A garden will have the added bonus of walks around the beautiful garden paths. Note Garden hours.
- Look for your spot ahead of time
- Choose a secluded but lit spot
- Will you need restrooms nearby
- Are you able to park nearby if you have a heavy load
- Is the location safe after dark?
Ambiance ~ Romance
- Music – Bring a Bluetooth speaker for romantic, soothing, soft music
- Check the weather; wind and rain can be show stoppers. Could you have a plan B?
- Check sunset hour
A quilt is the most romantic addition to the scene. You can use it for sitting on and snuggling close in. Start with a ground cloth so your quilt will stay dry even on moist grass. Now go look for the most romantic quilt you have. You are trying to set a love story on a quilt.
Sitting and eating on a quilt you value means you should either e the food just outside the edge of the quilt or place a tablecloth under the food area in case of any spills.
Make sure the quilt is large enough to fit two people plus the food.
A few misc housekeeping items; bug spray and/or sun protection, flashlight if after dark are all things to consider.
A charming picnic basket will add to the romantic feel. But, if you don’t own one and buy one, you have quite a few options. Here are some possibilities: baskets that turn into tables, folding tables, wine and glass holders, charcuterie board tables, baskets with coolers, or simply a well-outfitted picnic basket or tote.
You can pick a basket that carries the place settings and picnic linens and bring along an ice chest on wheels with the food. If you don’t have a complete picnic set with melamine plates etc., pack your bag of choice with lightweight, eco-friendly picnic ware.
Cloth napkins and a table cloth for the food area are a must for Romance. You’ll need the strength of actual forks and knives. And stemless wine glasses will be more stable in a lawn environment. Don’t forget a wine bottle opener, wipes, paper towels, trash bags, salt and pepper, and something to put any leftovers in if you are keeping anything.
The trick to a smooth picnic is an easy and elegant menu that will allow you to focus on your partner. Romance can be simple and sophisticated. And don’t forget the dessert!
Prepare recipes ahead of time. You can assemble the food part of the picnic activities, i.e., build your own. Dessert should be finger food and not messy.
Here are a few menu ideas
The easy squeeze way to go is to put together a charcuterie board or, better yet, buy one at your grocery store.
Easy and Pre-made
Chilled Pesto Pasta Salad
Soft cheese like goat cheese or Brie
Baguette, wrap in a paper bag
Cherries or grapes
Wine or White wine spritzer
Build-your-own crostini featuring super thin-sliced ham, extra sharp white cheddar, honey, and orange zest.
Italian sub wrap
Apple wedges with peanut butter and honey for dipping
Remember, picnicking can be as simple as sandwiches and thermos of tea lakeside, a cheese and wine beach date at sunset if some of these menus are stressing you out.
Pack your food in reusable containers and wrappings. Wrap sandwiches in brown or baking paper tied with a string to prevent cling wrap sweat. Bread will stay fresher and crusts crusty.
Sauces and Dressings
Keep sauces, dressings, and condiments separate until serving whenever possible. They should be added once food item is unwrapped or spread in the middle between meats and cheeses. The same goes for tomatoes. Place it in the middle to avoid its liquid from leeching into the bread.
Keep Food Cold
To keep food cool, put your drinking water bottles in the freezer. They will be partially melted when you arrive.
Keep Food Warm or Hot
Heat food as close to departure as possible. A thermos or other insulated cooler works well for liquids or saucy items. Wrap hot food in aluminum foil and wrap in a towel.
Your Romantic picnic
Now you’re ready to snuggle with your special someone, savor the picnic basket contents on your quilt for a romantic touch! Don’t forget to take a few selfies of you creating these beautiful memories.
With this sweet gesture, your significant other will surely be eager to snuggle on your quilt with you on the next chilly night!
Pulling together a picnic may feel difficult, but you will be an expert with all this info. First, get instant access to sources for fairy lights or suggestions for your short stories, red flashlights, and picnic baskets in the Sources for a Romantic Picnic. Then, get started planning your love story scene.
After you download it, I challenge you to really plan and have a romantic picnic. Then come back and share your story, well, the G-rated part of your story via the comments.
I can’t wait to see how you set up your picnic. It’s going to be awesome.