I’ve always wanted to have a picnic on the beach but it seemed like a lot of work. When I think of a picnic I think of homemade muffins, a variety of sandwiches and pasta dishes, and all of the prepping that goes into it. The other day my friend Kim contacted me and asked me what I was doing that day. Neither of us had anything planned so we decided to enjoy the beautiful Los Angeles weather and head to Venice Beach. We through together a picnic with an assortment of store-bought food and drinks.
Before I left my apartment I thought about what we would need for a fun-filled day in the sun. I thought about what kind of theme we were going for and I wanted to keep it simple because we were pressed for time. I decided we could create a cheese board with fruits and nuts because it’s so easy and chic. By doing this we wouldn’t need to bring plates and silverware. I then grabbed my Anthropologie cheese board (find similar here), and the cactus beach blanket I had just purchased and left to meet up with my friend.
On our way to the beach, we stopped at a few stores to stock up on what we would need for the day. For the variety of cheeses, we went to Ralph’s and purchased from the under $5 selection (cheddar, Manchego, and brie). To accompany them we added pita crackers, nuts and raisins. We choose turkey and cheese pinwheels as our main dish. When it came to dessert we stopped at Trader Joe’s for our favorite, sea salt brownies. While we were there we also picked up some Mango Juice. But what is a picnic without wine? We stopped at Vons and choose Flip Flop Wines, Fizzy Cherry Red which paired smoothly with everything. The total cost of our picnic was under $20.
We arrived around 3pm and set up our spread. The weather was amazing and the sun was shining. My friend and I ate, talked, sipped our wine, and enjoyed the eccentric scene of Venice. As I thought about how planning our picnic on the beach took so little time and effort, and how it was such an enjoyable experience, I decided I’m going to include this into my schedule regularly.
My Tips For Putting Together the Perfect Picnic
Whether you’re planning a romantic picnic with your significant other, or getting your friends together for a day of fun in the sun, here are my foolproof tips on how to throw the ideal picnic (along with what you’ll need).
h Choose a location. Los Angeles has so many picturesque picnic spots--the beach, the park, the mountains, the lake, the possibilities are endless. PS: Don’t forget to check the weather for that day.
h Invite your friends by sending out cute invitations or if it’s a last minute get-together, send a text. If you’re having a potluck picnic; ask your friends to let you know what type of food they are bringing so everyone doesn’t bring the same thing. Also, remind them to bring a blanket.
h Choose a variety of food that is easy to transport and eat. Don’t bring anything that’s going to melt.
h If you’re having a picnic by the beach, be sure to bring an extra beach blanket to place the food on, or if you’re headed to a place with picnic tables bring a cute gingham tablecloth to set the mood.
h Bring some plastic utensils and napkins.
h Clean up after your party. Bring a trash bag in case there isn’t one nearby.
h Don’t forget the drinks! It’s a good idea to have a variety of canned and bottled sodas, water, sparkling Rosé, and wine (red and white). Cans and bottles are a better choice since there’s less of a risk of getting sand or dirt inside your drink. If you do opt for bottles, don’t forget a corkscrew and bottle opener.
h Bring sunscreen! Do not forget it or you will regret it.
Listen to our Los Angeles curated playlist filled with songs that celebrate this amazing city. Don’t forget to bring a speaker, but make sure to pay attention to your surroundings and don’t play the music to loud.