People tend to think of summer as the outdoor party season. After all, why waste the warm weather, the longer days, and the excuse to break out light summer wear? Whether in the form of a beachside barbeque, a picnic in the park, or a good old-fashioned garden party, there’s no denying that dining outdoors possesses a certain appeal when the weather’s nice.
However, throwing an outdoor do that nonetheless maintains an air of elegant sophistication can be a tricky affair. Whether you’re dining in your own back garden or out at the nearest park, it means you have to take certain factors into account that simply aren’t a concern for those eating indoors. So here’s how you can harness a certain novelty by throwing an elegant indoor picnic party – and why you should do it.
The key is to blend the novelty of picnicking with all the comfort and convenience of dining indoors – but with a luxury twist.
Lay down a plush rug or blanket. Obviously, you’ll want something that can be easily cleaned in case of spills, but you can still get away with something a little bit nicer than you’d use for spreading on grass. Don’t bother digging out paper plates or plastic crockery – you can add a classier touch with wineglasses, real plates, and silverware.
Don’t confuse the indoor dining element with an actual dinner party – that simply won’t do. Keep the menu light and emphasise the picnic feel with picnic-style food – with a gourmet touch, of course. You can put together a picnic spread with a cheese board, some grapes, salami, pesto, smoked salmon, and any other kind of simple yet tasteful finger food you like. For an extra touch of style, you can order luxury picnic hampers online – whether readymade or customisable.
In terms of serving the food, you can ensure that you have all the correct implements to hand – a cheese board, bread knives, bowls for any sauces or pastes, and anything else you may need.
The right kind of ambience depends on your guests, of course, but staying indoors means you can make full use of sound systems in place to literally jazz up the proceedings, if you so desire. For a more casual night in, you can put on an old film – or if you’re hosting a romantic evening for two, you can light some candles. Again, the key is to take full advantage of such indoor benefits.
As previously mentioned, lots of things can affect the success of an outdoor party. While summer weather is wonderfully warm, it’s also notoriously changeable. Many an outdoor meal has been interrupted by the sudden onset of rain, or even just gusts of wind making it too chilly to stay outside. If it’s just been raining, then the ground may be too damp for sitting.
Comparatively, nothing makes an indoor picnic feel cosier than a bit of rain pattering against the windows – not to mention the fact that indoor picnics can be carried out regardless of season. In fact, hosting such an event in the dead of winter probably adds to said event’s appeal.
Bringing food along to a picnic can be difficult; anything cooked may need to be kept warm or cold, and dealing with insects can be a nightmare. Besides which, anything purchased readymade from a supermarket comes with layers of extra packaging that inevitably gets thrown out rather than recycled.
Plus, it’s just convenient to host a picnic in a location with bathrooms within easy reach.
Ever hosted your own indoor picnic party? Got any tips or suggestions? Do share them in the comments.
Elise Lévêque loves food, travelling, and any way to put a new twist on a familiar meal. She shares her love of quality fare by blogging for Hay Hampers.
Image by Helena Price