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How to plan the perfect picnic

Whether it's a romantic date or a family outing, make it an affair to remember with these transportation tips, essential accessories and tempting recipes. 

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Food transportation tips

There's nothing more important than making sure all your food and drink gets to the picnic location safely and at optimal temperatures. Your classic food storage containers will work for the most part, but for pre-portioned morsels, use cupcake liners to keep them separate within the containers. There's nothing worse than a wilted salad, so keep your dressings in small jars, ready to be poured on arrival. Beeswax and reusable wraps are also great for items that are being transported in bowls. 

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Packing the car

If you're worried about items rolling around in the car on the way, spread a yoga mat out in the boot and carefully place or stack everything in baskets or crates over the top. The crates will also make getting everything out of the car easier. 

Temperature regulation

For warm food, consider transporting it in the pot that it was cooked in (cue less washing-up); just make sure you secure the lid of the pan by tying a tea towel through the handles. You'll also want to make sure that perishable items are kept cool on the journey and during the picnic, so if you have a big crowd, have separate cooler bags for drinks and food so the lids stay closed longer and the cold is kept in. It's also important to be aware of taking glass with you to a public park or beach, especially if there are children about, so if you can, transfer wine bottles into insulated bottles and stick to plastic or paper plates. 

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Essential picnic accessories

While you can have a picnic with just the basics, there are a few items that take a picnic from good to great. You'll need a quality blanket, preferably one with a rubber backing so damp doesn't seep up from the ground, and something to weigh down the corners if the wind picks up. If the sun is shining and trees are sparse, you'll want a beach umbrella to escape from those harsh UV rays. Keep any creepy crawlies away from the food with mesh food covers or elevate it with foldable serving boards (bonus if they have built-in wine glass holders). Last but not least, keep the good vibes going with your favourite tunes playing over a portable bluetooth speaker

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Our favourite picnic recipes 

While there's nothing wrong with sausage sangers and a cheese board, sometimes a picnic just calls for something extra special. Here's what we've got our eye on for our baskets.

Next-level picnic sandwiches

Instead of bread rolls and BBQ chook, stock up on rice paper and roast duck from your local Chinese barbecue shop for these easy Peking duck rolls. Or, if your picnic destination has BBQ facilities, make Neil Perry's spicy lamb skewers with cucumber yoghurt, and BYO hummus and flatbread. Statement sangas like Adam Liaw's two-metre banh mi and this double-decker Reuben club sandwich are also sure to impress. Shop our chopping boards and knife sets now. 

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Image via goodfood.com.au

Picnic salads

Potato salads are always a winner at picnics. Keep it classic with this perfect potato salad, or try Matt Preston's double mint potato salad featuring both fresh and dried mint to cut through the richness.

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Image via womensweeklyfood.com.au

Fancy a salad with a difference? Embrace the jar food trend with a mason jar salad with Asian dressing. This Cypriot grain salad is also one of our favourites, as it is for many more of you it seems; it scored more than one million clicks within four years of being published, and continues to be the go-to dish for Aussies when asked to bring a plate!

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Image via goodfood.com.au

Let's also not forget the ultimate picnic dish: the pasta salad. Substantial, affordable and easy to transport, a pasta salad ticks off all the picnic boxes. Use pantry staples to make this pasta and tuna picnic salad, or add summer colours to your spread with this shell pasta salad with feta, bacon, tomato and mint. Shop our serving bowls now. 

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Image via delicious.com.au

Picnic pastries

Whether individual pocket pies or a rustic freeform tart, savoury pastries are a versatile way to use up what's left in the fridge, plus they're portable and are delicious warm or cold. You can't go past a classic bacon and egg pie, while vegos are sure to appreciate this crumbly pumpkin, goat's curd and thyme tart. Shop our pie dishes and tart pans now. 

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Image via gourmettraveller.com.au

Sweet picnic treats

Park your regular banana bread recipe aside, and try this upside-down caramel banana bread adorned with caramelised banana topping for your next picnic. Instead of brownies, we also like to mix things up with these raspberry and white chocolate blondiesShop our bakeware now. 

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Image via delicious.com.au

Tile image via donnahay.com.au

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