Get a sneak peek inside our picnic basket
The weather is getting warmer, restrictions are easing and what better way to celebrate than to have a great picnic.
Our recommendations from Angliss experts Jess Derham (Lecturer for Tourism Management) and Corinne Maxfield (Program Leader for Events, Travel and Tourism) are guaranteed to make you excited about the idea of outdoor socialising and your epicurean dining experience. Here's our ultimate guide on how you can spruce up your picnic basket and where you should next lay your picnic mat.
Picnic basket essentials
Good food makes a big difference, and we highly recommend branching out from your usual snack pack and upgrade to some of our picnic staples.
Alana Benson, Polypop's owner and patisserie chef, has perfected the vegan picnic box. It's the perfect meal for two hungry people. For $50 you'll get her signature desserts of brownies, raspberry coconut slices, mousse cakes, beyond meat burgers and lasagna. All online and can be delivered to your door from Tuesday to Saturday.
Meals are great, but what if you want something light, but still unique? Floss and Fleur are who you turn for the ultimate grazing boxes - they're beautiful and have options to please a low key party of two people or a prosecco picnic platter for eight if you have something to celebrate. If you're based in Elsternwick delivery is free. Otherwise, you can place your orders three days in advance and have them delivered on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
For the warmer season, Earl Canteen has released two picnic-friendly hampers, their Spring Carnival Celebration Hamper and Spring Picnic Share Platter. They've taken our favourite elements from a charcuterie board and turned it into a feast! And don't worry, they use eco-friendly trays and platters taking the guilt away from takeaway food.
Want to build your own picnic box? Meatsmith's Picnic Season guide takes the guessing game away from creating your own artisanal grazing platter. They've handpicked the best meats, pickles and more. While you're at it, add a bottle of your favourite wine to your cart and you can start your Melbourne picnic at the park.
Location, location, location!
It's hard to pick the cream of the crop of parks, but depending on your mood whether you want a classic Melbourne park or if you want the perfect backdrop for a special occasion, here's where you can go.
The best way to enjoy Carlton Gardens is to pick your favourite view, sit down and enjoy a slow picnic. For an inner-city park, it boasts both natural and beautiful architectural views. It's no surprise that the Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Garden is Victoria's first world heritage-listed site. The garden is also close to DOC Espresso, Heartattack and Vine, Smith and Deli and more - the perfect takeaway selection for impromptu picnics.
Point Ormond Reserve
Situated in Elwood, Point Ormond Reserve gives you all the perks you can get from a park and beachside views. You have BBQ spots, a cycling path, playground and a picnic area. While you're there, you can make a stop at the Point Ormond Lookout to soak in one of Elwood's iconic views.
The Zoo is a perfect spot if you want to spend time with your friends and family, but also have something to do beyond eating and talking. Be as prepared as you wish by packing your own essentials, or you can enjoy what the Zoo has to offer. Another plus is by being there you're also supporting animal conservation, making it the opportunity to learn more about endangered animals and the Zoo's role in helping the recovery efforts.
If you're visiting the Healesville location, you can order one of their picnic packs by the Sanctuary Harvest. To top it off, on your way home, dedicate some time to visit the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery.
Take it up a notch
Now that you have food and location sorted, what else do you need? Here are some optional add-ons to seal the experience:
- A big and comfortable picnic rug is important! Picnic Season is a Geelong based small business that can help you snazz up your picnic gear.
- Pre-made summer cocktails or mocktails. We love The Jasmin cocktail recipe, a lighter brighter version of The Negroni, from our masterclass with Little Lon Gin Distillery.
- Make it festive! Set up a theme, celebrate all those missed birthdays and anniversaries or dress up like you would for a spring racing carnival.
- Be eco-friendly by bringing your own reusable water bottle and cutlery.
- Bring some fun to the park with outdoor games such as quoits, boule or frisbee.
- Of course, lastly, bring your own covid safe essentials: face masks and hand sanitiser.
And that's it! Wherever you decide to go for your next picnic, remember to stay safe and have fun!