Picnic season is on the way.
I've said it once and I'll say it again - Irish people are masters of making hay when the suns shines. It's not often that the weather is good, but when it is, boy do we know how to take full advantage of it.
The first whisper of summer and we all have the sunglasses out, the picnic baskets packed and the winter jackets thrown far out of sight. Always the optimists, we rarely remember that blue skies do not necessarily imply high temperatures - correlation does not imply causation as my Leaving Cert maths teacher tried to remind me on many an occasion - but leaving the house without a coat is part of the thrill of it all. What would our mammies say?!
Fond as we are of the sunshine, we're not always well equipped to deal with it but having a few of these essentials to hand will make the coming weeks/months of outdoor living all the more enjoyable.
Gone are the days of old, slightly (ok, very) discoloured plastic containers amassed courtesy of the local takeaway. These days, reusables are far chicer. And far more efficient too.
Take Ecoset for example. Based locally in Greystones, they have a wide range of different products from flasket bottles (which keep your beverage of choice hot for up to 12 hours and cold for up to 24 hours), to travel mugs and even a wine bottle and tumbler set.
Making sure you have a good picnic blanket is the key to outdoor living in Ireland. While a simple sheet may suffice over on the beach in Spain, we often have wet grass to contend with so, something a bit hardier is needed.
Loads of different places will be stocking picnic blankets in the weeks to come but we're loving these sustainable beauties from SunDrift. Made from recycled plastic bottles, they're waterproof and come with a portable carry bag for ease of use. The bright colours and quirky designs are just a bonus.
This may seem boujee but cloth napkins are actually a very practical addition to your list of picnic essentials. Think about it. Making a mess is highly likely - especially when perched on uneven ground, trying to balance a plate on one knee and a cup full of
wine grape juice on the other.
Paper napkins are just too much faff in my opinion. Not only can cloth napkins can be reused (multiple times!), but they're also far more aesthetic. And just as Joey Tribbiani rightly claims that half the taste of something is in the smell, half the fun of a picnic is in the setup/look of it.
And finally, a grade-A picnic basket. Picnics are all about the snacks, and while a simple tote bag would definitely suffice in transporting your feast, a luxury woven picnic basket is far more glamorous. Falling slightly on the spenny side, they're more of an investment purchase than an impulse buy, but handle with care and it will last you years.
And if you're going to splash out, may as well go straight for the gold and nab one from Grá Picnics. A Clare-based business, they're experts in creating lavish outdoor experiences and their 24-inch picnic basket will help you on your way to following suit.
One of my favourite Roald Dahl quotes claims that if you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sunbeams... which leads me to question whether thinking good thoughts can help manifest actual sunbeams? Worth a try, I guess.