The days are warming up and springtime buds are blooming. It’s time for garden walks and dining al fresco, but it wouldn’t be perfect without a bit of bling. Here’s everything you need to host the most marvellous Melbourne picnic.
Entrecote’s Parisian pique-nique in a box
Located right next to Royal Botanic Gardens, Entrecote is the ideal pre-picnic top up shop. Their new picnic hampers are a French feast, loaded with fresh baguette, camembert, a selection of premium meats and more. End on airy macarons and refreshing passionfruit yoghurt. They’ve even got a chic foldable table and chair set available to rent.
Before you head off for your fête champêtre, fill your hamper with picnic essentials from Brunetti. With counters groaning with calzones and quiches, it can be hard to know where to start. So grab some ready-to-go paninis, filled with all kinds of goodies. The classic caprese panino is stuffed with buffalo mozzarella, tomato and basil. Other crowd-pleasing combos come with prosciutto di Parma or salami with provolone.
Cheese board provisions
Everyone knows, you can’t have a picnic without cheese. So bring along the big softies from Spring Street Grocer. These soft cheeses are perfect for spreading on biscuits or baguette. The selection includes a creamy sweet Holy Goat Skyla. Plus a Brie-like Petit Delice Mon Sire cheese from Burgundy. The wrinkly orange Langres cheese is washed in Marc de Champagne. To impress your fellow picnickers, pour some sparkling wine into the top before serving. The result is a flavour sensation that’s intense and earthy.
Iconic deli delights
Take your picnic up a notch with savoury nibbles from DOC Delicatessen. From marinated artichokes to cream-cheese-filled bell peppers, you’ll find all your deli needs. Choose olives as the perfect appetiser. The mixed Italian selection includes fruity Castelvetrano, Taggiasca and Cerignola varieties. Or focus on those Kermit-green Castelvetranos, better known as Sicilian olives. They’re prized for their sweet and buttery flesh.
For a one-stop picnic shop, pick up an antipasti box from King and Godfree. Inside you’ll find everything you need for the ideal picnic. Cheese, one hard and one soft. Sliced ham, prosciutto and salami. House-cured pickles and fruit paste. Plus baguette, crackers and grissini. Now that really is a picnic in a box.
To fill your chilled Esky with bubbles, order some Italian prosecco from the City Wine Shop. The Bellussi extra brut is a fragrant drop, with hints of peach and honeysuckle. You’ll also find local sparklings, plus plenty of picnic-friendly whites.
You’ll want to finish with something sweet. For wow factor, choose a pack of white peach cronuts from Rustica. The light-as-air layers are topped with elegant peach icing. But you won’t be forgiven if you don’t bring donuts as well. Add some of Rustica’s raspberry and rose, lemon meringue and crème brûlée sugar-dusted specialities.
Still hungry? Check out more must-try tipples and picnic provisions in our ultimate Melbourne cheese and wine guide.
Cheese board accessories
Organise your cheese and wine with the Sunnylife set from Monsterthreads. The luxury wooden set comes with a cheese board. And a swing-out drawer hides a cheese knife, cheese fork and corkscrew. Complete your picnic set with a matching bottle caddy. It holds six bottles, and has a built-in opener.
Spill proof drink holster
There’s nothing worse than spilling your glass on the grass. So stabilise your flute of bubbly on a travel goblet stake from Miei Fiori. Screw it into the ground, and voila! Your glass is safe and sound. Each wooden stake holds two wine glasses, and fits easily into your picnic hamper. Even better, to help regenerate our forests, a tree is planted for each stake sold.
For a comfy seat at your outdoor feast, head to Wilkins and Kent for an Otto & Spike picnic rug. Made from vintage Australian Shetland wool, it has a moisture-proof backing to protect against spills and dew. And the woven tartan pattern has timeless appeal.
Cutlery and crockery
From cutlery to crockery, all the basics are covered at Spoilt. Stainless-steel flutes to keep your bubbles chilled. A colourful jug to fill with water or fruit punch. A cutlery set in reusable bamboo rather than plastic. Add washable melanine plates from Monsterthreads. And for a touch of Alice’s tea party style, hire a set of traditional teacups and saucers from Collins Coffee House.
Need to keep your picnic spread warmed or chilled? Pack your items in Monbento lunch boxes from Make Designed Objects. The silicone-lined airtight boxes have trays for dips and space for cutlery. Add some sauce pots for condiments, and bottles for water. Or try Melbourne’s own BeetBox. This Good Design Award winner is made from tempered glass, with a neoprene sleeve that insulates and protects.
Just because you’re dining outdoors doesn’t mean you don’t need serviettes. Keep everything tidy with a set of napkins from Gorman. The colourful designs feature squiggles and flora, in signature Gorman prints on printed linen cotton.
And finally, no picnic would be complete without a game of backyard cricket or Frisbee. For ideas on some picnic games, check out our round up of old school outdoor games.
Metropolitan Melbourne is still under restrictions. Please note businesses may close or run out of stock at short notice: check with individual businesses. Make sure that you live within 5kms of the business before ordering for takeaway or click and collect. Please, be smart, be safe and follow directions from the Victorian Government.