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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Bristol chapter.

With the summer season quickly approaching, there are many things to look forward to. Of course there are barbeques, swimming, and sunbathing, Aperol spritz and the joys of spending your days in a pub garden. But some of my most wholesome and memorable days in Bristol have taken place on the Clifton Downs having a picnic with my friends. Here are my suggestions on how to make a perfect picnic.

First thing’s first, food. Often, it feels like the natural choice to pop into your Tesco or Sainos on the way to your designated picnic spot, but I propose that the better alternative – although potentially more time consuming – is to prep your own. There’s truly nothing more wholesome than preparing a selection of sandwiches to munch on and packing them tightly into your Tupperware’s. The best thing about this is that you get to pick how many little triangles you’d like to consume. The sandwich is the most underrated part of the picnic but simultaneously the most important.

Alongside your sandos, nothing is more summery than fruit – specifically berries. Personally, I always think that variety is key: strawberries, blueberries, clementine’s, or tangerines (does anyone actually know the difference?), watermelon and mango are fan favourites if you don’t mind spending a few more pennies. There’s no need to prepare a fruit salad, rather bung all the punnets and net bags into a tote and bob’s your uncle!! Although summer is the perfect time for a “health is wealth” mindset, and fruit and veggies are great, don’t forget to bring along bags of crisps, biccies and the most essential element…. ice lollies (perhaps consider buying these during your picnic or bring along an ice box).

Once you’ve got the food prepped and ready, there are some other key things factors to making your picnic perfect.

A) A blanket. Even if the grass is dry, no one wants to risk getting their white linen trousers muddy, and there’s always those friends on high alert in case a colony of ants suddenly emerges.

B) Bubbles and books. This one might not make sense to you, and you might think it’s pretty juvenile, but bubbles are nostalgic and make things just that tiny bit more fun. The most perfect picnic I’ve ever had included bubbles and ever since I’ve made sure to pack them. Equally, bring a book in case you need some quiet time after whatever game you play gets a tad too competitive.

C) Cards. Every single time I go anywhere with my friends, someone will at some point proclaim that we should have brought cards. We very rarely ever remember. Recently, on my first picnic of the season, I brought some along and for hours we played cards. They’re versatile you see, your normal deck of cards lends itself to a number of games like cheat, go fish, shithead, or even spoons, and if none of them tickle your pickle, you can even use them to play Uno!! (If you would like to use a deck of cards to play uno, simply exchange colours for suits and then assign your Jacks, Queens, Kings, and Aces their own action (i.e., reverse, skip and the dreaded plus four).

D) Disposable/digital camera. Yes, we are of the generation who feel the need to document everything and personally, I quite like that. A disposable is a lovely way to capture a sunny day.

E) A jumper…even if you don’t need it, just bring one. You don’t know how long you’ll be outside or where the day will take you, and unless you have control over the sun you can’t guarantee it won’t briefly disappear behind a cloud – in those moments you’ll be glad to have a cardigan or something with you.

F) Frisbee, rounders, spikeball? Personally, I think rounders can go one of two ways: either it’s incredibly fun or it gets overly intense after the realisation that people who didn’t play it at school may not know all of the rules (often the rule about what happens if you hit the ball backwards) and it can result in certain people (those who are competitive) getting ever so slightly irritated. Either way, bringing a frisbee or a ball or anything to have a chuck around keeps things interesting.

G) BBQ? I categorise a barbeque and a picnic as different things. But if you want to elevate your picnic experience, grab yourself a disposable grill and cook a few burgers or some halloumi for your veggie friends!

And I think that’s it!! Hopefully the next time the sun comes out and it’s warm enough to venture to our closest park, this little guide will help you curate the perfect little picnic.

Lauren Durose

Bristol '24

A Liberal Arts student whose focus is on English Literature. When there's a free moment, I typically pick up a feminist book, a hockey stick or my earphones. I like sports and entertainment mainly – whether that's hockey or rugby, ballet or musical theatre!