Entertaining is one of my favourite things to do in my free time – making an event out of any occasion always gives my creative side a chance to have some fun, and knowing that I’m able to share that creativity with my closest friends and family brings me a lot of joy. For my birthday at the end of last year, I really wanted to host a small picnic-type affair with my closest friends and I. Originally, the picnic was to be held in the backyard- but alas, Melbourne’s stormy Spring weather did not permit this. I had to improvise and ended up with an indoor set up that was still super cute – and with the endless supplies I had bought from K-mart and Spotlight, I eventually got to have an adorable outdoor picnic a couple of months later. I thought I’d share a couple of my go-to’s for the cutest picnic with friends as well as some happy snaps from the day.
F O O D
If you’re a food lover like myself, then the spread that is put on at any event is CRUCIAL – especially when it comes to a picnic-themed party. For me it’s important to get just the right amount of food, as well as options. Majority of my friends are either vegetarian or vegan, so there wasn’t any meat on the spread (hot tip: not having any meat is also a huge cost saver) – but as I am a cheese fanatic, the cheese board was definitely the hero of the table. I feel like there’s so much opportunity for experimentation with cheese boards – if you’re interested in hearing about my must haves for the world’s best cheese board, let me know! I’d love to share all my secrets with you. Now, as a uni student, I am certainly not made of funds. So a good idea for any picnic party is to ask your guests to bring a plate of food each. I did this for my event and it was the best idea, not only did it save me some time and cash, but it was super fun to eat and try everyone else’s goodies – like a glorified bake sale with all your friends.
D E C O R A T I O N S
The event-planner inside of me always merges with the designer side of me when it comes to parties. A huge part of the excitement in hosting for me is making a space as CUTE as possible, not only does it make the day more special, but also more memorable for all the guests. K-mart honestly is the best place for all party needs, the endless themes, colours, and items allows for any style of event to look great on a budget. I’m personally a huge fan of garlands, lanterns and pom poms – so I was more than pleased to see how many different kinds K-mart had (wow this should be sponsored). K-mart is also fantastic for useful party items too – I bought a bunch of their glass milk bottles as I tend to avoid buying plastic disposables wherever possible, as well as a whole heap of their new metal straws. Buying items like this for me are great, as I know I’ll be able to use them for many events in the future.
C O C K T A I L S
I’m a huge fan of cocktails, I think making jugs of them is the best idea for parties as it’s a little (a lot) more exciting than beer and wine, and again allows for a little more creativity. For my picnic I wanted to make a few jugs of my favourite party drinks – gin and tonic, sangria, and the classic pimms cup. These drinks are fairly easy to create, but I do love how you’re able to customise them to look and taste even better! Here’s how I make all three of my favourite picnic drinks.
- 2 bottles of sangria wine (I just got cheap bottles)
- 1/2 cup brandy (again, cheap is fine!)
- 1 bottle of soda water
- 3/4 cup orange juice
- 1/4 caster sugar
- 1 orange & 1 apple
- 1 bunch of mint
I got this recipe from woolies, and just made it a little bit stronger – because why not? To start, cut up all the fruit and muddle in the jug with the sugar for one min. Then add in the juice and brandy and mix again so the fruit starts to absorb. Add in both bottles of wine, then the soda water – and stir! Lastly, add in the mint and she’s ready to go.
My signature Pimms cup
- 1 1/2 bottles of Pimms
- 2 bottles of lemonade
- 1 bottle of spiced ginger beer
- 2 oranges, 1 punnet of strawberries, & 1 lemon/lime
- 1/2 bunch of mint
Pimms cup is the drink I tend to make the most for events as it’s just so so delicious, and looks MARVELOUS. A lot of recipes tend to not have ginger beer, but I think it adds something really great to the drink. To make, I just slice up all the fruit, then add in all the liquids and mix with ice, super easy!
My picnic birthday party was a huge success, having all my favourite people together for such a lovely day was honestly the best way for me to end quite the year (take a read of my first post of the year to know why I REALLY needed this party). I love all my friends coming together, finding common interests between one another and just having a great time with a lot of great food, drinks and music! What’s your favourite type of event to host? Or are you more of the world’s best guest than host? I’m so happy I got to have this time with my friends, despite the gloomy Melbourne weather!
Much love, Ebony xoxo
** All photographs in this post were taken and edited in HUJI**