The best picnic ever

Hello friends, today I hope you don't mind if I indulge in something I was meant to blog about ages ago, but time slipped away and suddenly it seemed less timely, what with the nip in the air and a fast-approaching winter. But let's just go with a classic instagram #TBT - this post is my way of throwing back to a warmer, sunnier day filled with friends, bubbles and balloons. {Warning, image heavy post!} To celebrate my dear friend Vicki's 30th birthday, all her friends and family pledged to curate '30 things to do this year'. All these activities were then gathered into one, spectacular book, full of fun. The activities ranged from 'eat an ice cream on the beach' to 'climb an icon' {the 02, in case you were wondering!} It's such a lovely gift idea, and has meant that Vicki has been seeing her nearest and dearest to do all these fun things over the course of the year. I love it. Vicki and I are part of a larger group of six friends, lovingly called the 'Gladstone Girls', so named because we lived on Gladstone Place in Brighton, where we all met and studied at uni. Getting together all these year's later is no mean feat, since we no longer all live under one roof, so our contribution was a posh picnic in the park, and the chance to gather together and have fun.

I think the girls know me too well, as they let me run riot planning everything for the day {thanks, friends!}, choosing everything from the food to the decor. And what fun it was! I think what I love most about planning and styling events, especially ones that are for such special friends, is that it all serves as a back drop to a special, memorable occasion. At the end of the day the little details aren't really what matters, it's the gathering with loved ones, to spend time enjoying each other that counts. But all that said, if I can jazz up a simple glass of prosecco with a flag and a striped straw I most definitely will!

So here's to my dear friend Vicki. It was a joy to celebrate your 30th with you.

Here are the posh picnic highlights:

On the menu:

  • Chicken, avocado and tomato on ciabatta
  • Mini bags of sweet and salt popcorn
  • Mozzarella, tomato and basil salad
  • An assortment of tasty M&S picnic pastries and skewers
  • Root vegetable crisps
  • Watermelon with mint
  • Strawberries
  • Strawberry and raspberry yoghurts
  • Lemon drizzle cake
  • Pic n mix sweets
  • San Pellegrino limonata
  • Prosecco

Suffice to say, we didn't go hungry or thirsty...

The party theme:

I wanted the picnic to feel fun and happy so immediately my go-to colour was yellow. It's such a sunny, warm hue that I couldn't resist. After that the whole theme came together really well. To keep things a little easier to manage, instead of having everything laid out on the trestle table, I used takeaway style boxes, which I labelled for each picnic guest, for individual mini picnics. In their lunchbox each person had a can of fizzy pop, ciabatta, bag of popcorn, and a yoghurt. To keep the theme running through it all, I chose striped yellow and white paper bags for the popcorn and for the pic n mix sweets too. To make this more fun, I used my stamps to label them too. Other little details included wooden cutlery which I arranged in bags and added cheerful messages {from a project life kit} with a striped peg.

The rest of the picnic was made pretty thanks to simple falcon enamelware {thanks for the loan, Ruthie!}, a giant yellow helium balloon {which we proceed to pose with!}, a bunch of yellow gerbera and a couple of cosy picnic blankets. Actually, in mentioning Ruthie, I must put a big thank you here too - as she came with me to set up the party and kept me sane when it was all getting more than a little stressful! Love you friend! She's an ace blogger too, and you can read her crafty, foodie fun posts here.

What every party needs though, is fun finishing touches, and when I was planning this I knew I needed some of the fabulous Oh Squirrel straws and other essential party treats. Since we met a long time back, it's been a joy to see Katie's business flourish, and with good reason. Her stuff is ace - and really brings a cheeky and fun element to a party. I opted for a brill bottle label, fun 'hooray' straws to accompany our fizz and a sash for the birthday girl to wear. Katie even made me a bonus bottle wrap, which I attached to our drinks cooler. I loved them all!

Here are some more snaps from a very happy afternoon, the sun shone {which was a miracle as both the day before and after were a wash out!} and we celebrated our lovely friend in style. Hurrah for best friends.

Here's to more picnic fun, when summer rolls around again!