Everything you need for the perfect picnic

Good food, a comfortable blanket and ambient lighting – we show you how to picnic like a pro

Colourful picnic blankets and cushions
Yinka Ilori’s home accessories expand on the artist’s signature use of colour inspired by his British-Nigerian heritage. The collection includes plates, cups, placemats, cushions, rugs and tablecloths
(Image credit: Yinka Ilori studio)

Picnics, in all their laid-back languor, should be effortless, or at least give the appearance of being so. With good food that you haven’t had to prepare yourself, a comfortable spot and chic tableware, you can’t go far wrong. So kick back, relax and learn how to host the perfect picnic.

The cutlery

Dark knives and forks next to a small case

(Image credit: Otherware)

For on-the-go dining, Pentatonic (long-time proponent of circular economies) has sought an environmentally friendly alternative to disposable cutlery that is both portable and hygienic. The design and technology company has partnered Pharrell William’s I am Other entrepreneurial collective on the ‘Pebble by Otherware’, a dining kit that clips onto your bag. It comprises a fork, knife, spoon, straw and chopsticks that fold away into a neat and easily portable pebble shape, providing ‘peace of mind in regards to personal hygiene’, says Pentatonic.

After debuting a colourful kit for the project’s launch in 2020, the collective has now created a grey version with New York-based studio Snarkitecture. The designers chose a shade they dubbed ‘triple-grey’, which results in an identical finish across multiple materials. ‘We can all benefit by using things more than once, especially when it comes to single-use plastics like cutlery and straws,’ says Snarkitecture co-founder Alex Mustonen. ‘We love the idea of making more by using less, and by creating our version of the Pebble with 100 per cent recycled materials we are excited to do just that – while being able to eat our cake with it too.’ 


The picnic blanket

Tekla picnic blanket folded up in green and purple

(Image credit: Tekla fabrics)

When it comes to the best blankets, soft and durable, in understated hues, you can’t beat Tekla, which makes comfort a priority in all its textile products. The fine merino blanket in green and lavender will make a chic and cosy backdrop for a gourmet spread. 


The tableware

Everything you need for the perfect picnic

(Image credit: Yinka Ilori Studio)

‘My first homeware collection is a continuation of design work inspired by my own British-Nigerian heritage and childhood,’ says artist Yinka Ilori. His work has traditionally been developed as a ‘colourful celebration of two cultures, expressed through abstract, technicolour pattern and contemporary craft’, and this new venture seamlessly follows this path.

Ilori selected a small range of functional household items that evoke memories from his own upbringing and reworked them with bold patterns: think enamel cups, printed placemats, plates and pillows, as well as TV dinner-ready trays and carefully crafted rugs and tablecloths. Each item, he explains, has its own story, ‘meant to instil a sense of optimism and joy, to act in their own small way as a distraction from the dark times that we’re facing this year’. 


The food

Ottolenghi picnic

(Image credit: Ottolenghi)

The most essential part of any picnic is, of course, the food and drink and Londoners can’t go wrong with a feast from the iconic Ottolenghi restaurant. Ottolenghi’s newly launched wines are perfect for summertime, with a fresh white wine that is made from a blend of Pinot Blanc, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Gewürztraminer, of which spends three weeks on skin giving the wine a slightly orange tint. While the red option is light, refreshing and perfect slightly chilled.

While the mezze box is a sharing platter for 4-6 people that includes a range of Ottolenghi classics like Labneh with confit tomatoes, Pea and artichoke dip with pickled onions, and Mutabel - a smoky aubergine purée topped with parsley cucumbers. 


New Yorkers can’t go wrong ordering from Daily Provisions, the all-day café of restaurateur Danny Meyer, designed by the Rockwell Group. From morning coffee and freshly baked treats to made-to-order sandwiches, rotisserie chicken and seasonal side dishes served in the afternoon and evening, your order will be packaged in white cardboard boxes for collection or delivery. For an evening picnic, recommends Wallpaper* contributing editor Tilly Macalister-Smith, ‘they do a great “family-style chicken dinner” with half a roast chicken, perfect fingerling potatoes, wheatberry salad and Caesar salad’. Locations are in Union Square and the Upper West Side.


The lighting 

Selection of smoked glass rechargble lamps

(Image credit: lodes)

The great thing about a summer picnic is that there is no need to pack up and go home as dusk descends. Add extra ambience as day turns to night thanks to Italian designer Luca Nichetto, who has created this series of doll-like portable lamps for Lodes.

With a combination of jewel tones and smoked glass concealing the light source, the rechargeable lamps are playful and practical. Lightweight and dimmable, Nichetto’s characterful designs will bring a special touch to your picnic.


Beauty & Grooming Editor

Mary Cleary is the Beauty & Grooming Editor of Wallpaper*. Having been with the brand since 2017, she became an editor in February 2020 with the launch of the brand’s new beauty & grooming channel. Her work seeks to offer a new perspective on beauty, focusing on the pioneering personalities, product designs, and transformative trends within the industry.