Milan is a city that goes on summer holidays like no other city. Most of the shops are closed starting from the 30th of July 30 and life resumes its course in the first days of September. Work life stops so life in general seems to stop in this hard working city. That is why June and July are the months of parties among friends, a way to see them one last time before heading to the beach. To celebrate summer, this year a threw a picnic and as a Veuve Clicquot ambassador I introduced the Veuve Clicquot Rich champagne to my closest friends.
This was the first time I hosted a picnic but managed to do so in just 24 hours. I shopped in the morning for the ingredients that go with the Veuve Clicquot Rich, ordered bagels and muffins from The Bagel Factory in Milan, got everyone to wear white and became a barwoman for an evening.
I really enjoyed being a picnic hostess and learned a few things during this experience that I’m want to share with you.
How to throw the perfect picnic
1- Location Pick a park close to you home so it is easier for you to transport the food and drinks. Also for every emergency having your apartment close comes handy. Before deciding on the location make sure to visit it on the same time that you are planning to throw your picnic so that you can check how many people are around that park at that time. Find the perfect spot possibly under some nice big trees for some shadow in the summer days.
2- Food If you know how to cook is better to do a couple of delicious dishes that you have mastered during the years than try experiment with new ones that you don’t know how the outcome will be. Plan for easy portable foods like sandwiches, hamburgers, bagels or salty tartes. If you are having the picnic in your backyard you can prepare more elaborate food, but for picnic in parks better to keep it simple. Don’t forget to prepare also some simple desserts. Another important thing is to prepare some vegan food. People have different tastes, some don’t eat chicken, other don’t like cheese, some are vegetarian and some are vegan. The vegan food will solve all the food issues for the picky eaters. If you, like me, don’t know how to boil an egg you can order everything to be delivered. If you search online you can also find restaurants that prepare picnic menus, some also have picnic baskets with everything you might need.
3- Drinks & Ice The most difficult part for me was finding and keeping the ice. There are a few places online that sell ice but I had to postpone the picnic once because of rain so I cancelled my first order. I managed to find self-seal ice bags in the supermarket, so I prepared my own ice cubes the night before. For 20 people I prepared 20 ice cube bags for a total for 400 cubes. They turned out to be enough for 20 bottles of Veuve Clicquot Rich champagne.
4- Picnic accessories I managed with just two picnic baskets, one for the vegetables and fruit needed to make the Clicquot Rich cocktails and one for the bagels. Initially I was planning to buy more baskets but then I thought that they would just take space in my house and were not going to get used that much so two turned out to be enough. Other accessories include blankets, but for 20 people I arranged the 3 blankets close to the park benches so that I wouldn’t have to shop for more blankets that would not get used. For glasses and plates I have a hard time using disposable ones, (think of nature) so I used proper glasses and real utensils from my kitchen, but disposable options require less cleanup and are more portable so it is perfectly fine to get them for picnics. A small a chopping board and a good knife come in handy and the board can double up as a serving platter.
5- Entertainment I confess that I hadn’t though of the entertainment. Big mistake! Fortunately my cousin Marsel has always with him a Beats Pill so he provided the music during the evening. For next time I’ll get some board games for some fun after meal activity.
Veuve Clicquot Rich Summer Picnic
*Check out my clicquologist profile on Rich.VeuveClicquot.com for other events during this year as an ambassador.