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Tips for a romatic picnic

Dining al fresco: tips for a romantic picnic

When my husband Frank was wooing me in our early days of dating, we often visited Conservation areas or parks where we could enjoy a romantic picnic. He would come up with delicious sandwiches and simple salads to boost up my energy after a good walk.

Food always seems to taste better outdoors, not to mention it can be much less expensive than a meal at a  restaurant. Very often we get all wrapped up (no puns intended) in the food details that we forget the other necessities needed for a romantic lunch for two.

I’ve pulled together a list of tips for a romantic picnic that might inspire you:


What to serve to impress? There are some foods that can be easily packed up and served outdoors:

  • Pack a selection of fresh deli cuts such as prosciutto, salami and ham, along with a few hard cheeses and crackers for a charcuterie plate
  • Make gourmet sandwiches at home with freshly purchased baguettes or crispy buns – try this delicious combination: prosciutto, brie cheese, tomatoes and basil leaves
  • Make chicken fingers ahead of time, pack them in a cold pack and serve with your favourite BBQ or spicy Thai sauce for dipping
  • Put together a couscous salad with a touch of sweetness and savoury ingredients, as they keep better than mayonnaise-based dishes
  • Bean salads with a vinaigrette make for an easy to enjoy fresh salad
  • Consider a flavoured sparkling water. In Canada, unless picnicking in your backyard, it’s illegal in most provinces to drink alcohol in public locations. The exception is campsites in Ontario provincial parks. Don’t spoil the mood by being fined!


Tips for a romantic picnic



While you may not be able to whip out some ice cream without it being half melted, you can enjoy some of these yummy finger-food treats:

  • Chocolate-covered strawberries
  • Dried fruits such as dried cherries or blueberries for nibbling
  • Fresh cut-up seasonal fruits (strawberries, melon pieces etc.)
  • Chocolate chip cookies
  • Butter/pecan tarts (carefully packaged to reduce stickiness)

Outdoor Protection

We’re not talking about THAT kind of protection… Think about the elements and how they can potentially affect your sweetheart. Nothing’s worse than having them say to their friends, “I got this sunburn because my boy/girl-friend took me for a surprise picnic and I didn’t have sunscreen with me.”
Here are some things to bring:
  • A tube of sunscreen
  • Hats to protect your head and ears
  • Huge golf or beach umbrella to hide under (also good if it starts to rain)
  • Insect repellent
  • Extra blanket or sweater in case the wind becomes chilly


After the food is put away, sit back and let your stomachs settle for a bit. The picnic doesn’t end then!

  • Enjoy some fun time together with soap bubbles
  • If dining in the evening, play around with sparklers
  • A good old fashioned frisbee or inflated beach ball will get you moving and laughing
  • Card games can make for a perfect lazy way to enjoy the time outdoors
  • Make sure you have a camera handy to take photos of your loved one


dining outdoors - romantic picnic

My husband, Frank, serving up our picnic at Colpoys Bay.

Other Key Things To Remember

Depending on where you go, consider ways to set up the picnic for comfort. Whether you are at a busy park or a more secluded spot here are a few things to consider:

  • Keep foldable chairs in your car – they make for comfortable seats anywhere you end up having your picnic
  • If using a large cooler, make it into a makeshift table if there are none at your location
  • If you don’t have foldable chairs, blanket is a must, even if you are using picnic tables (place it on the seat for extra padding)
  • Don’t forget napkins and hand wipes
  • Play music via your phone and portable speakers – moderate the volume to not disturb others around you
  • Bring resealable plastic containers for any uneaten foods; a garbage bag is a must

Bon appetit!

 What are your tips for a romantic picnic?