Summer Picnic Party

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Last weekend, my old uni housemates came down to Cornwall for a little get-together to mark the anniversary of us all graduating and moving out. As I hadn't seen these friends for quite a long time, I thought it might be a lovely idea to make this reunion a tiny bit more special than usual... so I decided to put together a little summery picnic party for us all! AND, of course, I knew that in planning and prepping for this extra-special weekend, I simply had to share all the deets with you guys!   

So grab a cuppa (and maybe a biscuit or two), get yourself nice and comfy and allow me to take you through my party planning process!   

First things first... 


I'm a total sucker for pretty and practical design solutions, so when I stumbled across I immediately found myself obsessively scrolling through their entire back catalogue of invites! 

Eventually, after much deliberation, I settled upon the Rifle Paper Co.'s beautiful Pastel Petals design because it tied in with my summery theme and didn't look too formal for our little get-together :) Plus, as it was one of their 'Online Invitations', it meant that all I would need from each guest was an email address and these little designs could be sent off on my command! So easy!    

The other fab thing about Paperless Post is that when you sign up, you instantly get 25 free coins... so my first 'purchase' from them was completely free! All I had to do was customise my design (I removed the envelope option and popped in an extra little info card), add my own snippets of text and voila... I was ready to click send!      

I always feel like giving your guests as much practical information as possible before the event is an absolute must. Don't get me wrong, you certainly don't want to overload them with lots of random and useless details... BUT, I think giving people a good heads-up about things they might want to pack or preparing them for activities and/or sleeping arrangements is key to making sure things go smoothly :) 

As a rather anxious individual, I know that I for one will always appreciate a few extra bullet points about whatever event I'm off to, so bear in mind that giving your guests a bit more info will undoubtedly put them at ease... whatever their level of anxiety! Then, at least, you can all feel free to kick back and enjoy yourselves!

With the invitations sent and all the RSVPs received, I could get started on the slightly more hardcore party preparations. 

Which, of course, meant sorting out a super fresh... 

Spotify Playlist

Yep, that's ten solid hours of picnic hits! I decided to put together a list that had a mix of Chart tracks as well as a few of our faves from uni in order to keep everyone happy :) I have to say, it went down really well and my good buddy Shan even found a way of connecting my phone to our old Roberts radio (a rather simple method that I was completely unaware of!), which meant we had a fairly good speaker system too!  

Spotify is a really great, user-friendly way to play all your favourite tracks across all your different devices, I highly recommend using it if you have a party or an event coming up! Having a linked account on both my mac and my phone meant that I could put together my playlist on the bigger screen and then simply whack my phone out and start playing it when it was time to party. Easy peasy!  

I also highly recommend Spotify's 'Songs to Sing in the Car' and 'The Great British Breakfast' playlists- I used both over the weekend and they set the mood perfectly :)

Setting up the guest room

As I hadn't seen some of the friends that would be visiting in quite a while, I wanted to make their stay as special and as relaxing as possible. What's more, I know that the long old journey down to Cornwall can be a major hassle that leaves people feeling knackered for days, so I decided to set the guest room up with a few extra treats in order make my guests feel right at home as soon as they arrived :)

On a small side table in the guest room, I popped some bottles of water, some breakfast bars (because no one wants to wake up early & starving in a house that's not their own!) and some flowers from the garden to add a little splash of colour. I also added a few extra treats for everyone in the form of some fun pencils, a little note pad to scribble on (which I then scribbled our WiFi password on!), some cute eye masks and a selection of pretty Orelia temporary tattoos.

Everyone was majorly chuffed to receive a couple of fun little gifts to take home with them, and the bottles of water certainly came in handy when we went on a little trek with Penny on the Sunday morning! All in all, as a couple of my friends stayed for two nights, it was really useful to know that they had some bare essentials in their room with them in case they woke up super early or needed a snack or a drink to take on one of our little expeditions! Putting together that little table was a fab way of making sure everyone was at least a little bit catered for... and I know I will certainly be doing it again for any future guests!

Now, with all my friends settled in and fighting over which pencils they wanted (!) , it was time for the main event...

The Picnic

On the Saturday, we seriously lucked out with the weather! I had been anxiously checking the ever-changing forecast for days in advance and it wasn't until we sat down outside that lunchtime that I was sure it was going to be perfectly sunny...        

So, spurred on by the sudden burst of glorious sunshine, we blew up the balloons, strung up the bunting and got cracking on laying out our feast!

For food, I had decided to go for easy and quick-to-serve picnic nibbles as I knew setting everything up in the garden was going to be a bit of a challenge. We had crisps, olives, dips, cheese straws, a couple of big ol' salads... basically all the usual picnic fare but with a couple of fancy extras thrown in for good measure!

Side note here- see all those pretty picnic rugs? My Dad suggested we threw an old camping tarp down onto the grass before we laid them out and it was the best idea ever. Nothing got damp or muddy and we could picnic with ease knowing that no one would end up with a soggy bottom! Go Dad! 

There's the radio pumping out that Spotify playlist!

Decor-wise, I went with quite a simple, crowd-pleasing summery theme in order to keep the overall cost of the whole event on the low side. We used old jam jars filled with a couple of £1.50 bunches of baby's breath and cheap and cheerful citronella tealights to decorate the table, alongside a basic white tablecover and a pretty table runner from Primark. Even though I did splash out a little on the Liberty print paper plates and matching bunting (just too bloody cute), all the other tableware we either already had, or I had managed to get at sale price... which was fab!      

M&S Cheese board 

For drinks, I dunked a selection of pop bottles in a big bucket of ice and everyone chose their favourite flavour to sip :) It was a really easy way of keeping everything cool and, armed with a selection of pretty paper straws, there was no need for us to lug out a load of glasses and cups!

All we needed were a couple of cute jar glasses for the Pimms!

Shan had made me a box of personalised cupcakes (with my very own blooming blog logo on the top!!!!) so we popped those on a cake stand alongside some teeny tiny chocolate cupcakes from Waitrose and heartily tucked in!

And, after the cake scoffing, we cracked on with the activity for the day- making flower crowns!

With a little bit of garden wire, floral tape and a handful of artificial flowers, we managed to make these wonderful creations! It was really a lot of fun and made for some hilarious pouty pictures!   

And that was it for our little picnic :) In the evening, we headed down to Bude and had a stroll down the beach, covered head to toe in our new floral tattoos and munching on some yummy Cornish ice creams! It was such a lovely, relaxing way to round off an incredible day and all in all, I had such a fabulous sunny weekend hanging out with these guys!

Feel free to check out my Insta for more pics from the weekend, and be sure to check out my old pal Shan's Youtube channel for a very special vlog coming shortly!

Do you have any picnic/party plans for the remainder of the summer holidays? I'd love to know in the comments below! 

In the meantime,
All the love,

Sian x


  1. What a cute idea! I'd love to have a picnic, but the mosquitos here in southern Germany are horrible. Did you have many bugs at your picnic? I've never been to England so I'm curious about your summers. (I'm American for reference.)

    1. Thank you for such a lovely comment! We actually didn't get a lot of bugs (which was a blessing because, as we live in the county, I was a bit worried!) so I think the citronella candles did their job very well :) We were only really pestered by the odd escapee chicken! Thanks for reading :D xxx

  2. What a lovely spread! When you posted pictures of the cupcakes on Instagram I was hoping you would write a blog post! This makes me want to have a picnic with all my friends :)
    xo, Rowan |

    1. Thank you Rowan! Aah, of course I just couldn't resist posting lots and lots of pictures :D you really should have yourself a picnic- it was such a fun and relaxing way of getting everyone together for a meal! Thanks for reading lovely! xxx


Latest Instagrams

© The Freckled Fieldnotes. Design by Fearne.