It seems like a summer spent at the local beach and nearby forest park is all we can expect in 2020, so why not invest in some quality picnic accessories.
Does eating count as exercise?
For those of us not lucky enough to have a back garden or balcony to lounge about outdoors while still being "at home", a jaunt to the park or a blustery beach has been our only bit of outdoor living in the past few weeks.
But as restrictions begin slowly to ease, we're making plans to capitalise on the copious amounts of outdoor public spaces Ireland has to offer. Plus the unseasonably good weather is due for a return and we're planning a picnic.
So if this is to be the closest we'll get to an ice cream on a Spanish beach for a while, why not make the most of it and kit out your park lunch with these picnic accessories.
While the weather has been relatively dry this spring, this is Ireland so if you want to avoid a wet bum, invest in a waterproof blanket, and preferably one you're not too precious about because it's inevitably going to have a raspberry or two mushed into it.
This one from H&M has a handy carrying strap so you'll be more likely to actually bring it with you rather than leave it in the boot of the car, an added bonus.
Picnic blanket, €19.99, H&M Home
Next is the picnic basket itself, and unless you're feeding an army of starving children a full three-course meal, you don't need one of those boxy woven picnic baskets. They're awkward to carry and aside from the mugs and sugar pot, you will not use any of the cutlery or plates (there's a reason they're all that's left when you see a second-hand one on sale).
Instead opt for a canvas bag, or, if you're bringing things with spill potential, a small wicker basket you can easily carry. This one, from Lamb Design, is meant for apple picking and comes with a useful strapped on lid to keep pesky flies away.
Apple basket, from €25, Lamb Design
Reusable takeaway cups have become all the rage lately and there are tons on the market, but why not support a small Irish craft business at the same time. Dublin-based ceramic studio KaroArt have been hand-making beautiful tableware for some time, always with a bit of fun and whimsy.
Bandit porcelain reusable cups, €35, KaroArt
If you're looking for a water bottle that you can throw into your handbag or the floor of your front car seat and actually be able to find it again quickly, the coral colour of the Chilly's bottle is bright enough to always catch your eye.
As well as keeping cold drinks cold for up to 24 hours, it'll also keep your tea or coffee nice and toasty for up to 12 hours.
Pastel coral Chilly's bottle, €24.95, Meadows & Byrne
If you fancy going beyond the usual tupperware of a few thrown-together sandwiches, invest in some bamboo plates and cutlery. Not only are they dishwasher safe, much more eco-friendly than their plastic counterparts and ideal for children to eat from, you can find them in lots of great patterns and designs too.
Bamboo plates, from €7.50 each, Article
This cutlery set comes with a handy cover so you can easily throw in your picnic basket for an impromptu picnic or to feed a hangry child half way around the weekly shop.
Bamboo knife, fork and spoon set with cover, €16.25, Reuzi
A few napkins are also handy to have so why not invest a set that can be thrown in the washing machine. These 100% Irish line napkins can be washed at 30ºC and will bring your picnic up to the next level.
Linen napkin, €9, Irish Design Shop
Featured image: Fatboy beach tent, Finnish Design Shop
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