How to DIY the ultimate picnic | Gourmand and Gourmet

How to DIY the ultimate picnic

If the extent of your picnic experience involves disappointing cucumber sandwiches, being mobbed by ibises for your hot chips, or any semblance of post-picnic hunger, you’re officially doing it wrong. We don’t want to make any blanket statements, but the following is Brisbane’s best guide to crafting the ultimate picnic experience (and no waiters will be there to judge you for that fourth sandwich).

Location, location, location

Ready to put your picnic on the map? Take the meal to new heights at Mt Coot-tha’s dreamy lookout, or scout out the snap-worthy spots at the city Botanic Gardens and beachy bayside. We’ll be honest, though: not much holds a candle (or a wine glass, rather) to the BYO booze areas of New Farm Park and South Bank’s River Quay when it comes to the best picnic spots Brisbane has to offer.

Cheese and charcuterie

Pour the wine and say cheese! For those looking to send their Insta followers into a frenzy, you’ll definitely want a piece of the gourmet deli goodies at The Standard Market Co or the pre-prepped cheese platters at Hawthorne Garage and Emile & Solange. Just don’t brie surprised if you walk out with half a kilo of every cheese in the room.

Bread & pastry

These plans are on a roll! Next stop: leave the ‘don’t fill up on bread’ people at home and embrace a carb-crazy picnic. Whether you crust can’t get enough of Crust & Co’s sourdough, the crispy baguettes from Chouquette, or loaves of wood-fired ciabatta from Banneton, one thing’s for sure: with one bakery stop, your picnic’s sure to be the best thing since sliced… well, you know.

Salads

Romaine calm, foodies: your picnic plans aren’t just a mishmash of bread binging and time spent sprawled on the grass regretting that seventh slice of double cream brie. You’ll find guilt-free gourmet creations at Botanica, Loaded Food Co., and Homeslice Kitchen, with salads topped in goodies like spiced sweet potato, roasted cauliflower, and toasted almonds.

The main event

OK, here’s where you really set yourselves apart from those baskets packed with PB sandwiches and packets of chips. We can’t promise you won’t end up eating most of it on the car ride over, but we guarantee immediate picnic success with a few flaky pies from Pamela’s Pantry, a gruyere and leek quiche from Graceville Fine Foods, or basically anything from the Jan Powers Farmers Markets (from goat pies to German sausages).

Dessert

Doughnut dare pack up yet! The picnic doesn’t end until lying down on your blanket is less about comfort and more about post-feasting necessity (or maybe that’s just us). For top-tier picnics, we recommend Cake & Bake, Jocelyn’s Provisions, Vanilla Pod Café, or Flour & Chocolate for an encore of ganache tarts, swirl cheesecakes, cronuts, slices, and eclairs. The only thing sweeter? Knowing the leftovers are yours to take home. (Basket) case in point: picnics are amazing.  Words by Samantha Chariton