Summer Alfresco Dreaming {with M&S}...

April 29, 2017

There's nothing that says summer more to me than eating outside. Whether it's breakfast in the garden, picnics in the countryside or an evening BBQ once the sun has gone down, alfresco dining is a real summer favourite. I sometimes joke that I should go and live in Australia as barbecuing is my preferred way to cook. And I think picnics are definitely my favourite way to lunch. Outdoor living just feels so much better. Knowing this, M&S got in touch to ask me if I'd like to try some of their new summer picnicware. I'm a summer girl through and through so roll on the warmer weather for more al fresco adventures please! 

A few weeks back we were spoilt with some early hot weather {since then it's gone back to arctic temperatures just as I was getting used to swapping my thermals for sandals!}. For me though there's nothing better than a sunny summers day where you can pack up a picnic in the morning and then head out on an adventure. Whether it's by a river, on Hampstead Heath, in the middle of the countryside in a field or just in the back garden, packing up some treats for lunch and eating outside makes everything feel like more of an occasion. So I'll talk you through my picnic set up below;

You'll want pretty but practical picnicware - bowls, plates and cutlery to lay out your feast on. This summer I've gone for these new plates, bowls and serving platters in this Dovecote vintage design. It's a classic pattern for English summer days. I love how it looks like your Granny's best China, complete with an aged effect yet is made from melamine so it's lightweight and won't smash.

The bowls are perfect for filling with juicy strawberries. I've also gone for this pretty vintage serving spoon and fork set.

For ice cream or little bowls of fruit I've mixed and matched these picnic orbit sorbet dishes in pink, green and clear. They go with everything and despite being plastic, still look fancy with their scalloped edges.

Plate wise I've layered the dining plates with these side plates.

You'll want glasses to celebrate with some fizz, I love these cut glass effect wine glasses that will make even the every day seem like more of an occasion. And they're such good value!

I've picked up a mixture of these tumblers in clear and green and glasses for when friends and family come over for summer BBQs - you can never have too many. The clear cut crystal glass tumbler is so pretty that I'm currently using it as a vase for bluebells too!

What's your favourite kind of picnic food? I like a mixture of salads and sandwiches before some English classic puds like scones, meringues, fruit and cream. You might as well make a full afternoon tea out of it. For summer desserts I'm going to be using these beautiful gold rimmed pastel bowls {although they're quite heavy as they're made from porcelain} so I'll keep them in the kitchen. I think they'll look pretty sitting on my new shelves!

{side note - picnic inspired Gingham dress online here}
I've had a bit of a thing for collecting vintage picnic hampers for a while now {they're scattered around the house being used as storage} but if you're looking for a new picnic hamper then this one looks just the part {and even comes with a bottle opener!}. Or this heart picnic hamper is perfect for a romantic lunch for two.

I've chosen a lot of classic vintage inspired pieces but if you're looking for something more nautical chic then this collection is seaside inspired. And if you want to have fun with a safari style then these would add some understated glamour to your alfresco dining.

A few of our favourite picnic spots below;

In a bluebell wood.

In amongst the cow parsley in the countryside.

and sometimes slap bang in the middle of a field looking out across the countryside.

Are you looking forward to lots of picnics this summer? Come on sunshine! 

You can find all of the M&S alfresco collection here.

R <3

{this post is sponsored by M&S but as always I'd never ever promote something I don't truly love and wouldn't buy myself. All opinions are my own}

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