HOW TO PLAN A PICNIC:
Inspired to do a picnic-themed party or a photo shoot? Here are some tips from Ms Liyana Meer, 30, from party-planning company Hocus Pocus Events, on how to organise your own picnic party.
CHOOSE A LOCATION
Singapore has many nice parks where you can hold a picnic, but do consider the ambience, crowd and on-site amenities. For example, find out if the location is pet-friendly if you are taking your dog along.
For special occasions such as birthday parties, do recce the site beforehand.
For photo shoots, try to choose a spot that is not too crowded.
SET A TIME
The time of your picnic affects where you go and what to pack. For example, a morning picnic is great for avoiding the harsh afternoon sun and enjoying breakfast food, while night-time picnics are perfect for breaking out the fairy lights.
Check the weather forecast before leaving home. That said, even if it rains, you can usually move your picnic indoors or to a sheltered gazebo.
For photo shoots, early morning, late evening and the “golden hour” before the sun sets are ideal.
SET THE THEME AND PICK YOUR PROPS
Research online to find a theme you want. For example, a rustic country picnic would have food such as cheese and baguette, and props such as burlap sack placemats and wooden crates. And an Alice In Wonderland tea party might involve cups of tea, fresh cream cakes and props such as poker cards and a pocket watch a la the White Rabbit.
Props can be borrowed or rented, or you might just find it lying around the house.
“If you’re channelling a vintage theme, go for classic props such as a gramophone, or you could rent a cool old-school bicycle and pick out a retro-printed tablecloth as a mat,” says Ms Liyana.
Pack insect repellent and pile on sunscreen to avoid nasty bites and getting sunburnt.
OR LEAVE IT TO THE EXPERTS
Planning a picnic can involve a lot of hard work. If time is a factor, leave it to the experts.
What: Set up by two students, this company offers packed picnic baskets (above) as well as flower bouquets. You can choose between sweet or savoury food, or a mixture of both.
How much: Picnic baskets cost between $80 and $120. Picnic set-ups start from $100.
2. BEYOND PLATE
What: This company, which organises a weekly weekend brunch and waffle pop-up in Cheong Chin Nam Road, offers packed picnic baskets for a fuss-free meal.
How much: Picnic baskets, with food, cutlery and mat included, start at $60, excluding delivery.
What: This company offers a packed picnic basket with halal food items and five themes to pick from, such as the chic A Class Act and the bohemian-inspired Bohobo. It can also arrange a picnic based on your personalised theme.
How much: For two persons, a basic picnic set-up costs $150; customised themed set-ups cost $220. These include set-up and clean-up costs.A packed basket with no set-up costs $70.
4. HEAVEN’S BLOOM & BASKETS
What: This company offers packed picnic baskets (above) with 11 food and drink items, including cooked chicken, tuna with zesty vinaigrette, cheese and Moscato, as well as ceramic plates, a mat and cutlery.
How much: Field Of Poppies (for one or two persons) costs $238. Golden Magnolia (for three to four persons) costs $268. Prices include delivery costs and you can keep the baskets, which come with an insulated cooler compartment.
5. HOCUS POCUS EVENTS
What: This party and event planning company can help you style a picnic-themed shoot for weddings and other events.
How much: Picnic-shoot styling starts from $300, which includes props such as a mat, throws, pillows, a tent, crockery, cake and cupcake stands and bunting. Price does not include food and drinks.
UPCOMING PUBLIC PICNICS:
1. THE PICNIC
What: This picnic, organised by pop-up event company Andsoforth, is held indoors, in a set-up complete with “clouds” and a lush green lawn.
The menu for the packed picnic basket varies according to the chosen time slot – get a lunch basket if you pick the 11am to 2pm slot, a high tea basket between 3 and 6pm and an extra boozy basket between 7 and 10pm.
Where: A secret location which will be made known to ticket-holders 24 hours before the event.
When: Slots for tomorrow and Sunday are fully taken up. Limited time slots available on Feb 20, 21, 27 and 28.
Admission: $68 a person, free for children aged four and below
2. U PICNIC – SPACE ODYSSEY
What: This mass family picnic organised by NTUC U Family carries a space theme this year. Activities include “moonwalking” with rebound shoes and jumping on bungee trampolines.
Where: Grand Lawn 1, Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park River Plains
When: March 12, 5 to 9pm
Admission: $50 for family of five, $20 for NTUC members
3. GARDEN BEATS – THE ELECTRONIC PICNIC FESTIVAL
What: This electronic music festival organised by event company Sunshine Nation features headliners such as German DJ Alle Farben and French house duo Faul &Wad. Besides music, there will also be art installations, outdoor games and food and beverage vendors such as Lime House.
Where: Fort Gate, Fort Canning Park
When: March 19, 1 to 10.30pm
Admission: $65 (early-bird sales till Feb 22), $85 (regular), $105 (at the door) and $75 (Picnic Special for a group of five or more)
4. SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK
What: Take your picnic baskets to Fort Canning Park for Singapore Repertory Theatre’s Romeo & Juliet. The play stars Thomas Pang and Cheryl Tan as the star-crossed lovers.
Where: Fort Canning Park
When: April 27 to May 22, 7.30pm
Admission: Advance tickets from $40 to $78, event-day tickets from $50 to $88, pavilion package tickets (includes priority queue, a seat, two glasses of wine or soft drinks, canapes and souvenir programme) from $85 to $108
A version of this story was originally published in The Straits Times on February 12, 2016. For more stories like this, head to www.straitstimes.com/lifestyle.