Slowly but surely, we are working our way into cooler temps in Nashville! That being said, there is no better time to get your fall picnic set-up ready. Whether you are heading out with the girls to Arrington Vineyards; taking a break during a hike at Percy Warner; setting up a romantic evening next to the Cumberland River; or watching the sunset while listening to live music in Centennial Park, you can find some helpful hints below!
1. Pack It Up in a Bookbag or Basket: If you haven’t seen one of these pre-made kits yet, you are missing out! They generally come with silverware, plates, cups, and napkins and have an insulated pouch where you can keep food cold. Some even come with blankets and wine bottle holders. But, if you don’t have access to a fancy-schmancy bookbag, never fear. You can easily DIY. Just find something that is easy to carry (depending on how far you will be walking/hiking beforehand) and grab all of the essentials, and stick them in separate pouches/zip lock bags to keep it all organized.
2. Grab Your Grub To-Go: Depending on your mood and location, you can pack any sort of foods you like; but I prefer to stick with the typical picnic foods: like sandwiches, chips, and fruit. Things that are easy to pack and eat without a table! If you don’t feel like making your sandwich at home before hand, you can stop at Mitchell’s Deli or Mile End Delicatessen and grab a Classic Reuben or Chicken Salad sandwich to go!
Unless you are heading to Arrington, you may want to grab a bottle of wine to take with you. Stop at The Library Fine Wine and Spirits to check out their selection. Don't forget to pack a corkscrew or bottle opener!
3. Prop Up on Some Pillows: This is your time to be creative! Bring your favorite blanket or quilt to really set the tone and create your own atmosphere. Even better, bring a few pillows or cushions to plop down on. White’s Mercantile or HOUSE OF should have plenty of finds to help you customize your space.
4. Light It Up (with candles, of course): If you plan on staying out past dark, you’ll want to make sure you bring something to illuminate your outdoor oasis. A candle or two is always nice if you have a table or something safe to put a candle on. Stop by The Perfect Little Store and check out their unique assortment of scents. Or, you could stick with a battery-powered lamp or lantern if you are more accident-prone.
5. Mood-setting Music: Unless a live band is already playing, maybe bring a small wireless speaker with you to set the mood. No matter what you are after, you can find a playlist to fit your fancy. I recommend Whiskey Jam Revolver to give you an authentic taste of the local music scene. Or, maybe even bring a portable record player with you to turn up your favorite classics.
6. Finish it off with some Floral: Yes, you are already in nature. But in true glamping fashion, you can really spruce up your portable palace by adding a touch of baby’s breath, greenery, succulents, full blooms, or a combo of all of them! You can find some local beauties at Flora Plant Shop or FLWR, located in East Nashville to take with you. Stick them on your kitchen counter afterwards to enjoy for a little while longer.
Happy Picnic Planning!