Christmas lunch, picnic style

Our guide to your perfect Christmas alfresco lunch.


Is there anything more enjoyable than a Christmas picnic? It’s the perfect combination of things: the warmth of summer, a spread of delicious food, drinks that flow and your favourite people. These simple ideas will help turn your feast into a day to remember, whether you’re in a park, the bush or beachside.  


The perfect picnic starts with the perfect picnic basket. Big enough to fit in most of the things you need, light enough that your arm doesn’t feel like it’s going to fall off as you’re lugging it to your destination. Add to that a picnic rug (a large table cloth works well too, if you don’t need something more waterproof) and a portable speaker to set the mood, and you’re all set. Bring an empty bag to use for rubbish which will make the clean-up easy, pack paper plates and wooden cutlery for eco-friendly disposal, and don’t forget the Christmas crackers to amp up the festive atmosphere.


A hot summer’s day calls for icy cold drinks. Whether you’re sipping wine or mocktails, the key is to keep it cold. Invest in an effective cool bag packed with enough icepacks to keep the temperature low. Reusable tumblers (think stainless steel or hard plastic) make for excellent drinking vessels – and reusable ice cubes (check your local supermarket) keep drinks delightfully chilly, without melting and diluting with water.


Whether it’s a snacking lunch with chips and dips or a full Christmas spread, clever picnic packing is key to an effortless day. Reusable containers that can be stacked work perfectly. Keep cheese and meats cool with ice packs and put your platters together once you reach your picnic destination. A platter loaded with cheese, fruit and crackers is not only tasty, it looks impressively abundant too. Simple dishes like potato salad, cold roast veggies such as pumpkin and zucchini mixed with fetta, and meats (turkey, ham, barbecued chicken, deli items) always work a treat. Add a crusty baguette and everyone can enjoy constructing their own sandwiches. For dessert add sweet treats such as biscuits, caramel popcorn and cakes which travel well in the heat. All you need to do next? Eat, drink and be merry.