All the ingredients you need for the perfect spread
The theme: La Dolce Vita feast: Dine al fresco like Marcello, Anouk, or the European retro-chic role model of your choice.
Make this: Tortellini skewers with pasta, mozzarella balls, cherry tomatoes, basil, and a drizzle of balsamic are easy to make, transport and eat. Ditto for meatballs, but go light on any sauce.
Buy this: Hit Siena Italian Deli or Plantone’s Italian Market for salame, prosciutto, provolone, burrata, olives, bread, and any other antipasti that appeals.
Drink this: San Pellegrino sodas are divinely refreshing. Get two kinds of kick with espresso martinis made of equal parts espresso, espresso vodka, and Baileys. Or open a bottle of your favorite red wine.
Your picnic spot: The ponds and streams of the Clark County Wetlands Parks offer inviting nooks and coves for a sense of cinematic vignette.
Top it all off: Cue up a playlist with Nino Rota and Maria Callas.
To wear: Something black and the biggest, darkest sunglasses you can find.
The theme: House of Windsor Tea Party: Spread out a blanket for an elegant sandwiches-and-scones tea.
Make this: Little sandwiches are easy to make, but be mindful of anything that will get soggy. Smoked salmon on pumpernickel or rolled sandwiches that can be cut into slices before serving hold up well.
Buy this: Delices Gourmands bakery has an array of jam sables, financier cakes, and fruit tarts. The International Marketplace can set you up with foods beloved by U.K. expats from crumpets to HP Sauce to Tiptree Strawberry Champagne preserves.
Drink this: Tea, naturally. Her Majesty prefers Twinings Earl Grey. The British Fentiman’s company makes botanical tonic, Victorian lemonade, and other drinks that are nice over ice, with or without a spot of gin.
Your picnic spot: Floyd Lamb Park at Tule Springs has a number of picnic areas. Find a lakeside spot under a grove of trees, and enjoy an afternoon in the country.
Top it all off: A little elbow grease can return the luster to a Savers silverplate teapot. After tea, some fine literature from the U.K. to read aloud. Perhaps the poetry of Yeats... or the screenplay for Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Also: Hats!
The theme: Some Like It Hot midnight supper: Roaring ’20s glamour on an intimate scale a la Marilyn Monroe and Tony Curtis’ romantic yacht party.
Make this: That Vegas stalwart, shrimp cocktail — try adding vodka and/or mayo to the usual cocktail sauce.
Also simple and portable: cold prosciutto-wrapped asparagus with olive oil.
Buy this: Artisanal Foods can supply that something special, be it escargot, caviar, smoked duck breast, foie gras or edible flowers. For dessert, Patissiere Manon’s macarons in rose, pistachio, and salted caramel.
Drink this: Bubbly! Gemma di Luna Moscato is light and fruity and comes in a Tiffany-blue bottle, while Bellissima Prosecco is drier and adorned with a Botticelli Venus. Throw in a bottle of Perrier for hydration and it’ll be a buoyant evening.
Your picnic spot: For a romantic late night, it’s probably best to stay close to home, whether it be yard, terrace or patio.
Top it all off: Bring cushions for lounging, and set the table with “rose gold” plastic flatware and champagne coupes from the 99 Cents Store. If you’ve got secret ukulele skills, now’s the time to bust them out.
The theme: Doris David Lynch luncheon: The classic American picnic, with a twist.
Make this: Even kitchen klutzes can manage potato salad. Add a tablespoon of powdered espresso and a half-bag of chocolate chips to make mix brownies taste homemade.
Buy this: Score fried chicken from your favorite spot - M&M, Chicken Shack, or the Church’s Chicken drive-thru. For dessert, Retro Bakery’s sprinkles-encrusted cupcakes or their gourmet version of the Hostess chocolate classic.
Drink this: Rocket Fizz has glass-bottle sodas in all brands and flavors, from Frostie cherry limeade to Fitz’s grape pop to whatever Cheerwine is. For more adult options, try those two American standbys: The Martini and the tallboy.
Your picnic spot: The duck ponds and picnic tables, the palm trees and tiki heads: Sunset Park offers plenty of kitschy options.
Top it all off: Spread out on vintage floral or state souvenir tablecloths from a local thrift shop. Deck yourself out in a gingham sundress or plaid camp shirt and toast with your Party City plastic cocktail glasses.
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