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Tips for a Workday Picnic

May 27, 2014

As a defiant response to Sad Desk Lunches, the Food52 team works to keep our midday meals both interesting and pretty. Each week, we'll be sharing our happiest desk lunches -- and we want to see yours, too.

Today: Picnics aren't just for weekends and holidays. Make them a part of your work week -- here's how.

Picnic Provisions on Food52

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Picnics are not just for bons vivants who spend their days languidly eating grapes from the vine on large manicured lawns, popping petit fours into their mouths and reading classic literature. The picnic is for the everyman.

More: Pick up all the picnic Provisions you need, from baskets and blankets to jam and crackers.

Because a picnic, really, is simply an excuse to get oneself outside for a meal -- or a snack! -- and a bit of fresh air. Planning a picnic during the workday can be a bit tricky, but it's doable. And it's a very healthy form of escapism. Here's how to do it. 

Find a spot. Map out the closest picnic table, public park, or random patch of grass to set yourself up. Get creative! But avoid traffic medians and those tiny patches of grass on the sidewalk where dogs tend to do their business. 

- If you'll be on grass, bring a blanket. You don't want to arrive at your 3 PM meeting with grass stains on your behind.

More: If you're feeling ambitious, bring collapsible plates and some iced tea, too.

Picnic Plates on Provisions by Food52  Water Bottle on Provisions by Food52

Consider music. If you don't have an '80s-style boom box at the office, use this trick: Stick your phone or iPod into a cup, speaker-side down, and it will amplify the sound, and you will have macguyvered a makeshift soundsystem. Whatever cups you find in your break room should work.

Pack -- or buy -- the right foods. If you have time to plan ahead, bring in some bread, cheese, and jam; maybe some fresh fruit, if you have it; and something sweet, like cookies, that can be eaten by hand. Bring a knife. Or pick up a few sandwiches or prepared salads at your favorite market, and give yourself a rest from packing lunch. If you're going to spend the money on something store-bought, take the time to enjoy it outside. 

Wear sunscreen. Please.

Chickpea Magazine on Provisions by Food52  Cereal Magazine on Provisions by Food52

- If you'll be dining solo, bring some reading material. Here are a few of our favorites.

Tell us: What are your tips for the perfect picnic?

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

Marian Bull

Written by: Marian Bull