Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Taking the guesswork out of packing the perfect picnic

Perfect Package

Posted by Erica Jackson Curran on Tue, Jun 7, 2011 at 1:40 PM

spoleto-picnic-bag.jpg

There’s an art to packing a picnic, and nowhere is that more apparent than the Spoleto Finale at Middleton Place. Until recently, they even made a sport of it, awarding prizes to the most lavish displays. This year they’re skipping the competition, but you can still expect the same impressive spreads from people who spend months planning for the event.

Luckily for lazy types, Caviar & Bananas offers a “Picnic Perfection” bag. It’s designed for two people, but during an office taste test we found that it could feed several staffers with the afternoon munchies. It includes a chef’s selection three-cheese board with small but quality selections, several slices of spicy salami, a crusty French baguette, housemade hummus, and two bottles of spring water. That costs $24, and for $36, you can get a bottle of wine thrown in. Call (843) 577-7757 for details.

Ted’s Butcherblock’s take on the picnic basket is $30 and includes a bottle of wine, still or sparkling water, cheese, almonds, fruit, salami, crostini, and just for Spoleto, a Sweeteeth candy bar. Orders must be made at least an hour in advance — call (843) 577-0094 for more info.

On Daniel Island, Laura Alberts Tasteful Options offers picnics year-round. Although they offer several different packages, we’re partial to the “Let’s Snack” option, which includes Laura’s Trio (crab dip, shrimp paste, pimento cheese with crackers), homemade chicken salad, and a bottle of sparkling wine for $25. Or if you just tell them what you like, they’ll prepare a picnic to suit your specific tastes. Call (843) 811-4711 for more details.

And perhaps most convenient of all, Middleton Place offers their own bag with salami/capicola/serrano meats, gourmet cheese, spicy mustard, assorted olives, a small French baguette, mixed fruit salad, and four drink tickets. All that is $35.

Whichever package you choose, remember to bring along a blanket or lawn chairs, bug spray, wine glasses, and the all-important designated driver. And unless you're a show-off over-achiever type, leave the tables and candelabras at home.

Stay tuned for part two: a guide to packing your own perfect picnic.

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