In winter we hibernate and curl up on the couch or hole up in a bar, but it ain’t winter no more. The sun is shining and the great outdoors are calling our names. Picnic season is upon us so pack your hampers and make the most of this gorgeous weather.
Here’s where you need to lay down your picnic rug, what you need to do while on picnic safari, the food you need to pack and most importantly… the drinks that get the party started!
Where to go
The whole point of a picnic is to be outdoors, preferably in the sunshine. Although with Melbourne weather, you can never be sure. Pack an umbrella and sunscreen.
Close to the edge of the CBD, this one is a good spot for out of towners and city dwellers. Escape the hustle and the bustle of the CBD but still feel like you’re right in the heart of the action. It’s really close to public transport, which means no one has to drive. More wine?
East Melbourne VIC 3002
Royal Botanic Gardens
Want to run 3.8km after lunch? Then the outside of this garden is for you. The Tan running track is frequented by Melbournians who want to keep their summer bodies or train for marathons. Either or. But head in to the gardens and you will experience a whole other side of the space. Stunning ponds, immaculately kept grass lawns and native plants, and many people doing similar things to what you’re planning to do. Eat lots of cheese.
Birdwood Ave, South Yarra VIC 3141
If you’re more of a northside person, you’ll probably know and love the Edinburgh Gardens. The younger crowd is known to get told off for drinking there on occasions like New Years Eve and Australia Day, but during the year it’s a hot spot for picnics, passers by on vintage bikes, and food trucks. It’s also not bad on the eyes.
Alfred Crescent, Fitzroy North VIC 3068
Your backyard. Do it
You can walk home, use real toilets, and wear your PJs. Worth a try someday.
What to do
Apart from the eating and the drinking, and great conversation, of course.
It’s kind of like bowling and bowls all rolled into one. You buy your Klop set, set up your numbered wooden batons in bowling formation, and throw another baton onto them trying to get the highest number. There are more complex rules involved and scoring, but it’s simply a fun and not too challenging game for when you want a beer in one hand.
Cards Against Humanity
This is not for the politically correct or the easily offended. This card game gets you creating some of the most outrageous sentences you could never imagine on your own. A bunch of questions cards get finished by the answer cards. The funniest wins that round. Expect to laugh. A lot.
Picnic Packed Lunches
Chase the food trucks
There are so many in Melbourne and they’re usually hanging around parks and other places people like to sit and eat food. Some of our favourites? The Taco Truck and Mr. Burger provide food truck staples, while the newbie to the scene Toasta is doing incredible things to toasted sandwiches. The Fonz? A fontina, mixed sautéed mushrooms, english spinach, and roast garlic and thyme butter toastie. The Barry? Cheddar, brisket, dill pickle, and smokey BBQ sauce. And they do gluten free.
Richmond Hill Café and Larder
A picnic wouldn’t be complete without a little cheese. Or a lot. Right? Head to Richmond Hill Café and Larder’s cheese room, choose your favourites, buy some accompaniments, and thank us later. We recommend a Gabriel Coulet Roquefort for the blue lovers and a Bloomy White for the soft sheep’s milk lovers.
48-50 Bridge Road, Richmond 3121
Choice and prep too much to think about? Fitzrovia prep gourmet hampers for that reason. They even include crockery, cutlery, and napkins. How do sausage rolls, vegetable tarts, free range chicken with tomatoes, avocado, and mayonnaise sound? There would be cheese and sweets to follow. Naturally.
2/155 Fitzroy St, St Kilda VIC 3182
Drinks To Pack
Pizzini Rosetta 2012
Picnics and spring time call for a rosé here are there. This one from Pizinni is made with sangiovese and offers a fruity crispy, and dry wine, perfect for the seafood course.
Bicycle Beer from Temple Brewing Company
Temple Brewing Company are pumping out some solid beers and snacks at their Weston Street brewery. Their Bicycle Bee, perfectly named for the northsiders who can collect it on their fixies combines seven hops giving it a spicy and citrus flavour with just a little Grampians salt.
122 Weston St, Brunswick East
Perrier Jouet Brut
Bubbles are best both when celebrating or when not. So really, whenever there is an occasion, bubbles work. This affordable Champagne shines with crisp apple and citrus flavours while still being very delicate. It’s very easy drinking. You should probably get two bottles.