• Summertime means it’s time for lazy afternoons outdoors – eating, relaxing and hanging out with friends and family.

    Call it al fresco dining or a fancy picnic, but we like to call it a ‘Blanquet.’*

    Think of a Blanquet as a fancy meal in a relaxed, outdoor setting served on a picnic blanket or even a rug. What’s not to love about this lavish affair?

    “We have taken great care to source the most appealing picnic-style items for our South African market – making sure that our customers can embrace the current picnic, or rather Blanquetting trend,” says Betsie van der Westhuizen, general manager of Maxwell & Williams South Africa. She adds:

    “A big part of our South African lifestyle is enjoying the outdoors and what better way to do so than with a picnic?”

    Once you’ve checked the weather and found the perfect spot at the park, beach or your garden at home, you are ready to host your own Blanquet.

    Here are our best tips to make your Blanquet one to remember.


    Designing a unique Blanquet experience is all about attention to detail. If you’re unsure about where to start, begin with a colour scheme in mind or a fun theme. From monochrome colour palettes to festive Blanquet set ups – get creative with it!

    Next up, add a rug or blankets to set the scene. Plants, potted herbs or flower arrangements can be added for a fresh and colourful aesthetic.

    Top tip: A Lazy Susan or very low table makes serving dishes easier.

    Blanquet picnic trend layout
    Photo: Maxwell & Williams, Gabby Malpas, Balinese Garden

    Make it comfortable

    Add pillows that match the colour scheme of your Blanquet to keep your guests comfortable.

    Remember to always have enough food and water available – our picnic loaf recipe easily serves 4 people.

    Use the right crockery

    Choose plates, bowls, tumblers, and platters that are eco-friendly. The Maxwell & Williams Gabby Malpas, Balinese Garden range is made from bamboo-fibre making it a great choice for entertaining outdoors.

    Pack like a pro

    The old wicker basket is lovely but not always practical. Rather consider taking cooler bags, to keep your food and drinks cool, along with large carry bags for all your blankets, pillows and loose items. Don’t forget the sunscreen, hand wipes, garbage bags, and a small wireless speaker with the perfect playlist.

    ALSO SEE: Ideas for a perfect picnic

    Decorate with food and drinks

    Consider your food to be part of the décor. Keep things Pinterest pretty by serving drinks with floral ice and fresh garnishes.

    It’s all about bite-sized, shareable food options:

    • Picnic boxes or colourful platters filled with dips, fruits, cheeses, charcuterie, crackers and nuts.
    • Small sandwiches, bite size frikkadels, biltong and jars with layers of salads – try our picnic pesto penne.

    End off your Blanquet with small petit fours, macarons, and berries.

    Blanquet picnic trend layout
    Maxwell & Williams, Gabby Malpas, Balinese Garden

    Take it up a notch

    You could even look at adding fairy lights for a nighttime Blanquet – it’s all about adding some flair!

    Capture those memories

    Capture your magical picnic memories on your phone or camera. Take advantage of golden hour, just before the sun sets, when the light is just right.

    *Thank you to BLOOM Gin for coming up with this descriptive term.

    ALSO SEE: Mini chicken, baby marrow and bacon picnic pies

    Mini chicken, baby marrow and bacon picnic pies

    Feature Image: Maxwell & Williams, Gabby Malpas, Balinese Garden