I am throwing a birthday party for a friend and, since spring has so gloriously sprung in Melbourne, I thought I'd make it a picnic. But not just any picnic. I was thinking I'd put on an outdoor high tea.
I will bake little cakes and ice little biscuits and serve scones with jam and whipped cream, and make little sandwich fingers with the crusts cut off. I will set out a big bowl of strawberries. I will haunt the beautiful blog of hello naomi for more inspiration.
For drinks, we'll sip champagne from old-fashioned glasses, slurp homemade lemonade from striped straws, and I thought I'd get around the no-access-to-electricity-and-no-use-of-open-flame-in-fire-season hurdle to serving tea and coffee, by mixing up a big jug of sweetened iced tea instead.
Originally, I wanted to hire a trestle table and some chairs, and go all-out, as though we were in an outdoor restaurant. Jordan of Oh Happy Day hosts pop-up dinner parties for her friends like these, and I find them so inspiring I've always wanted to try something similar myself.
But I want to surprise the birthday girl, so I've only told her the party is a picnic, nothing more. And I love her dearly but she's a bit of a scatterbrain. I couldn't trust her to turn up on time or stick to specific guest numbers, and it's not exactly easy to find an extra chair and an extra set of specially-ordered vintage china if your fancy dinner is in the middle of a field. So both formal seating and hot food are out.
Instead, I figured I could bring along a table just to set out the food, then spread blankets all around so that we are all one, big picnic together.
I also thought I'd get hold of half a dozen of these beautiful big, round balloons, make some sweet tassles to fancy them up, and peg them on string to the ground, to kind of mark out our picnic area.
I wanted to string bunting or little lanterns from a tree, but thankfully I had the foresight to case my probable venue the other day, and realised the branches of the trees in that park were much too high for me to reach!
What else should I consider? I'd love your ideas and suggestions.
UPDATE: we had the party at the end of October. Photos and details here
ps. Oh how I wish I had the budget to bring along Betsy the caravan to my picnic. Wouldn't you agree?