Certain months call out for those necessary events that can only occur seasonally. Fall has its cinnamon scented family meals, winter is dotted with champagne soaked cocktail parties, and spring is meant for al fresco floral brunches. Summer doesn't miss out on these stand alone events, but those few sunshine filled months are truly abundant with activities and gatherings. Almost every weekend an outdoor dinner is being served, morning hike is beginning, or sand filled afternoon is occurring.
So when it came time for our pal Jaclyn Giuliano of Popover to plan a celebratory end-of-summer event, the type of gathering seemed obvious but nonetheless exciting; it was a picnic of course, one that involved friends, beautiful scenery, and a selection of the freshest food a farmers market could provide.
Pristine place settings and name cards are flourishes that everyone enjoys, but this event was rustic and familial, something that highlighted old and new friends gathering atop a grassy hill and under a towering set of trees. Platters of food were passed while bottles of wine were uncorked and the group was invited to sprawl along the blankets and grass while chatting, helping themselves to grilled vegetables, bright cherry tomatoes, and crisp kale dotted with pine nuts.
A platter of mint and violet topped chocolate cupcakes circled the blankets while friends topped their glasses of sparkling water and rose. Like a memorable dinner party, the guests were a mix of familiar faces along with those who were new to the bunch, sparking conversations of places to visit, neighborhood favorites, and personal stories.
To accent the home-style approach to picnicking, The Essential Man provided his soft-to-the-touch napkins and coasters made from the same patterned fabrics found in his men's accessories; a simple touch that out-shown those standard paper varieties.
A remarkable scene from the day was watching the eclectic group find similarities among new friends, like a new mother sharing her stories of late nights with a mother-to-be, girls swapping styling tips for a recently purchased home, small business owners giving advice to those looking to grow, wedding stories, and couples listing their weekend retreats.
The group lingered until dusk approached and then as simply as the picnic appeared, the blankets were folded and packed, last sips of wine and bites of cupcakes were enjoyed, and the scene was cleared to return the grassy knoll back to its original natural state.
It wasn't a lavish affair and all precisely styled formality was ignored, but the afternoon wasn't any less special. It was a summer picnic, one packed with stories that wouldn't otherwise have been shared if a group of friends didn't gather under the trees that summer afternoon for some good food and wine.