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Cottagecore Picnic Ideas

Step inside the world of all things country living with these cottagecore picnic ideas that are perfect for a romantic spring afternoon…

A cottagecore picnic spread is created with a blanket, basket, food and drink, flowers, and a book.

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Spring is prime time for the cottagecore lifestyle. In fact, one of the first things that springs to mind is a cozy spring picnic spread on a lush lawn or forest bed. Birds chirping, glasses clinking, sun shining. It’s one of my absolute favorite feelings in the world.

I’ve decided to embark on showing you how to curate the best cottagecore picnic experience to jumpstart the season. With mild, warm weather, wildlife coming out to play, and blooming flora, it is the best time of year to enjoy a delicious spread outdoors. 

Besides, I’ve been dying to have a picnic date myself. They’re so intimate and personal.

When you combine a romantic picnic spread with the cottagecore aesthetic, it blends into the perfect afternoon of good old fashioned conversation, simple, delicious foods, and ambiance to kill for after a long, cold winter…

I think I may just make this an annual tradition for me and my husband. Such wholesome fun!

Not only do I have lots of food and drink ideas to build the perfect little cottagecore picnic basket, I also have a few other things up my sleeves. I have a few tips to show you how to make your picnic date perfectly cottagecore with the easiest tips. Let’s explore the options…

A cottagecore picnic spread consists of lots of different foods.

Cottagecore Picnic Ideas

What does a cottagecore picnic embody?

  • Simplicity
  • Natural ambiance of nature
  • Sustainability
  • Wholesome foods
  • Unrushed, organic conversation with a loved one

Reasons to have a cottagecore picnic date:

  • Practically free if you already have a stocked fridge
  • Minimal planning
  • Aesthetic views for creating and capturing memories on camera
  • Something new and different from a typical date night dinner out
  • Can be enjoyed most seasons of the year (you can even host them indoors!)

Everything You Need for a Cottagecore Picnic

Location, location, location

Location is everything when planning a date, and a cottagecore picnic does not deviate from this rule. The location sets the tone, allowing picnickers to relax and enjoy a long, leisurely lunch in the great outdoors. 

Choose a location that is quiet but still has some busyness about it. People watching from a distance is fun on private outdoor patios or in urban parks, while more rural areas will lend well to wildlife watching and a bit more privacy. 

Whether you live in an urban, suburban, or rural area, you can enjoy a cottagecore picnic. You do not have to travel miles and miles to find the perfect spot. But do try to make your chosen spot perfect for you.

One great place to picnic in the closest urban city to us is on the oversized lawn of an art museum. This local favorite is a beauty and acts as a perfect example for how you can create a quiet respite away from life for an hour or two, even in the midst of a fast-paced city.

I will admit, the day I photographed these images was quite rainy. I stuck to an indoor picnic that day. Even so, I still incorporated all the elements of a cottagecore picnic. A little rain should never stop you. In this case, you can make the spread out on a large dining room table or in the middle of the living room floor–blanket, basket, and all.

A picnic spread is scattered about on a dining room table on a rainy day.
A cozy indoor picnic spread is an excellent choice for a rainy spring day.

Food & drink

Picnic food is the best. Classic, simple, and easy to eat while lounging on a blanket, you’ll want to choose foods both you and your partner adore and that don’t take much preparation. Be mindful that it could spoil if left outside for too long, so plan on storing food in a small cooler on the way to your destination if it requires refrigeration. 

My favorite picnic food ideas:

  • Cold sandwiches with hummus, veggies, cheese
  • Artisan grilled Italian sandwiches or grilled cheese
  • Avocado toast 
  • Berries, grapes, or watermelon
  • Crackers, pita chips, or nuts
  • A simple meat and cheese charcuterie spread
  • Sparkling water or Italian soda
  • Chocolate, cookies, or chocolate covered strawberries for dessert
Cheese, berries, and a sandwich are laid out for a picnic spread.
Flowers, chocolate, peppers, and sparkling water are all laid out for a cottagecore picnic.
a graphic reads "shop the look"
A cottagecore picnic basket is open and full of utensils and plates and glasses.
a cottagecore picnic blanket is checkered in red and white.

Flowers for a special touch

Adding a small bouquet of flowers can really add a special touch to your picnic. Flowers, store bought or hand picked, are a thoughtful gift and add an extra element of nature to your cottagecore picnic spread. Skip the vase and keep them bundled up in kraft paper until you get home, if you can. This will be much more practical for a picnic.

Flowers I love for picnics:

  • Chamomile 
  • Baby’s breath
  • Daisies
  • Tulips
Lavender spills out of a wicker picnic basket.

Other essentials

There are some other important components to a romantic picnic. Gather utensils for eating and serving, if needed. Linen napkins are a nice touch, too, as you may just need some handy during your afternoon rendezvous. 

Choose a blanket that you won’t have to worry about if you get it a little dirty. Something that is easy to clean is a good choice. I especially love the old checkered picnic blankets myself, but an old quilt or another handy blanket will do. Just be sure it’s large enough for the two of you.

I’m also a sucker for an old-fashioned wicker picnic basket. We picked ours up from a thrift store a couple of years ago. It was such a steal and convincingly charming, I just had to have it. Be sure your basket is large enough to fit all your food and durable for carrying to your favorite spot on the lawn. 

A picnic basket is opened with lavender sticking out of it.

Someone to enjoy it with

The only other thing I can imagine needing for a special cottagecore picnic, besides maybe a good book, is that special someone to enjoy it with. Invite your partner to a specific location (or surprise them at home on the patio or in the yard) and keep it vague so they’re pleasantly surprised with the thoughtful spread you’ve created. 

Be sure to keep the afternoon open so you’re not too rushed. You may not want to leave for a while after you get comfortable!

Tips for Your Cottagecore Picnic

Kraft paper or parchment paper are great for wrapping sandwiches in. The beauty in using something like this that you can unwrap is that you can skip bringing plates altogether.

Glasses are fun and fancy, but for practical purposes it may be smart to stick to sparkling sodas and water in aluminum cans and glass bottles instead. Aluminum cans are durable and glass bottles can at least have a cap added on in case they tip over. 

Special occasion? Remember to take lots of photos. I remember the day my husband proposed to me. He hired a photographer who surprised me by showing up unannounced to our picnic and was able to capture some of our most special moments. Even if your picnic isn’t such a huge affair, take the time to capture these special moments even if only the two of you will ever see them. 

Choose sandwiches and sides that are quick and easy to assemble in minutes or are already prepared. You can even stick with cold wraps premade from the deli to really save time. Keep things simple so you can dedicate more time to enjoying the experience. 

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