Oh, picnics. There’s anything nicer and more summery than spending the morning in the kitchen putting together your favourite portable recipes, filling up a basket and heading outside to eat on the grass? It has been three years that I have had the perfect picnic all planned in my mind (recipes, decor and even what I wanted to wear!) and this Spring I promised myself this year was going to be *the year*!
We have waited for the perfect weather, the perfect peaceful hours and the perfect shadow in the grass to finally put together our very own grown up picnic. I bought sunflowers to make things more summery, prepared lemon infused water the night before, and together we found an old wooden board that served us well to lay out our food on something solid. I tied up some jars with cute ribbons and hanged them to the tree branches and popped in some fresh flowers hand-picked from the garden, and then spent my morning in the kitchen putting together picnic-approved foods from scratch!
Truth is this picnic was planned in every detail since a couple of months (by this crazy lady that’s typing!), but the best thing about it all was putting it together! – so if you’re curious on how to prep a perfect grown up picnic, then read on because I have a full guide for you with three fresh, fancy and vegetarian recipes to try the next time you’re eating on the grass!…
You might have caught our little Valentine’s Day guide to the perfect cozy and casual date and might have guessed our date of choice is one spent inside, being cozy and doing something cute and creative together and this is exactly what we planned for Valentine’s Day this year – nothing too fancy, just the two of us spending some quality time together doing the things that we are most comfortable doing (otherwise known as eating, cuddling, eating and laughing… and eating again).
I’m actually quite the fan of V-Day, I love the whole concept of celebrating love and all the cards, chocolates, gifts of the season. It might be a superficial date, but it’s just super cute! This is the first Valentine’s Day documented on Miel Café so far, so I’ve snapped away to bring you a hour by hour (sort of) reportage of a very cozy day.
Psst, stick with us until the end for a romantic Giveaway!
8.30 am – I woke up to an email that some special one bought me a tree as gift for Valentine’s Day! I received a lovely cocoa tree based in Haiti from Treedom and that’s probably the cutest gift I ever had! This together with others (and I might add – writing a blog post about lingerie just a few days before the date has totally rewarded!).
11.00am – We slept in until super late and spent a big amount of time dressing up and deciding what to do – it was kind of an impromptu day. We decided to head over to our favourite bakery for breakfast: there’s something special about their cappuccino that is always sweet enough even with the tiniest amount of sugar, not mentioning that velvety foam… and their cream croissants are always our first choice!
We spent the rest of the morning chatting at our table, observing the rain outside and picking up some heart-shaped cookie cutters for our V-Day romantic baking session!
2.00pm – I dusted off my favourite and trusted brownies recipe (and decided it was kind of a-okay to be less healthy during V-Day) and we baked delicious heart-shaped treats to eat together later! Baking together is definitely my favourite thing ever, I just love spending some quality time with my favourite person doing one of my favourite things!
5.00pm – We installed and put together a romantic and super cozy (and very fancy too!) Italian themed picnic inside (since the weather wasn’t keen in letting us enjoy it outside). This was probably my favourite part of the day! We had a fancy bubbly Italian Prosecco, as well as delicious Baci Perugina (probably my favourite truffles for this time of the year and definitely an Italian V-Day signature chocolate that we both love) and spent the time enjoying the bubbles and reading the chocolate quotes at the light of a beautiful Millefiori candle that filled up the room with a sublime floral scent.
8pm – To finish off the day the Italian way, we baked homemade pizza! We love Saturdays because it’s pizza time and we spend a good amount of the afternoon at kneading a few pizza doughs together and this year V-Day happened to be on a Saturday, that meant it was just right (maybe not too fancy, but right) to eat our favourite food on the date. I admit I was quite tempted to make heart-shaped pizza too, but I was already exhausted by that time!
The whole day was quite improvised but turned out to be the most beautiful and thoughtless day we had in a while. However my favourite part of the day, the picnic, was lovingly hosted by Inntravel, a holiday company that specialises in slow holidays, ones to take the lesser-taken paths, and that has some great holiday offerings over here in Italy too, by very kindly treating us to a rich Valentine’s hamper filled with Italian wine, chocolates and a beautiful candle as part of their #LoveFromItaly campaign, to which, being Italian and a lover of the date of love, I was so excited to take part of! Not only this, they’re also so kind to treat one of my readers to a £50 Carluccio’s voucher for you to have a chance to spend a romantic time and let you be inspired by Italy as much as we did on February 14th this year!
To enter the giveaway simply apply through the Rafflecopter form below. The giveaway will run for two weeks until 03/03/15, h. 12am GMT+1. I will randomly pick a winner and contact him/her via email and Twitter. Please check the giveaway’s Terms & Conditions before entering.
For years I haven’t been a fan of Valentine’s Day and thought it was such an overrated and commercial date, not to mention how sad it is to spend it alone if you don’t have an actual partner! This until a pair of years ago, when I realized Valentine’s Day might be superficial and a huge part of consumerism nowadays, but it has quite a lovely concept at its roots, love, that is something really worth to be celebrated. Forget V-Day gifts, cards and all the commerce behind it, you don’t really need anything to celebrate love on its day (even though I’ve loudly requested tulips this year), and yes, true, everyday is the day to be enthusiastic about love in its every shape, but it’s just nice to have a specific date when to stop and think about who you care and what caring means to you!
We take V-Day quite easy and casual, don’t ever do anything too fancy – because where’s it written that you need to do so?! We like to celebrate the fact of being a couple and loving each other in the simplest ways – in fact we actually never really plan anything at all besides from being together! And since you don’t really need to have a partner to love someone, just think about spending your V-Day with your friends and/or family and do something nice with/for them instead! We thought to list down a few ideas to spend a different, simple, casual Valentine’s Day date, whether it’s romantic or not!
If there’s a thing I adore is baking treats for ones I love, even better if I can bake together with my better half! I’m such a perfectionist at baking and get stressed out quite often if things don’t turn out as they are supposed to, so I can be a bit of a pain to bake with, but sometimes it’s nice to relax and bake comfy and trusted recipes just for the sake of being together and do something fun together! But yes, I usually supervise the work. We’re quite the fans of cozy dates (the most adventurous are ones at the cinema; wild!) so you can say staying at home, enjoying the sofa and maybe baking something together or preparing dinner side by side and then devour it all is definitely our date of choice.
Din din! Go for a bike ride!
Feeling adventurous?! Dust off your pretty bicycles and go for a healthy ride in the green! Where I live there’s a nice road next to the river and the fields where to go for a good old bike ride. It was something I did pretty often years ago and that I’d love to do in a pair! I can’t really wait for the days to be a little bit warmer and dust off the bicycles for real – but at this very moment it’s freezing here in Italy and we can’t really be bothered to go outside in pretty dresses and thin layers to face the wind. But if you live in warmer conditions, you might want to consider a bike-ride-date on V-Day; maybe fill those bicycles baskets with picnic friendly food and stop by a pretty park where to lay down and have a romantic lunch outside!
Stay cozy + share the chocolate!
Valentine’s Day might be the most commercial date of the whole year, but if that means plenty of chocolate everywhere, I won’t really complain! As I said we love cozy nights in dates and this is most probably what we’re actually going to do this year on February 14th. We have gathered up a little too much chocolate and we really need to set a date for finishing it all up (nope, we don’t…). If you don’t want to surrender in front of consumerism, at least do yourself and your partner (or family/friends) a favour and indulge in this Lindt Master Chocolatier Collection Love Box* while you’re enjoying the coziness of your sofa on V-Day – because everyone deserves chocolate, right?!
How are you planning to spend your Valentine’s Day this year? Are you one for fancy dates or just simple, casual, cozy nights in with your loved one(s)? x
* A huge thank you to Lindt for spoiling us this year and for helping me rediscover the true essence of love – a crunchy toffee and hazelnut praline heart! 😉
Oh, picnics. There’s anything nicer and more summery than spending the morning in the kitchen putting together your favourite portable recipes, filling up a basket and heading outside to eat on the grass? It has been three years that I have had the perfect picnic all planned in my mind (recipes, decor and even what I…
You might have caught our little Valentine’s Day guide to the perfect cozy and casual date and might have guessed our date of choice is one spent inside, being cozy and doing something cute and creative together and this is exactly what we planned for Valentine’s Day this year – nothing too fancy, just the…
For years I haven’t been a fan of Valentine’s Day and thought it was such an overrated and commercial date, not to mention how sad it is to spend it alone if you don’t have an actual partner! This until a pair of years ago, when I realized Valentine’s Day might be superficial and a…
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