Blanket Statements

Look to the sidewalk bistros of Paris for a picnic spread that’s as inspired as it is stylish

Relax, it’s springtime.

It’s warm enough to pack a picnic and take things outdoors—but it’s all about effortless elegance, the type exemplified best by Parisian bistros.

Take inspiration from those breezy sidewalk cafés, of-the-moment NYC restaurants Claudette and Cherche Midi, as well as Crate and Barrel’s spring collection for your next picnic, from the food to the drinks to the stylish setting, dressed up with different textures and patterns in a blue, white and gray color scheme.

You may hear “picnic” and automatically think park or beach, but terrace or backyard affairs are equally charming. Simply work with the space you have to create pockets of comfortable seating with plush pillows and layered rugs or blankets. Set out serving boards piled high—and then it’s all about popping bottles of rosé Champagne.

Featured products from Crate and Barrel. Click to shop.

Pro Tip: Skip the perfectly arranged flowers, which feel way too fussy, in favor of something more low key. We placed bunches of fresh herbs in Crate and Barrel Weck Jars for a help-yourself flavor booster that doubles as decor.

Let your guests serve themselves from gorgeous wooden and marble boards—you want this to be a chill, communal affair.

The centerpiece of the meal is a crisp, stunner of a composed salad inspired by the classic niçoise (get the recipe). This version has thick slices of deliciously juicy, chilled roast chicken—which can be made up to two days ahead—instead of tuna. Arrange all of the ingredients—soft-boiled eggs, potatoes, haricots verts and more—in eye-catching rows so that guests can mix and match to their liking.

Pro Tip: A few opulent touches like these Crate and Barrel gold-rimmed “Savannah” plates and gold or rose gold flatware add major polish. Balancing shiny metallics with a bit of urban galvanized tin makes for a thoroughly modern look.

You’ve stocked up on luxurious Camembert, nutty Comté and creamy Roquefort for your spread. Serve them with a side dish that toes the line between salad and pickle: Pile ribbons of Carrots Aigre-Doux (sweet-and-sour carrots dressed with apple vinegar and honey) alongside your cheese board to balance all that richness with a hit of acid and brightness. Watch the video to see how simple it is to make the perfect ribbons.

Use any extra galette dough to make bite-size cookies topped with lavender sugar that you can send home with guests. Watch a quick demo.

We tucked them into tiny kraft boxes (available at craft stores), tied each one with twine and “garnished” with a fresh herb sprig.

Crate and Barrel provided the product featured here and sponsored this post.