A romantic picnic dinner at a Shakespeare Festivals makes for a wonderfully delicious time. It is a delightfully way to tell the one you love that he or she is special. It also makes it very special if the play is Romeo and Juliet. But no matter the play, plan to have a good time.
- Choose a menu that is simple, and the foods can be eaten cold. The British have an insider’s clue on this, so look through old British cookbooks. Suggestions would include tea sandwiches of ham, chicken, or egg salad, sausage rolls, cheese tarts, roasted chicken, stuff celery or carrot sticks, and fruit. Depending on the state, you may or may not be able to bring your own wine. So far, I’ve have not been unlucky as to have that unfortunate issue. So, plan your wine accordingly. A good choice would be a semi-sweet white, such as a dry Riesling or a dry Rose’.
- Choose a picnic basket and stock it with good plastic ware and linens. An elegant picnic should include good plastic ware like plates, bowls, and wine glasses. I choose to include stainless steel folks and knives, only because the plastic folk break so easily. Also, include in your basket a linen tablecloth, linen napkins, salt & pepper shakers, corkscrew, blanket, and a few pillows, and for added romance – a few tea candles. I prefer to use a tea candle lantern.
- Don’t forget to bring a blanket and a few pillows if you will be sitting on the ground. Many Shakespeare Festivals will have you bring your own chairs, some may not. I’ve been to a California festival where the outdoor theater had chairs and the picnic area had picnic benches or café tables and chairs. On the other side of it, at a Delaware festival, you need to bring your own chairs, or you sat on the ground. So be prepared, and when in doubt – ask when you buy your tickets.
- Arrive early so you have time to set up and clean up before the play starts if you are to view the play away from the picnic area. If you are eating during the play, then you will still want to be there early to set up with disturbing other viewers or the actors.