Blanquetting – the trend of the season

Summertime calls for lazy afternoons spent outdoors – eating, relaxing and conversing with those you love to hang out with.

Call it al fresco dining or a fancy picnic. We like to call it a ‘Blanquet’. If you prefer glamping over camping, a Blanquet is right up your alley.

Yes, picnics have indeed gone posh and when referring to the art of styling and setting up your Blanquet, the term Blanquetscaping is appropriate.

Think of your Blanquet as a fancy meal in a relaxed, outdoor setting. Served on a picnic blanket or even a rug. What is not to love about this lavish affair? 

“We have taken great care to source the most appealing picnic-style items for our South African market – making sure that our customers can embrace the current picnic, or rather Blanquetting trend,” says Betsie van der Westhuizen, general manager of Maxwell & Williams South Africa. “A big part of our South African lifestyle is enjoying the outdoors and what better way to do so than with a picnic?”

Once you have checked the weather and found the perfect shady spot at a park, beach or home backyard, you are ready to host a Blanquet.

Look no further for the best tips and products to make your Blanquet an affair to remember.


Designing a unique Blanquet experience is about attention to detail. If you are unsure about where you should start, begin with a colour scheme or theme. A monochrome setting, a sea-side or Christmas Blanquet maybe?

Next add a rug or blankets. Add plants, potted herbs or flower arrangements. A Lazy Susan or very low table makes serving dishes so much easier.

Make it comfortable
No matter how luxurious your picnic, don’t forget that guests will still be seated on the ground so add loads of pillows for added comfort. Be sure to keep your pillowcases within the colour scheme of your Blanquet. Always have enough food and water available – under catering for your luxurious picnic is a no-no. 

Use the right crockery
Choose plates, bowls, tumblers, and platters that are kind to the environment. The Maxwell & Williams Gabby Malpas, Balinese Garden range is made from bamboo-fibre making it perfect for outdoor entertaining.

Pack like a pro
The old wicker basket is lovely but not always very practical. Rather consider some cooler bags with enough space and additional large carry bags for all your blankets, napery and loose items. Don’t forget the mosquito spray, sunscreen, hand wipes, garbage bags, an umbrella for the odd chance of showers and a small wireless speaker with the right playlist.

Decorate with food and drinks
Consider your catering to be part of the décor. It is all about bite-sized, shareable food options. Keep things Pinterest pretty by serving drinks with floral ice and unique garnishes. Picnic boxes or curated platters filled with colourful dips, fruits, cheeses, charcuterie, crackers and nuts. Small sandwiches, bite size frikkadels, biltong and jars with layers of salads. End off your Blanquet with small petit fours, macarons, mini koeksister and berries. 

Take it up a notch
Why not add real glassware and crockery for extra sophistication. Consider live entertainment and fairy lights for a nighttime Blanquet. When it comes to games, forget the balls and frisbees and rather opt for sophisticated games like Pétanque or Croquet. 

Capture those memories
Ask a photographer to capture your beautifully curated picnic or capture those memories on your phone. Take advantage of golden hour (the short period just before the sun sets) when the light is perfect to capture your Blanquet-memories. Just magical.