Eating outside is so much more fun than eating inside. It’s a little more rustic and a little less refined. It’s spontaneous and depending on how you do it, a bit magical. Recently I attended an amazing lunch at a beautiful old house in Sagaponack. Under a tall tree in the middle of a lush green lawn, the hosts set a long table with mismatched tablecloths and vintage china and wine glasses of every shape and size. At least twenty of us sat down to feast. The food was glorious: a buttery and sweet onion tart still on the baking sheet, fresh octopus salad, juicy bites of grilled swordfish, rich wild mushrooms, potato salad and hunks of good bread to soak up all the various dressings and juices. Rose and white wine flowed as easily as the conversations between people who might have been strangers before they sat down to this meal. After lunch, impervious to the fog that had rolled in on this lazy Sunday, we all donned swimsuits and walked to the beach, happily ignoring the old rule about waiting two hours after eating as we jumped into the sea.
Anyway, I’ve been dreaming of recreating that sort of picnic, and came across this old Vogue spread, where Natalia Vodianova plays Alice in Wonderland. It’s a beautiful recreation of one of my favorite stories, but this photo is my favorite. Before summer has passed the torch to autumn, I will have my picnic, complete with linens and china and a beautiful dress and of course, some really awesome food. Here’s some inspiration… what do you think?