OK, so it’s officially picnic season. Picnics are easy; just pick your food, pick your wine, throw it all in a basket and you’re ready to go.
But you can do better than that, right? If you want to make it perfect, here are our tips for finding five picnic essentials nice and easily right here in Shanghai.
Where it all starts. Also, happily, this is also a piece of equipment for which you don’t have to shell out at a foreign export store to get something cool. A good start would be the Gubei Flower Market, a huge market that not only sells fowers but also quaint and local weaved baskets too. There’s also a big flower market in Putuo, at 33 Wanhangdu Lu, which could be worth a look.
Has anyone else noticed that bottle openers seem to be the one thing that always catches people out? Besides, any wino worth their salt has to have a nice bottle opener. If you’re looking for the good stuff, try Ocho, the bar supplies store that serves as a front for bartender Shingo Gokan’s Speak Low, one of Shanghai’s most celebrated speakeasies. They know what they’re doing with cocktails, and they know what they’re doing when it comes to bar supplies too. You can find them at 579 Fuxing Zhong Lu. If you feel like you’ve earned a drink after that, the bar can be found by sliding a bookcase in the back.
Literally the point where the planning ends and the picnic begins. Anything will do, really, and Shanghai is ripe with options. Fabric markets, fake markets; they all sell everything from rags to throws that are perfectly fine for taking out on a sunny day and covering in crumbs. You can always try and get stylish with it though. Places like Zara Home do nice throws and blankets that, while maybe not intended for picnic purposes, will do the trick if you’re trying to keep it classy even as you drink and dine on grass. They start as low as RMB 259 and go up to RMB 899, at least on their online store.
If you’re going to be using them outside, you can be forgiven for not feeling like going for handmade, artisanal imported wine glasses. In fact, if you can face it, Ikea does sets of six for around RMB 25; the kind of glasses you won’t mind getting roughed up a bit by al fresco drinking.
These are, of course, essential in summer. Your wine is going to be sitting in the sun, and you’ve got to take care of your baby. We know, we know; if you’ve been following this list so far, this is going to end up being one expensive picnic. Fortunately, this is one thing you don’t need to shell out loads for. Trusty old Taobao has plenty; check out our pick here.
Now get out there and enjoy the sun!