As the weather warms up and restaurant dining rooms remain closed, food lovers have been drawn to the great outdoors to dine. While picnics weren't invented in quarantine, their value definitely shifted from a sunny day novelty to a necessity for those seeking to eat somewhere other than their kitchen.

Sometimes it's easiest to stick with the packed lunch basics of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and pretzels, however, there are ways to make a simple lunch a little more elegant in just a few steps. 

Going out for tea is an English tradition that is also offered as a meal at some American restaurants. Luckily, even while tea rooms are closed, the classy traditional meal can be packed up in a picnic basket and enjoyed while sitting on a blanket outside.

If you have a larger picnic basket available, you can pack your favorite tea cups and plates, but disposable products work just fine if space is limited.  

The Tea

Mary Racette

A tea party without tea is just a party with little sandwiches. So, it is important that the tea is made and transported just right. While awfully convenient, it's not safe to put a full pot of hot tea in a picnic basket. The best way to transport the tea is in a reliable thermos that will keep the tea hot and secure. A Hydro Flask would work perfect for this. If you want to throw a party that could impress the queen, bring an empty teapot to pour the tea into once you get to your destination .

Any tea that pairs well with the rest of the meal will work. We used Bigelow Constant Comment black tea because it tastes great with orange and light fruity flavors. 

Orange Creamsicle Scones

Mary Racette

These scones are simple to make and easily transportable. Nothing is worse than biting into a dry crumbly scone, leaving a big mess all over your fancy picnic. These scones are perfectly moist and won't leave your picnic blanket covered in crumbs. 

What you need:

3 cups flour

1 tbsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

⅓ cup sugar

1 stick cold butter

2 eggs

½ cup half and half

⅛ cup orange juice

2 tsp. orange zest

1 cup white chocolate chips


2 cups powdered sugar

⅛ cup orange juice

2 tbsp. melted butter

2 tsp. orange zest

⅛ tsp. orange extract

2 tsp. water

1.) Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2.) In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Use a pastry cutter or two knives to cut the cold butter into the dry ingredients.

3.) Add white chocolate chips.

4.)In a different mixing bowl, combine the eggs, half and half, orange juice and orange zest.

5.) Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix just until moist. Mixing with hands works great for this. Be sure to not overwork the dough.

6.)Divide the dough into quarters and shape each piece of dough into 1” thick discs. Cut each disc into quarters and pull the triangles apart a little bit as you place them onto a lined baking sheet.

7.) Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Glaze: Mix together all of the ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl until combined. It should be spreadable.


Mary Racette

You can't forget to add a bowl of your favorite fruit to the picnic. Berries travel very well and add a fresh taste and a splash of color to the meal.

Finger Sandwiches

Mary Racette

Finger sandwiches are the essential savory element that every tea party must have. This fancy finger food is easier to make than they look. 

Veggie Sandwiches

What you need: 

1 cup grated carrots

½ cup celery, chopped fine

1 tsp. lemon juice

2 green onions

¼ tsp. ground pepper

¼ cup red bell pepper, chopped fine

¼ cup cucumber, cut fine with peel on

1 pkg cream cheese, softened

Pinch of salt


1.)Prepare vegetables and layer between layers of paper towel in a bowl. Let sit for at least 2 hours.

2.Combine vegetables, lemon juice, salt, pepper and cream cheese. Stir until blended.

3.) Spread on bread and cut into rectangles. 

Cucumber Sandwiches 

What you need:

Sliced cucumbers


Cream cheese

Green olives

1.) Cut bread into small circles

2.) Spread cream cheese on bread and place cucumber slice into two pieces.

3.) Use dot of cream cheese to stick half of an olive on top

It's up to you to decide how fancy you want to make your tea party picnic. Regardless of how pretty your plates are, you can still use these recipes to have a delicious meal.