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8 Adorable Outdoor Dining Accessories for Your Next Picnic

Because it’s not really summer until you can suntan and eat at the same time.

Okay, Vancouver, we see you. After months of tears (or was that rain?) the sun has graced us with its presence and given enough consecutive days of sun to almost forget the cruelty of a West Coast winter. Almost. Isn’t August just the best? Vancouverites have been taking advantage of these beautiful days, crowding the beaches all summer long from morning walks to romantic canoodling at sunset–only stepping out to fuel themselves with food (and vodka sodas) to continue swimming in Kits pool until close or laying out longer under the sun.

But what if we told you there’s a way you won’t have to leave behind your perfect outdoor spot? Whether on the sand, grass, or your own backyard, these fun outdoor dining accessories make sure you can stay in the sun all day long.

1. Sun and Stripes

I saw someone else do it once – so that makes it a trend now, right? Either way, patio umbrellas aren’t just for patio tables anymore. This shade-blocker with a six-foot-diameter span can be popped out on the sand to create your very own oasis. Beach Umbrella, $160

 

2. Flower Bed

There are plenty of stunning beach blankets to choose from, but sometimes it’s still hard to find the right one in terms of colour, size and material. If you’re having trouble picking out the one for you, the perfect alternative to all your outdoor needs is actually what a lot of companies disguise as wall art: a tapestry.

Make it your place setting on the sand or grass, use as a table cloth on a picnic bench, or wrap it around yourself as a blanket if it starts getting too cold. Plus, it’s lightweight for its large size (84” x 84”), so you can pack it easily into your bag and seat a good number of friends (or food adornments) once you spread it out. Sketched Floral Medallion Tapestry, $59

 

3. Beech Please

Love the woodsy vibe of the West Coast outdoors? These plates from H&M are the perfect foundation for a shareable platter (olives, cheese, fruit, the works!) or full-course meal. If you’re feeling fancy, you can even decorate the plates with tiny flowers and petals for an extra romantic ambiance. Who needs The Bachelor for extravagant date inspiration? Create one all on your own. Wooden Plate, $12.99 (each) 

 

4. Metallic Mermaid

Keep your water ice cold all day long with the power of S’well’s high quality stainless steel. And when the night gets cool, witch over to coffee – it’ll regulate the temperature just as well when it’s hot. Plus, its mermaid fin-like shimmer and will keep you on the ocean-esque theme of the summer all year long. S’well Prism water bottle, $58 

5. Picnic Perfect

Where has this product been all our lives!? A picnic basket that doubles as an adorable accessory is a must-have for any picnic. Holding all the necessities (including a cork screw) and enough extra room for all your delicious goodies, this basket does all the work for you. Just remember to pack the wine. Picnic Basket Set, $103

 

6. Snack Stacker

Say goodbye to the plastic baggies and saran wrap of the past, and hello to reusable glassware! No more squished up bologna sandwiches and too-warm-for-the-liking yogurts – this set of stackable containers comes in an array of sizes to hold all sorts of cravings. The glass dishes are also microwavable, freezer, and conventional oven safe so you can pack in food meant for all different temperatures. Just rinse and repeat. Anchor Hocking Storage Set (8-pc), $24.99 

 

7. Suck It Up

Your restaurant server has probably already guilted you into turning down the use of a plastic straw with anything from your ice water to your brunch Caesars–which is fair considering its danger to all those adorable sea turtles. Instead, there are all sorts of environmentally friendly and reusable straws, including these biodegradable ones made from paper that also come in plenty of adorable designs. Perfect for matching anything from your smoothies to your swimsuit. Biodegradable Paper Straws (100), $12.99

 

8. Get Cozy

You can set up this sunset-inspired cushion anywhere, but its water-resistant material makes it a great choice for the outdoors. Spread out a few for seat support, a pillow for a quick afternoon nap, or armrest while you read. Plus, each cushion keeps 48.5 bottles from going to waste by using them to create the 100-percent recycled polyester filling. If the ocean could talk, we’re sure it would thank you. Outdoor Banded Stripes Cushion, $66 (each) 

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