What better way to enjoy a picnic in the woods than to come across a clearing with it all laid out, from cushions to cold drinks, sandwiches and scones to serviettes and a little fairy watching over you while you eat?
When my husband and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary recently I decided to arrange a little treat for us – and our three year old daughter as well. The theme for a 5th wedding anniversary is ‘wood’ so as well as getting each other wood-related gifts, I decided we should have a picnic in the woods.
I had come across the Sunshine Setup Co on Instagram, which sets up picnics – either indoors or outdoors – with beautiful seating areas, table decorations and more. I got in touch with the owner Natalia to see what she could offer, and we agreed that she would set up a small woodland themed picnic in a location of my choosing. I had been leaning towards nearby Banstead Woods but a friend who knows the area (I’d never actually been there before) advised against it, saying the woods weren’t particularly flat or with suitable clearings for us to sit undisturbed. Instead she suggested Queen Mary’s Woodland in Carshalton, which I had been to once before – but she sent me specific directions to a small field off the main path that I hadn’t discovered previously. I let Natalia know and she checked it out and confirmed it would work perfectly for what we wanted.
The Sunshine Set Up Co will provide drinks but not food, so Natalia offered to collect an afternoon tea box if I ordered one. She recommended The Old Rolling Pin bakery in Sutton which had a very reasonable price for an afternoon tea box (i.e. to take away) for £12 per person which allows you to choose three flavours of sandwich fillings, four mini pastries or tarts and one scone from a fairly extensive menu.
I found a couple of the sandwich fillings a little dry but others were really good especially the BBQ chicken and cheese. I would have preferred more of a cake selection to choose from or even chocolate brownies, as instead the selection was various flavours of doughnuts, tarts, croissants and a chocolate eclair. Each was bite size but just right for our three year old who demolished several of them before my husband and I could get a look in! Finally we each had a scone – one plain and one fruit – and my only complaint would have been we didn’t get enough cream! The food was very nice overall and well packaged in little boxes inside a bigger box with a carrying handle and it was just the thing for our picnic.
Natalia had provided the drinks I’d requested and had laid out the table beautifully. We had a low table and sat on cushions on top of a rug, and we had pretty patterned paper plates and cups and a little fairy decoration in the middle.
Natalia was waiting at a discreet distance when I arrived – as it was a surprise for my husband and daughter, who thought we had stumbled across a picnic the fairies had left for us in the woods. When she saw we were all set she left and went for a walk so once we were ready to leave she was able to come back and clear up.
We had a lovely picnic and I think the set up really made it special, so I wouldn’t hesitate to use the Sunshine Setup Co again.