When I cannot get away for the weekend to my house in the Hamptons, sometimes I like to invite friends for a picnic lunch. When it comes to locations for these lunches, nothing beats Central Park with its sweeping grass lawns and giant trees that provide natural shade. Sometimes it is possible to have a slice of the park to yourself on summer weekends when everyone has sequestered themselves to their country homes or have jetted to far-flung destinations.
With picnics you can go super casual or you can give it an Edith Wharton touch. For this picnic setup in Central Park I have created for me and my friends, I went for the latter – paper parasols, linens and all. Because why not add an element of elegance to a humble affair.
There is a tinge of pink and mauve to the setting as a way of adding floral colors, which stand out against a lush green grass background. The Kim Seybert fossilized shell-like Swirl Placemats with its earthy tones echo the oversized wood serving board holding our sumptuous spread of antipasti. Blush colored plates cradle our Horizon Napkins in Beige & Taupe, which are without napkin rings. Rather they are simply folded and finished off with a sprig of meadow flowers. Our Zebrawood flatware in russet shades of brown give a nod of reverence to the architecture of the fountain plaza nearby.
My wicker picnic basket and embroidered pillows hold down the gauzy linen tablecloth I have used as a blanket from sudden gusts of wind. And the floral filled parasols transport us to the Gilded Age.
While at the park, it is so easy to wander off to various spots and attractions. There is so much to see and do. These are my 5 favorites in Central Park.
The Conservatory Garden, I love flowers and this is one of the best ways to see them in full bloom. I also love how they juxtaposed modern sculptures with the formal gardens. I especially love it in the spring when the tulips and cherry blossoms are in full show.
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir is the perfect place for a run or just a leisurely stroll. I love that there is this big body of water in the park with the prewar apartments in the background. It is very cinematic and has in fact been featured in many movies and tv shows.
The Loeb Boathouse is one of the most romantic spots in Central Park with so many lovers rowing boats throughout. It provides a calming break from the frenetic pace of the city just behind the trees. With a bit of imagination, it can easily transport you to Venice especially if you get a ride on the gondola.
The Belvedere Castle is the closest thing we can get to a fairy tale in the city.
Perhaps the most iconic pocket of the Park is the Bethesda Terrace and Fountain. It’s double grand staircase, intricate balustrade and the round pool fountain with a winged angel sculpture is something we have all seen in the movies but we never get tired of it, in reel and real life.