summer up: bringing the summer picnic inside.


oh san francisco, how i love you. i must, to put up with some of the chilliest summers around. just when a lot of the country is starting to get great, warm weather san francisco says hello to chilly winds and fog. not all the time mind you, but summer evenings can very often not be relied upon. so this weekend, i decided to play it safe and bring the summer picnic inside.


first off, i hit the local noe valley farmer’s market for the fresh picnic ingredients. i wanted everything to be fresh and locally grown. and then i got to decorating indoors. it was really quite fun — i strung Clear Globe Lights in my dining room to create a festive outdoor feeling. i set the table in summer whites and filled this evergreen beverage tub full of ice, wine, beer and cold drinks, and set the table picnic style. i filled a napkin and silverware caddy, and lined kraft paper to-go boxes with black & white checked napkins. and i added a ton of pink peonies from the local flower mart in vintage glass jars.



we started the indoor picnic with the choice of some chilled rosé, or a refreshing cocktail — a watermelon cucumber vodka recipe i found on pinterest and i served those up in mismatched vintage cocktail glasses, garnished with watermelon and cucumber slices. so pretty and they tasted divine! as a starter, i served fresh local cheeses from cow girl creamery and sliced meats — a lovely Charcuterie platter with fresh cherries.



and then the farmer’s market menu: marinated olives with fresh thyme and fennel seeds; radishes served with cold butter and sea salt; corn on the cob (naturally); roasted asparagus spears; i roasted beets and made grilled foccacia, arugula, fresh ricotta cheese and beet sandwiches. yum. i picked up some sausage from the local butcher to grill and make sandwiches, too. i wrapped the sandwiches in parchment paper and tied them up with twine — just for fun, as if they were going to be packed up and traveled to an outside park picnic. i also roasted some thick-cut potato fries and tucked them into some parchment cones. all of these menu items got tucked carefully into my kraft paper picnic boxes to serve. i gotta say, it looked quite picnic-like!



and then of course dessert. a fresh peach and blueberry galette topped with vanilla bean ice cream. i think in the end no one minded that the summer picnic stayed inside one little bit, and a good time was had by all. san francisco fog couldn’t stop us this time around!


•This summer inspiration is brought to you by Target. Find more fun and surprises all season long on Target’s #SummerUp Pinterest board.

• all photos by victoria smith, sfgirlbybay.

39 Responses to “summer up: bringing the summer picnic inside.”
  1. Cori Magee says:

    That table looks delicious!… AND pretty.

  2. Victoria: this all looks so yummy and beautiful…I have the same color peonies on my kitchen table right now (flown in from SF to our whole foods) and Cow Girl Creamery….my favorite…Mt. Tam….what a beautiful party :)

  3. Vicki Archer says:

    This looks beautiful, I could eat everything!…the peach and blueberry galette looks divine!!…xv

  4. Thank you Victoria. I needed this colorful summer injection this morning. Do you mind my asking where you got your white tablecloth with the intricate stitchery? I have a white tablecloth so similar that was hand-stitched by my Italian grandmother Elsie Achettino. Yvonne :)

  5. Wendy says:

    Wow, lovely and inviting! I’m inspired to make my own picnic at home. I have a question about the cold butter with radishes. I have had radishes with salt, but not butter. Do the guests dip a radish slice in butter then the salt? It appears from your photo that the butter and salt are in small bowls.
    Thanks :)

  6. Shay says:

    This is very inspiring, I’m living in Seattle where the climate is often cool and rainy in the spring and summer months, this is the perfect solution for a get together with a casual summertime feel. Love the gorgeous photography!
    Designer Junk Finder

  7. kaye says:

    Certainly my invitation was lost in the mail????? Drat! It looks scrumptious, Victoria.

  8. Carmen says:

    Don’t know what I like more… The food or the decor! I’m going to attempt an indoor picnic this weekend (Toronto is still too cold for this Mexican girl to enjoy the garden!) and I hope I looks as beautiful as yours does!!

  9. Emily says:

    i feel you on the indoor picnics! Dublin has reliably unreliable weather in the summer so this inspiration is great! And so cheery!

  10. Monica says:

    beautiful indoors picnic, it looked so beautiful and delicious

  11. Emily Proud says:

    You certainly know how to set a table, lady.

  12. chelsea says:

    I love this so much, Victoria! Beautiful photos and styling. I have indoor picnics a lot here in Portland! :)

  13. Hello Victoria, What a beautiful blog! Can I ask where you got the picnic basket in the first picture, I have been in search ofthe perfect basket and the one you have looks beautiful!!!
    Thank You, Aliza

  14. Jennifer says:

    Can I be your friend so I can get invited to something like this?

    Seriously though, this is brilliant. I have two girls with Summer birthdays and one in February. Planning parties is a challenge and I leave the weather to the gods.

    This is a great option.

  15. Latrina says:

    Oh, I love the idea of an indoor picnic! And how fun is it to shop at the local farmer’s market? :) It’s something I look forward to every week! And we have some pretty great ones here in Sacramento, too.

    You styled the table so beautifully, by the way! I love this. :)

  16. cynthia says:

    Nice post

  17. Hildi says:

    What a wonderful blog. I was salivating over the photo’s so yummy, cheerful and “springy” The styling is great. I think I’ll come visit here more often. X

  18. Ana says:

    I love all kinds picnics! I organized my first indoor picnic back in winter. It’s so much fun.
    As I really love picnics I organized the San Francisco Picnic Society. :) I think every city needs a picnic society. ;)

  19. Marjory says:

    What a lovely idea. I am salivating with all this wholesome goodness! Thanks for the inspiration. Simply gorgeous!

  20. jourdan says:

    Beautiful peonies! I made a galette today too!


  21. Alice says:

    Everything looks delicious and beautiful! :)

    As for the weather, I have no idea what is going on… I live in Europe, and usually May is extremely hot. We jump from winter to summer almost immediately. But this year we’ve mostly had rain and cold weather, and only a few hot days… and it’s raining as I’m writing this.

    I can’t wait to go to San Francisco though, and I know I’ll love it even if it’s rainy and foggy :)


  22. how lovely!
    we’re having a gray, chilly and wet spring here in northen italy, too! so an indoor picnic sounds perfect ;)

  23. What an excellent idea. We have the same problem here in Seattle with the weather in the Summer.

  24. Jackie B says:

    Looks delicious! Great idea to have an indoor picnic and avoid the rainy weather. Minnesota has been wet for weeks!

  25. Jennifer says:

    That looks divine!!

  26. Sinead says:

    Your table is amazing, everything looks so beautiful!

  27. Ashley says:

    Such a fun idea. I love the strand of lights – where did you get those?

  28. victoria says:

    thanks everyone! i hope you all make some indoor picnics, soon!

  29. jaclyn says:

    this is the cutest indoor picnic I have ever seen- well your kinda the only one I ‘ve ever seen!!

    check my blog:

  30. Cindy says:

    What a great idea! I’m currently obsessing on farmer’s markets lately. And I also am dreaming of a picnic by the park but winter is getting in the way, well here in Australia.

    Thanks for the great idea, indoor picnic is the way to go!

  31. Andi says:

    Ummmm everything looks so gorgeous and yum! Rosé and pie = perfect combo!!!

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