Use an old-fashioned wicker basket if you can—for a traditional feel. Then simply fill it (possibly using a second bag to lessen the weight of each one) with all the essentials for the required number of people.
Eating utensils, including plates, cutlery, napkins, cups and/or glasses, a corkscrew for wine if desired.
A range of drinks, such as water, juice, sodas, and possibly a bottle of wine, if appropriate. You may want to include hot drinks as well, in which case, pack a flask of hot water, some milk, sugar, and tea or coffee.
Sandwiches are a picnic staple. Try egg, tuna, cheese and pickle, or ham and cheese. Avoid ingredients that will make the bread soggy, or pack them in a separate container so that you can add them in just before you eat.
A choice of dips with crudités and/or potato chips.
A selection of fruit, such as strawberries, grapes, and raspberries. Some sweet treats such as cookies or brownies.
Take along a few ice packs for the food and drinks that will need them. You may want to take a separate cooler to keep these items in.
You’ll also need a cozy blanket or two to sit on—plus a couple of quaint tablecloths to place over them so that they don’t get dirty.
Remember to bring a couple of trash bags for clearing up.