Styling a retro picnic The Topanga BBQ


In typical Aussie fashion, we’re welcoming in the golden glow of summer afternoons by planning out our next barbecue. As a team we are fascinated by old American barbecue advertisements & obsessed with the 70s so it’s not surprising that a retro theme dominates our Wandering Folk BBQ Pinterest board. As the days begin to extend, offering up more precious daylight, we are getting more and more excited to host a lazy outdoor lunch sprawled on our new Topanga Picnic Rugs. From food to drinks to entertainment we’re so ready for it. Here are our top tips on how to host your nostalgic, retro inspired BBQ.  




When it comes to picnic food, we like to favour aesthetics and simplicity. For our lil Topanga BBQ shoot, we sourced some cute retro sweets like Calypos and Chupa-Chups. Just chuck them in a cooler bag, and you’ve got snacks sorted. When considering what other retro snacks you could bring, think of the items in your granny’s cupboard – Humbugs, Wagon Wheels, Haribo & Sunnyboys spring to our minds along with some Jatz crackers and pretzels.



Mains are always a little harder, but you literally can’t go wrong with skewers. We love piling ours with different coloured veggies – green, yellow and red. Primary colours will add to the retro theme and result in some great pics. Potato salads, coleslaw and basic garden salads are wonderful additions that will remind everyone of their childhood. Bring them along in Tupperware and serve them up on some vintage dish ware. We’ve collected so many bits and pieces from Vinnies, markets and op shops that we add to our picnic setups. Look for bright primary colours & patterns. Don’t be afraid to mix and match for that laid back retro feel.  





One thing we always remember from BBQs are the games that bring us all together – the more nostalgic the better. We brought some cards, a fun new variation of a classic numbers game called Finska and a guitar to our Topanga BBQ but there so many fun traditional games to choose from. Volleyball, cricket and kite flying are the top of our list for the more active barbecuer, while we love games like poker, cards and Jenga for those seeking a more chill day out. If you don’t want to haul any extra equipment to your BBQ, no problem. Wheelbarrow races will have everyone roaring with laughter, and charades is always a complete winner. We also rate a good old-fashioned egg and spoon race.  




Okay, this is where we really are TRUE experts. Not to brag, but our new Topanga rugs are definitely the best pick for any BBQ. In two bright, gender neutral colours and a paisley retro 70s design, they are an ultimate vibe. They are waterproof as well, so if the ground is a little damp from that usual warm summer rain they will protect your guests. We would pair the Topanga with our hemp cushion range for laissez faire effortless styling. You can also pick up some vintage cushions or cushion covers. Anything with a bold 60s or 70s print will look good with our Topanga rugs, as well as solid block colours. A little vase of red flowers and bright fruits scattered about will top off the look. To really nail the theme, have a look on market place for vintage barbecues. We found ours from a neighbour who was clearing out their garage. Cute yellow ute optional.  




We’ve devised a list of earth toned cocktails popular in the 70s that you can create at home and pop into a flask or insulated water bottle like our Pargo bottles.

 We love: 

Tequila Sunrise 

Pina Colada 

Aperol Spritz  

For non-alcoholic options, we think a big ice bucket filled with cokes in glass bottles would add a retro feel, If you would like a healthier alternative, cook up a big old-fashioned punch and serve with ladles. We love this non alcoholic watermelon punch. 


We hope we’ve inspired you to be bold, bright and go forth to host outdoors.

Explore the Topanga edit here.

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