We've just had a bring-and-share lunch at work for one of our interns who's leaving us for her first proper job - congratulations, Kirsty, especially in the current museum climate!
It was a suitably good repast, and a quite glorious mixture - it included a cheese board plus a large bunch of grapes, a large whole pineapple, home-made banoffee cakes, coriander and chilli prawns, home-made pizza, crudités and lots of dips, mediterranean bread, strawberry jam doughnuts, and mozzarella and tomato tart. Apart from bread there really wasn't much left at the end! Oh, and the one thing that my colleagues are quite ludicrously unable to resist (even those who aren't that keen on the sweet stuff, or say that they aren't) is chocolate-covered cinder toffee (aka Crunchie bits).
We've now done enough of these indoor picnics (they're only something we've done fairly recently) that I think we're beginning to know what to bring - there doesn't seem to be much need for bread or meat, for example. We still tend to bring too much food, but too much is better than too little, of course - that just means we graze all day, or the overnight staff get an unexpected bonus, or there's enough food to keep us going into lunch next day.
It is, of course, completely luck of the draw as to the balance of what turns up on the table. In the early days I can remember virtually whole meals of cheese, or cake, and last time we had a lot of falafels (boring) - OK, not exactly a problem, but it's so much more enjoyable when it's more varied. What I particularly like about the idea is that it's so equitable - home-made goodies, smart thinking and sharp-eyed shopping are more likely to bring really good results than just throwing money around.