Your Guide to a Perfect Parisian-Inspired Picnic
Whether you’re on the lawn in front of the Eiffel Tower or sitting in your local park, everyone seeks to craft the perfect Parisian picnic. The ambiance of your meal is just as important as food and beverages, so a little extra planning is needed to take your soirée from American cute to Parisian chic. Not to worry—we’ve provided a vetted list of ingredients for an afternoon in France (or at least an afternoon that seems like it’s in France). Read on for all the details.
Even when you’re sprawled on a public lawn, use fine linens. A tablecloth can serve as a picnic blanket, or a luxurious quilt can set the tone for an elegant yet relaxed affair. Bring linen napkins and extra-plush pillows to perch on while dining.
If you’re picnicking with a large party, have a few extra props on hand to style your afternoon soirée. Wood wine boxes are the perfect makeshift table. Just flip them over and use as a bar or dessert table for everyone to admire. Or keep your wine upright with a rustic wood crate! Freshly cut flowers, beautiful plates, and real utensils (as opposed to the plastic option) add to your ambiance as well.
What is a French anything without an over-the-top cheese spread? In France, fromageries (or cheese shops) exist on almost every corner. The key to an authentic fromagerie? Variety. Make sure you select a soft, ripened cheese like a brie or camembert. Then you’ll want a hard cheese like Gruyère de Comte or Cantal. And add something unexpected like a Petit Livarot from Normandy. The French never have a cheese platter without a little something blue like Roquefort.
Bring fresh baguettes and extra-thin slices of charcuterie. Pairing this duo with the assortment of cheese and canned preservatives you've compiled creates an inviting—and utterly French—make-your-own sandwich situation.
The trick to a lassez-faire afternoon of sunshine and friends is an endless supply of wine. Never let a friend’s glass go empty. We’re loving Whispering Angel rosé at the moment, and The Fat Jewish’s White Girl Rosé might need to be on hand for an Insta pic. Given that this is a Parisian affair, champagne is also a lovely option!