5 Ways to Picnic Like a Pro

J’aime les pique-niques. At home or on vacation, there’s something about stretching out on the grass with good food and good company. Better than a dinner at the fanciest 5-star restaurant, these impromptu picnics are among some of my best memories. 

Picnic Rule #1: Always bring champagne. And preferably strawberries to put in the champagne.

Eiffel Tower, Paris, France--Cheers to friends in Paris! Not pictured: the Eiffel Tower.

Eiffel Tower, Paris, France--Cheers to friends in Paris! Not pictured: the Eiffel Tower.

Picnic Rule #2: When in doubt, always buy more food than you think you need. Who doesn't love leftovers? A baguette, salami, cheese, fruit and crackers are easy to save for another day, even if you're staying in a hotel room.

Lafayette Square, New Orelans--Birthday picnic spread with Josh!

Lafayette Square, New Orelans--Birthday picnic spread with Josh!

Picnic Rule #3: If you don’t feel like making your own food, buy sandwiches from a nearby deli. Or buy soup in a bread bowl like my friend Katie :)

Sausalito, SF Bay Area, California--My friend Katie and her boyfriend Charlie during a late lunch in the park after biking the Golden Gate Bridge.

Sausalito, SF Bay Area, California--My friend Katie and her boyfriend Charlie during a late lunch in the park after biking the Golden Gate Bridge.

Picnic Rule #4: Hipster or not, mason jars are useful containers for everything from wine to salad.

Lake Calhoun, Minneapolis, Minnesota--Mason jar salads and deconstructed BLTs.

Lake Calhoun, Minneapolis, Minnesota--Mason jar salads and deconstructed BLTs.

Picnic Rule #5: Bring a pocket knife. Growing up, my dad would always bring “the tool” (a Swiss Army knife) along on our travels. He’d bring it out for all those times we ate a meal in a hotel room or a city park. He loved to make a big show about all the features. All of a sudden my dad went into super salesman mode. Kara and I would roll our eyes in between giggles as we watched. The scissors can cut open packages! The serrated knife can slice even the crustiest of baguettes with ease! Antics aside, my dad was right. You never realize how many kitchen tools you actually use to prepare a meal until you are sans cuisine. 

So to sum it up, make sure you have good wine and bread. These picnic staples are the foundation of any outdoor meal, even if you find yourself hiking in the French Alps.

Pic Saint-Loup, Southern France--Alain, my French host mother Michèle's brother, demonstrates picnicking à la française.

Pic Saint-Loup, Southern France--Alain, my French host mother Michèle's brother, demonstrates picnicking à la française.

Et vous? Do you like to picnic? What are some of your favorite spots or traditions?

-Stephanie