Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Perfect Picnic Places

My lonely picnic hamper sits atop my kitchen cabinets (holding all my moleskine notebooks and travel journals).

Well, as Summer winds down I am still trying to gather a group for a picnic lunch somewhere. I like to have one at least annually. Every City has its best spots for picnics, whether it be just an impromptu sandwich and drink al fresco or an elaborate feast complete with china, crystal and champagne.

Clotilde Dusolier writes, in her wonderful book CLOTILDE'S EDIBLE ADVENTURES IN PARIS that one of her favorite spots is at the Jardin du Palais Royal in the 1st arrondisement of Paris. This spot is the garden of the Royal Palace, the historical residence of French Kings and Queens. It's a rectangular garden behind the Palais Royal, shielded from the city bustle by arcaded buildings all around. The park closes at 8:00 pm, in case you dine late.

Nothing beats The Esplanade for a great picnic spot in Boston.

My favorite spot will always be The Esplanade. Some prefer Castle Island, sometimes too windy for me. Then there is the Rose Kennedy Greenway, a new and quite popular spot. This swath of refreshing green and landscaped gardens was just a few years back nothing more than a ribbon of waste, rubble and dirt.

The Rose Kennedy Greenway, a refreshing space of urban green, landscaped gardens and fountains.

Time Out London reports: "More London is the redeveloped stretch on the south side of the Thames between London and Tower Bridges, and is perfect for admiring the juxtaposition of old and new: the sight of the Gherkin and Tower 42 looming above the Tower of London makes for an impressive skyline view. Pop a blanket down and count how many times Tower Bridge opens to let tall ships pass.
Perfect spot Lounge on the steps at The Scoop, a sunken amphitheatre that hosts occasional theatre and music performances.
If it rains Hay’s Galleria, a covered mall with benches, is a five-minute dash away.
Best for Groups of up to six and families.
Transport London Bridge tube/rail, Tower Hill tube or Tower Gateway DLR."

An impromptu London Picnic.

My favorite picnic foods are small bites, easily handled. Some of the things I like to pack:
-Tiny sandwiches of all kinds, usually on finger rolls.
-Chunks of watermelon packed in plastic containers with ice (so you can drink the ice water).
-Grilled specialty sausages, served cold.
-Fresh ripe fruit of all kinds.
-Carrot and celery sticks.
-Chocolate chip cookies.
-Pretzel sticks and a small jar of honey mustard.
-Hard cheese.
-Small, fresh baguettes.

I'd love to get your favorite picnic foods. Email them and help me pack the hamper. I'll list all suggestions in a future post. And, as always ... your comments are welcome.

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