Summer is the perfect time to go out for a picnic with friends and family. But where to go (besides the park)?
Here are five original ideas for your next picnic location.
Sea | Mountain | Forest | Countryside | Garden
By the sea
Advantages: Going to the beach is a great family and friend outing. Kids will love to eat and dip their feet in the water. In the evening, it’s a great couples getaway, with a very romantic view when out during a sunset.
Disadvantages: On the beach, there’s not that much shade (if any). Don’t forget sunscreen and umbrellas. If the wind is blowing, sand can interfere with your meal. It’s not very pleasant to chew on a grain of sand in the middle of your salad. A pebble beach doesn’t have that issue, but it’s not very pleasant to sit there. Think about pillows or even air mattresses.
Thematic picnics: Since you’re on the beachfront, you can craft a picnic around seafood. Cook canned fish to make it simpler (mackerel, sardines, tuna, salmon).
In the mountains
Advantages: In direct contact with nature, having a picnic on a mountain path is peaceful, quiet and beautiful. It’s a truly relaxing time that is great to share with your significant other.
Disadvantages: You have to love the ride! Also watch for insects attracted by food. Make sure the pack and take a first-aid kit with you.
Thematic picnics: If you’re going to trek in the mountains, try to bring local produce and use them for your dishes: pies, sausages, local cheeses, salads, etc. You’ll probably be working out on the mountain trail before and after your meal, so keep that in mind. In other words, it shouldn’t be a heavy meal, otherwise you’ll fall asleep. Go for one that gives you enough energy to continue hiking.
In the forest
Advantages: For those where a mountain is miles away, or too difficult to climb, a forest is a great compromise.
Disadvantages: If it’s hot and heavy, the forest can be a stuffy place, especially for an outdoor picnic. It is also a place where insects are kings, which could be a problem depending on what kind of food you’re bringing.
Thematic picnics:A forest picnic calls for earthy flavors. Try recipes based around mushrooms (cakes or pies), terrines, or vegetable pies (peas, green beans, carrots). Finish your meal off with some cheese and walnut bread.
In the countryside
Advantages: The great outdoors is an ideal place to take a break and rest. You can have your picnic near a river (refreshing), in a field, or a meadow. You have a ton of choices available.
Disadvantages: If you don’t already know well the area, be careful of where you sit. Check that you are (legally) able to enjoy a picnic there. Also pay attention to any insects, animals, especially small snakes if you have children.
Thematic picnics: For a countryside meal, you can offer cold roast pork, beef or chicken. Serve it with pickles, crusty break and cheese. When it comes to the dessert, try a local specialty.
In your garden
Advantages: In case you can’t go anywhere else, why not do a picnic in your own garden or patio? It’s a different way to get your friends and family together. You won’t need to stress about forgetting things, although make sure you don’t indeed need to go back inside. You’d lose the charm of a picnic.
Disadvantages: Of course, doing a picnic in your own back-yard isn’t the most exotic of locations. It’s something recommended mostly if you don’t have any other choices.
Thematic picnics: Since your picnic will be local (literally), you can make it potluck-style. Or make it more of a challenge and cook dishes with whatever you have in your fridge.