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Paris Picnic Guide

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while. I’ve become a “picnic expert” since we have them almost everyday. If you are visiting Paris here are the ingredients for a picture perfect Paris picnic. (Say that three times fast.)


1. Pick Your Poison. Perrier is my personal favorite but you can hit one of the many Nicholas stores to pick up something with a little more punch.

2. | 3. Supplies. My friend Rubi showed up to a picnic a few weeks ago with the best picnic gear. She got it all from Merci. Stop by Merci on your first day in Paris for bamboo plates, utensils, and these awesome reusable napkins that come on a roll.

4. Produce. Try to avoid the supermarket, instead go to the specialty stores. It’s like going to McDonalds when you have the option of an amazing homecooked meal. Find a produce stand and stock up on fruit and veggies (I love radishes and butter on a picnic.)

5. Baguette. Buy this right before you are going to eat it (not two hours before.) Ask for “Baguette Traditional” they are my favorite. Only buy this from a Boulanger. If you are buying it from a supermarket you get a big Paris fail.

6. Cheese! Ah the thrill of walking into a good Fromagerie. They can be intimidating and a little scary (is that mold?) I prefer mild cheeses with interesting flavors. Here are a two of my favorites to start with: Morbier and Comte. Do some research if you are braver and like stinky cheeses so you can ask to try specific kinds. (Little Brown Pen has a nice column on cheeses.)

7. Saucisson sec. Buy this from a deli or a Butcher, If you aren’t familiar with this stuff it is cured meat. They are usually hanging up above the counter and they are SO delicious. I don’t eat a lot of meat but I love me some saucisse.

Other things I like to eat at a picnic: Beignets, coquettes, chocolate eclairs, and ham and butter sandwiches. All of these can be bought from a boulanger. (Even if you don’t see sandwiches displayed most bakeries will make you one on the spot if asked.) What am I missing?

All of Paris is covered with fantastic picnic locations but my favorite locations for picnics are:

The Champs de Mars in front of the Eiffel Tower, the right bank of Ile St. Louis, and the point of Ile de la Cite. Do you know of any especially great picnic spots in Paris?

  1. Lindsay

    August 1, 2011

    I think rotisserie chicken is a great picnic food you can always find at stores…and veggies,maybe the radishes…. And maybe some juice. So is the time flying by out there?

  2. Susan Hazel

    August 1, 2011

    Picnic at the Eiffel tower, how incredibly lovely! Love the red and white checked napkins and all of the lovely treats!

  3. Julia

    August 1, 2011

    Try along the river or in the Luxembourg Gardens (personal favorites!) – while you’re there, you can soak in some art history with Impressionist Paris Walking Tours!

  4. Lola

    August 1, 2011

    I love this post! It makes me want to pack my bags and travel to Paris. The pictures are very inviting! :)

  5. Brigette

    August 1, 2011

    This looks wonderful! Love the dress!

  6. Meghan @ Life Refocused

    August 1, 2011

    Ok–I’m LOVING your dress. Where is it from??? Vintage and I’m out of luck?

  7. Meg

    August 1, 2011

    Loving the floral dress!

  8. Zoe {Conversation Pieces}

    August 2, 2011

    Absolutely adore this post… love the shot with tower in the background especially. Now need a trip to Paris!

  9. Maëva

    August 2, 2011

    Canal Saint-Martin et le Parc de Belleville are my favorite spots for a daily picnic 😉

  10. Erin

    August 2, 2011

    I was lucky growing up, and got to visit Europe a few times with my family. Since there are four kids in our clan, my parents had to stick to a budget and not eat out for every meal. In our family these are referred to as “Euro Picnics”, since that’s where we started doing them. It’s all about buying fun local food from where ever you are, and making it into a tasty meal. Sometimes our picnics are in a car hiding from the rain, on a beach in Chicago, a mountain in Colorado… but it’s always a Euro Picnic to us :)

  11. Sarah Richardson

    August 2, 2011

    When I loved in Paris for a short time in college…a local told me that locals rarely picnic. We did it anyways. What has your experience been about this?

    Lots of locals grabbed food to eat outside, but it seemed like we were one of the few out on the lawn in front of the eiffel tour.

  12. Elcoeda

    August 2, 2011

    We lived in Paris for two years, and we did pic-nic a few times, but mostly we hung out around the Bibliothèque François Mitterand and the Parc de Bercy. The best pic-nic spot would have to be Buttes Chaumont… But you can actually pic nic just about anywhere for a change of tone…

    But if the French don’t pic-nic in Paris, it’s probably because parisiens are always in such a hurry… since we’ve moved to Lyon, we pic-nic very often, and we’re planning on doing so Sunday ! So yeah to pic-nics !

  13. Dawn

    August 4, 2011

    When we were there two years ago, we had a picnic at a little park in the 16 eme across from the market street off of Theophile Gautier Ave. It was a great way to spend our last day, and use up some of our food in the apartment. You are right about the saucisson and baguette. I am going back this fall and have been trying for days on end to make a reservation at Frenchie restaurant, because of such good reviews but only get a recording, any suggestions?

  14. mer

    August 4, 2011

    I love this. I remember when we went to Paris with my Husband and 1st son (who was 18 months at the time – now 5 yrs) and hands down my favorite memory was picnicking on the great lawn in front of the Eiffel Tower, just the three of us. Many people couldn’t believe we took our son and said that they’d never do that and that they would prefer adult time in Paris. Where I totally agree that that would have been lovely as well, I would never have had this magnificent family memory if we had left our son with grandparents. The memories your making with your family while there are priceless and I’m sure will carry you through for years to come. It will be your “We’ll always have Paris” experience. Thanks for sharing it with us.

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