How To Plan The Perfect Picnic In Paris

Eiffel Tower at night

Let’s talk about picnics. I love picnics. And I love Paris. And when I’m in Paris I love to have picnics. It just so happens that Parisians enjoy le pique-nique too. I love seeing the locals sitting on the banks of the Seine, taking in the view with a bottle of wine and some snacks, or picnicking in one of the lovely little parks around this beautiful city.

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Sometimes we’ve even had picnics in the pouring rain, sitting on the floor of our apartment with the ceiling to floor windows open wide and the still staggering views of the city taking our breath away.

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It’s fun to have an impromptu picnic in Paris, and a quick run through Monoprix can have you completely sorted in just a few minutes. You can even rent a bottle and fill it with vin rouge or maybe a rosé for a mere €2.50 if you don’t want to spend €7 on a bottle of wine!

Monoprix wine dispenser Monoprix wine machine

I’m obsessed with these machines and the cool looking bottles! As if I didn’t want to run away to Paris anyway…

I’ve done many last minute Monoprix picnics in Paris over the years, and loved them all, but today I want to tell you about the perfect picnic in Paris.

How To Plan The Perfect Picnic In Paris

 

In the 7th arrondissement there is a wonderful little food shopping street called Rue Cler. This is not only one of the best market streets in Paris (in my opinion anyway), but it is also an authentic market street, much loved by local Parisians and relatively unknown to the bulk of the 30 million tourists who make their way to the City of Lights each year. Rue Cler is full of specialty food shops and lovely cafés. It is mostly a pedestrian street, freeing you to wander aimlessly from side to side, taking your time to look in any store that takes your eye, when it takes your eye.

Rue Cler, Paris

If you rent an apartment in the 7th, a daily wander to Rue Cler would be magnifique. I’m actually thinking about renting an apartment in the 7th next time I go, so I’m just projecting my shopping plans on you right now..

Anyway, back to the picnic. I had this particular picnic in mind before leaving home on this trip, so packed a red and white checkered table cloth (clichéd, I know, but it was so worth it!), some paper plates, paper cups (because I couldn’t find my plastic champagne glasses. A touch gauche, but who cares?) and matching napkins, along with a Vera Bradley Havana Rose Market Tote bag that I could put everything in and walk around still looking chic.

We headed over to Rue Cler to buy our picnic provisions, and it was not only fabulous and fun, but it was also such an experience in and of itself. When I travel its always the experience that I am craving. Whether you are shopping on Rue Cler for a dinner party, lunch, or in this case a picnic, make a point of telling each vendor what the event is that you are shopping for. They will help you with pairings, and make everything so much more fun!

The perfect Parisian picnic has to have some charcuterie meats, some cheese, fruit, wine and of course a baguette. I like to start the shopping process with the charcuterie meats.

Rue Cler Charcuterie

I went to Charcuterie Jeusselin first and was looking at their outdoor stand at different canapés they had on offer. I told the guy behind the counter I was shopping for a picnic for two, and he threw his hands in the air, canceled everything I had asked for, and said no, it must – absolutely must be a small quiche. It was hilarious! Then he came inside the store and talked to his counterpart, explained that there was a picnic happening and that there needed to be a few slices of cold meat for the picnic. They went back and forth at length deciding what would go best with the quiche, then decided on a few slices of white ham.

Rue Cler Fromagerie

The next stop was a couple of doors down at the Fromagerie. I wanted one hard cheese and one soft cheese, told the man behind the counter that it was for a picnic and asked his advice. He wanted to know what I had bought so far, and then both the fellows working in the store dove headfirst into a huge conversation about which 2 cheeses it should be. There was much gesticulating, chin rubbing, deep thought, passing me samples and further discussing the picnic and its cheeses, “because Madam, it must be perfect!”

I saw they had baguettes in the store so asked for one of those as well, at which they threw their four hands in the air and said NON! You must get your baguette from Ronde des Pains down the street on the corner of Rue Champs du Mars. No question – the picnic would be a disaster if I bought the wrong bread!

See what I mean about the experience?? I was having the most fun ever! Our picnic was tiny but the shopping experience was huge.

Quiche, ham and cheeses bought I crossed the street to NYSA Vins et Spiriteux to buy some champagne. I told the lady it was for a picnic, and the whole crazy fabulous routine started over! She looked at everything I had bought so far, was enraptured with the cheese selection, and immediately chose the most perfect champagne to go with it all. It wasn’t the most expensive, nor was it the 4th most expensive, instead she told me about the notes in the champagne that would sing when paired with the items purchased so far. She was absolutely right too!

Rue Cler Les Floralies

Next up the flower shop. Why not have some gorgeous roses to go with this affair? At Les Floralies they asked if the roses were for a gift. I said no, they were for a picnic to make it look pretty. Ah! they said. Then your roses must be wrapped just so, to coordinate with your picnic plates and look just right. The picnic must be perfect!

The last two stops were for the baguette and then across the street to Top Halles for some fruit and we were ready to go.

With the perfect picnic purchased, and it wasn’t expensive at all, it was time for Uber to take us to our picnic spot. We could have walked but I had visions of the quiche getting broken, so we caught a ride to the Champs de Mars.

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Eiffel Tower at night

I absolutely love evening picnics at the base of the Eiffel Tower. You want to sit far enough back that you can take in the entire view, and you want to time it so that you arrive just before the tower lights up. At the top of each hour the sparkling lights go off for 5 or 10 minutes.

So here is the mini picnic that was the source of so much fun:

picnic in paris

The quiche was still piping hot, and we got there right before the sun went down.

Every single thing about buying a picnic on Rue Cler and then having your picnic at the Eiffel Tower is just amazing.

paris picnic

We were surrounded by Parisians doing the same thing, although it seemed that most of them just had a bottle of wine and some potato chips.

No one was drunk, no one was badly behaved, everyone was just enjoying the view and the soft, balmy night.

Eiffel Tower picnic at night

Everywhere we went in Paris women were wearing this Adidas shoe. I bought this pair on Rue des Rosiers in the Marais because I wanted to wander Paris in them too. They are substantially cheaper at home on Zappos.com, so I am ordering a second pair (cream and white) when I get home.

Eiffel Tower picnic at night

Eiffel Tower at night

I hope that if you are in Paris you will take the time to at least wander along Rue Cler, and even if it’s just a bottle of wine and some chips, take the time to have yourself a picnic with a view.


 

How To Make A Charcuterie Board.

When I am in Italy with my Glam Italia Tours we often come back to our apartment or villa after a long day of sightseeing and wind down with a crisp, cold glass of prosecco and a platter of snacks, otherwise known as a charcuterie board. It is the perfect way to welcome the evening ahead in Italy.

When I’m in Paris (if you are reading this blog post the week it went live, I’m there right now) I adore going for picnics. We go shopping on a food street like Rue Cler, and pick up a baguette, a bottle of champagne or wine, and then wander in and out of cheese shops, fruit shops, meat shops, and build the bits and pieces needed for a chic, Parisian picnic. Which looks remarkably like a charcuterie board!

charcuterie board accompaniments

When I am home from my trips and want to re-live the glorious nights on our balcony overlooking the Amalfi Coast, or the early evenings in San Gimignano, I whip up a charcuterie board and pop an ice cold bottle of prosecco. When I am pining for soirees in Paris, or maybe just need a break from the realities of real life, a charcuterie board dinner with a glass of Sancerre is the perfect escape.

charcuterie board for two

My travelers always take photos of the spreads I put out and tell me they try to duplicate them when they get home.

To help both them and you spice up any gathering or any evening, Gifts.com compiled a guide on how to build the perfect charcuterie board. Mix and match meats, cheeses and accompaniments for the ultimate hors d’oeuvre. You can use this guide to help you choose your meats and cheeses, and to put the whole thing together.

charcuterie pairing chart

Not only will your guests be impressed with the selection, they’ll be excited to customize their appetizer to their liking.

charcuterie Board cheese options

charcuterie board meats

Bon appetit!

I do not have affiliate marketing with Gifts.com, this post has not been sponsored and they have never even sent me products to try. This post is not a review. It is hopefully an inspiration!

How To Make A Charcuterie Board

18 Travel Goals You Need In Your Life

This incredible post came to me via Pinterest, from MyDomaine.com.

I so wholeheartedly agree with every item on this list, and although I have already accomplished many of these things it really made me stop and think about those that I haven’t. It also made me stop and think about several that I have done, but that I did a long time ago.

Egypt was forever ago, as was Russia. Should I go back? What about a long train ride? I read about a fantastic one that Bill Bryson took from Melbourne to Perth in his completely hilarious book In a Sunburned Country (linked here on Amazon). I always thought that would be an amazing travel experience to have.

Should I go on a Safari before it’s too late? Should I go to Antartica, even though I hate the cold?

One of my massive travel regrets, that is now undo-able, at least in my lifetime, is that I didn’t travel to Syria. A lifetime ago when I lived in London I met loads of fellow travelers who took trips to Syria. They came back with amazing stories of Damascus and the tiled buildings in Aleppo. Some found isolated villages and were able to stay for weeks teaching the local kids English. There stories were just mesmerizing! At the time I planned to one day go to Syria, but I missed the chance when I had it.

With that in mind, and with never knowing how quickly the world can change, I hope you will read this article, written by Julia Millay Walsh for MyDomaine.com, and act on it sooner than later.

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18 Travel Goals Everyone Should Have

Life is long, and so is our travel bucket list. Oh, the places we’ll go! We’ve got plenty of destinations on our agenda, but in addition to the “wheres,” there are many activities we hope to take part in when we travel. Read on for 18 travel goals we think everyone should have on their list, from wandering through ancient ruins to speaking a foreign language.

 


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Related Post: 5 Things I Adore About Rome

Camp in a National Park

 Camp in a National Park

There’s a reason the government owns national parks: The land is truly something. Plan a camping trip, and get up close and personal with the landscape; take in all its untouched beauty. If you’re not into hiking Half Dome, you can just set up camp, have a cookout, and stargaze—no need to scale mountains if that’s not your thing.

See the Wonders of the World

See the Wonders of the World

 

PHOTO:

Claire Thomas via National Geographic

Of the original ancient seven wonders of the world, there’s only one still standing: the Great Pyramid of Giza. But there are plenty of new lists to explore: the new seven wonders of the world (which include the Great Wall of China, the Colosseum, and the Taj Mahal) or the seven wonders of nature (which include Table Mountain, Halong Bay, the Amazon, etc.). Check a few off and you’re just getting started.

Improve Your Photography Skills

Improve Your Photography Skills

Travel is the ultimate opportunity to develop your photography skills. You don’t have to own a crazy-expensive DSLR camera (if you do, great!), but whatever kind of lens you’re working with, take it to the next level. Look out for patterns and colors. Be thoughtful about your composition. Wake up early to catch that gorgeous morning light.

See Wildlife You’ve Never Seen Before

See Wildlife You’ve Never Seen Before

Depending on where you live in the world, flamingos may seem everyday and rhinoceros might seem basic. Whatever creatures you haven’t laid eyes on, make a point to see them in their natural habitat. Visit the Falkland Islands and meet the rockhopper penguins. Travel to the Galapagos and say hello to a blue-footed booby.

Related Post: 5 Reasons Why You Should Visit Queensland Australia

Stay in a Luxurious Hotel

Stay in a Luxurious Hotel

As Plato put it (or maybe it was John Watson), we are all fighting a hard battle. Give yourself a break and do it up right for once. Save up for months and splurge a little so you can afford that five-star hotel room that costs nearly a month’s rent. And when you’re there, treat yourself to a proper experience. Order room service. Get a massage at the spa. Read the newspaper in the lobby. Enjoy every passing moment—you deserve it.

Related Post: 16 Luscious Italian Words And Phrases You Need In Your Life