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Paris is home to some of the best parks in Europe. With gorgeous landscape architecture and backdrops, like the Eiffel Tower, it’s hard to go wrong with an al fresco picnic. Not to mention, picnics are a perfect way to taste the incredible assortment of fresh baguettes, French cheese and wine, and pâté readily available throughout the city. In the warmer months, picnics are a common activity among both Parisians and tourists, and definitely not something to be missed while exploring the city.
While the French do not particularly fancy a “to-go” food, it is a norm to stop at your neighborhood shops to pick up the necessary goods for your French charcuterie picnic. It’s a creative way to sample a range of French cuisine, visit neighborhood shops, bakeries, and cafes, as well as enjoy the sunshine in one of Paris’ magnificent parks.
To correctly take part in a proper Parisian picnic, avoid the tempting convenience of supermarkets (i.e. Franprix), and head to some of my favorite shops in Paris, that are just as close to the best picnic spots, for a real taste of local Parisian flavors.
1. PICK YOUR PARIS PICNIC LOCATION –
CHAMPS DE MARS –
Relax in the long stretch of clean-cut lawn directly adjacent to the Eiffel Tower. What better way to enjoy Paris’ most iconic monument than savoring a bit of French wine and cheese.
PLACE DES VOSGES –
Situated in Le Marais, this is the oldest planned square in the city. With plenty of shops, bakeries and cafes nearby this is an unbeatable spot for a picnic in Paris’ most fashionable neighborhood.
PARC DES BUTTES CHAUMONT –
A picturesque green-spaced that was redesigned in the 1860s by Emperor Napoleon III to include an artificial lake and a waterfall grotto. Snag a spot on the green hillside among the other picnic-goers for an unbelievable way to relax on a sunny day in Paris.
2. PICK UP THE ESSENTIALS –
CORKSCREW – An item you definitely don’t want to forget
BLANKET – You don’t want to grass stain your chic, Parisian outfit
PLACE SETTINGS – Plastic cups, cutlery, and paper napkins are obvious musts
3. SELECT YOUR FOOD & WINE –
FOR WINE –
Épicerie Ô Divin, 130 Rue de Belleville
Trois Fois Vin, 12 Rue Notre Dame de Nazareth
FOR MEAT & CHEESE –
Fromagerie Laurent Dubois, 47 Ter Boulevard Saint-Germaine
Fromagerie Beaufils, 20 Rue Cadet, 204 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Martin, or 118 Rue de Belleville
La Fermette, 86 Rue Montorgueil
FOR BREAD & PASTRIES –
Du Pain et des Idées, 34 Rue Yves Toudic
Au Petit Versailles du Marais, 47 Ter Boulevard Saint-Germaine
Le Grenier á Pain, 38 Rue des Abbesses