The Perfect Paris Picnic
In this article, we have gathered together some of the best tips to help you enjoy a real Parisian picnic. From what to eat and where to buy it to the best spot for laying down your picnic blanket.
Paris is famous for many things, but perhaps the most talked about aspect of the city is its cuisine. French food boasts a range of delicacies including patisseries, freshly baked bread, wonderful wine and a huge selection of cheeses. It’s a true foodies’ delight.
The city is also home to a myriad of beautifully manicured green spaces and flowing through the middle, the banks of the Seine provide a welcome respite after a day of exploring. With the vast selection of delicious food on offer, and so many beautiful open spaces, is it any wonder Parisians are so fond of picnics?
Pick up a picnic
As one of the most picturesque cities in the world, Paris is the perfect place to enjoy some DIY al-fresco dining. Picnicking is a local pastime, but Parisians won’t settle for a few cold sausage rolls or a scotch egg. In a country famed for its food, even the humble picnic has a big reputation to live up to.
One of the most quintessentially Parisian shopping streets is the Rue des Martyrs in the 9th arrondissement. Along the Rue des Martyrs, you’ll find almost 200 shops and restaurants, making it the perfect place to gather a selection of snacks.
Fromage fabulous fromage
In the French capital, no meal is complete without a selection of cheese. Leah from leahtravels.com advises speaking to a Parisian cheesemonger – they might introduce you to a world of cheeses you’ve yet to discover.
‘With around 1,400 different types of cheeses, it’s helpful to enlist the help of an expert. I walked in looking for a goat cheese and walked out with a Brie. Whether made from cow, goat, or sheep milk, the selection is seemingly endless. Pressed, soft, blue…get a variety. Just be warned. On a sultry summer day, a soft cheese could get messy really quickly. My go-to picnic cheeses include Comté, Crottin de Chavignol, and Brie de Meaux.’
Strolling along the Rue des Martyrs, you’ll come across a huge selection of artisanal shops. Make a stop at Aux Saveurs d’Auvergne, an unassuming charcuterie where you can stock up on some delicious saucisson, rillette and a selection of feuilleté to add to your picnic basket.
You’ll find some of the best bread in the city at Pain Pain. They bake everything from a traditional French loaf to the interestingly named ‘Grinding Wheel of Friends’ – though at 1kg per loaf the latter will weigh your basket down a little.
Finally, complete your feast with a bottle of French vino from La Cave des Martyrs. The staff are excellent sommeliers and will select a wine to match what you have in your picnic basket.
Top it off with a treat
Is there anything more Parisian than the macaron?
For travel blogger Brooke, Parisian patisseries are a passion. Take her advice and head to Pierre Hermé, at 72 Rue Bonaparte, to experience some adventurous flavour combinations – the macarons are some of the best in the city.
‘He’s never too scared to create the unexpected and he always makes it work. Be it vanilla and olive oil or chocolate and Foie gras, as bizarre as the flavour duos might sound they always taste phenomenal. Keep an open mind and always trust in his genius.’
Would you try a Foie gras flavoured patisserie?
Once your basket is full of French treats, you’ll need to decide where to head to enjoy them. Blogger Nomadic Matt shared his favourite spot to join locals and tourists alike for a relaxed picnic.
‘The Jardin du Luxembourg is the largest public park in Paris. The garden contains just over a hundred statues, monuments, and fountains, all scattered throughout the grounds. In the morning, you’ll see lots of runners. At lunch on a nice day, a park full of people having a picnic (which is something I highly recommend you do!).’
Now you’re all set for your Parisian picnic. Head onto the grass, throw down your blanket, pull out the vino and enjoy. À votre santé!
A short metro ride away from Jardin du Luxemberg you’ll find the Milllennium Hotel Paris Opera, where you can take advantage of our Sleep Eat Save offer. Make this your base for exploring La Ville-Lumière and get our lowest rate on rooms, with breakfast included – so you’ll be ready for a day strolling the streets of Paris.