June 8, 2012

L'heure du PIQUE-NIQUE

  " If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it's stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast." 
                                                                                               Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

Indeed, once you discover even your dream of the City of Light, it stays with you...
Who hasn't dreamed of tasting this irresistible city, of getting lost in its charming streets and architecture, of trying un café au lait and a croissant at a sidewalk cafe enjoying the never-ending parade of characters, of exploring its farmer and flea markets, of writing down thoughts surrounded by all the books of Shakespeare and Company bookstore, of walking or biking along the Seine...
of having picnic in Paris ...

If you happen to be in Paris and it happens to be a gorgeous  sunny day, and  you are seeking a break from your museum- gallery itinerary, and you ask a Parisian what would you do on a day like this...What do you think the answered would be :
'' Oui, Pique-nique!"
 But if you are not in Paris and want to be in Paris in a gorgeous sunny day, what can you do to satisfy such desire that comes quite frequently accompanied with a tiny, shy thought of " I want to move to Paris"...?!   
Pack your french picnic basket and throw a picnic ,
Parisian style. 
Don't forget your chic sunglasses and hat; they will help you to get into that Parisian mood! For guys is all about scarves :)

For the French, food with good- quality ingredients is essential, "art de vivre", and pleasure is a necessity in life.  I believe, every neighborhood in Paris has its own farmers market, a bakery, a cheese shop, a wine shop, a butcher, and, of course, a pastry shop, which is more like a jewelry store .
 You can't eat well if you haven't shopped well, right!  If you go to the Boulevard Raspair Street Market, a gourmand's dream, this is the place to find every single provision for a picnic, plus an armload of peonies, plus you have a chance to bump into Barefoot Contessa.
So, for the pique-nique, the first essential element is the baguette. A baguette is a completely Parisian creation and lasts a matter of time; that's way the French patiently line outside their boulangerie to buy fresh bread ( several times a day). I adore its caramel-colored crust spread with butter and cheese. You can't be in Paris  and not go to Poilane even though the shop doesn't have baguettes. 

 The next stop will be la fromagerie. Buying cheese is always a joy, especially in Paris despite the "sophisticated" roll off the tongue while pronouncing the name of the cheese. As everybody says, there are as many French cheeses as there are days in the year, so I leave it up to your personal preferences. And to do it as a French: in case you choose a salty blue fromage ( Roquefort), spread your baguette with butter before topping it with cheese. You will create a  less salty and softer taste in your mouth.  

You can also pay a visit to la charcuterie for some cured meat ( saucisson sec) and pates.
"Salade verte" or olives would be a great addition to the picnic menu and  can be prepared  at home: a plain green salad with grilled apricots and walnuts.
What would a Paris picnic be without a fine bottle of wine or french lemonade ? I am under an impression that Parisians can drink wine from early morning to late night; correct me if I am wrong.
And don't forget to indulge in something sweet. Sorry, but no one leaves Paris without trying Pierre Hermé or Ladurée  macaroons; you save yourself from the awful moment when you come home and tell about the time of your life in irresistible Paris only to have someone say " I can't believe you were in Paris and you didn't have  a macaroon ???!" 
Anyway,  If you plan your picnic ahead  of time, I suggest putting a little effort in baking those rich petit Madeleines  that Marcel Proust described "dipping them into his tea as a child." Gosh, they taste heavenly in a coffee ...

Paris has one of the most spectacular parks and gardens where tourists and Parisians picnic, Jardin du Luxembourg, Parc des Butter Chaumon, Place des Voger to name a few well known. But as boring as it may sound, when I visit Paris next time I will definitely set a simple picnic at Champ de Mars at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. 
I have been practicing for that, haven't I ?!

See Nichole Robertson's captivating photography of Paris in her bok  Paris in Color

While I was reading my book and our son welcomed the sun over his face thinking he might be a francophile, my husband was checking the next flight to Paris ...

I am kidding!

We simply had a fabulous time  and a fabulous  picnic! 
( as we also wanted to mark my nephew's first birthday)

Are you wondering what might be a perfect end to a day like this  ??-
of course, 

 taking delight in Woody Allen's enchanting Midnight in Paris.
It is all about slowing down and enjoying your life more, savoring the moment or perhaps, creating the moment and make the pleasure a necessity.
 Don't forget 
" We will always have Paris, simply irresistible !"

A million thanks to the amazing Anita
for inviting me at her party!

Oh, how she loves Paris! Please visit  Castle Crowns and Cottages
You will find kindred spirits and more of the City of Light!
Have fun! 

Merci Beaucoup, mes amies !


  1. What a fabulous post, Sylvia! Your picnic looks wonderful and your photos, as always, are terrific! Love the one of you and your son; handsome lad, he is! Thanks for sharing and have a lovely weekend.


  2. So nice to meet you

    Bisous, et que Notre Seigneur Jesus Christ te benisse ~
    Kisses, and may the Lord Jesus Christ bless you~

    Pearl 13.1

  3. Merci for bringing me along on your pique nique! How fun is Anita's soiree, we are meeting so many new friends with a common love...Paris! I love that your son (and husband) got into the mood also...not quite sure if my boys would! And I also am a big fan of Little Brown Pen,her work is exquisite...
    A bientot!

  4. You have a wonderful Paris post with all the yummy foods. When my girls visited there a couple of years ago, they couldn't believe how delicious the food was. I love your picnic pictures. Going on picnics has always been a favorite of mine. Yes, this was so nice of Anita to put this together. It has given me a chance to visit many lovely blogs, like yours.
    ~Sheri at Red Rose Alley

  5. simply stunning!

    You did a marvelous job describing how you feel about Paris...LOVED he pictures!!!smiles~

  6. Wonderful Sylvia! You quoted from one of my favorite books and mentioned a movie I love as well as these delightful images. I am loving our journey to Paris with Anita!

    Anita's Parisian Party
    Art by Karena

  7. Hi Sylvia,

    I am now following your blog...
    This beautiful post leaves me wanting more...Pictures!
    I will leave this blog feeling hungry...the food looks so scrumptious!!

    I would like to invite you over to my blog to be entered in my blog giveaway!!
    Dessa Rae

  8. Oh my, How DELIGHTFUL and fun!
    {and yummy!}

    ~ Violet

  9. Sylvia, I see so much love in this post my dear!!!! LOOK AT YOU! YOU ARE SO LOVELY! And I do remember you mentioning that you were hoping for good weather and you GOT IT! And I am so delighted to see that your family got in on the posing of these pictures for this event!!!

    My husband and I picnic ALL THE TIME in the summer. BREAD, OLIVES, CHEESE, FRUIT...a good book by one of the many lakes here in Minneapolis! There is a huge French influence here so I feel right at home.

    I hope you have had a chance to get around to visit everyone; there are some funny, inspiring, EDUCATIONAL and beautiful posts out there and I am so happy.

    Off to bed to come back in the morning to see more of our CITY OF LIGHTS! BISOUS MON AMIE! Anita

  10. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this post, the photos....pinning away!!!

  11. Beautiful photos and picnic! Oh, to be in Paris enjoying this lovely lunch would be fabulous, wouldn't it? I'm thrilled to be joining all of Anita's friends on a holiday to Paris.
    Wishing you and your beautiful family a fun weekend! xoxo, B

  12. Hello Sylvia,

    I am taking the tour and having so much fun visiting Anita's Link Party! This post is just beautiful! The images and your writing! WOW...It really makes me want to go on a picnic and to dream of living within walking distance of a bakery, farmer's market, flower shop and all of the quaint shops.

    I hope you have a lovely weekend and thanks so much for sharing!!!

    I LOVE the fact that you captured these photographs yourself. What gorgeous shots and the angles are so interesting. LOVE the shot of the awnings & balconies. That scrollwork is amazing! And these are all in the first 2 hours of your tour! WOW!!!

    Thanks for sharing. If you have a chance, please stop by my place for a visit. :)

    (hi-d @ hi-d's place)

  13. Sylvia~ J'adore votre pique-nique!

    I haven't had the pleasure to visit the City of Lights, and you certainly have whet my appetite! I love all your colorful and delicious details, and BOOKS you've included! What good sports your son & hubby are dressing the part too. Wonderful photos of YOU~ Merci for taking me along :)

  14. What a lovely picnic! I do feel like I was in paris with my bread and wine and cheese - you truly took me there - thank you!

  15. C'est absolumment fantastique, chere amie! You have captured the Parisian essence perfectly...and who can resist "Midnight In Paris"...
    Your gorgeous self and family...how fun!! Your photography and styling are stunning, my friend.
    And the joy of a French pique-nique on Lake Ontario...so beautiful.
    I feel like I was there with you ;))
    Sending love to you, sea sister...
    A bientot!
    - Irina

  16. Absolutely divine...but, my dear, are you sure you are titling your blog correctly? :) There's nothing simple about your decadent menu and extravagant photography. It is surreal. Delighted to have enjoyed it through Anita's Parisian celebration.

  17. It has been so much fun joining you in Paris.Lovely new friends and great food on our picnic. Denise

  18. Very, Very lovely post! I felt like I was in Paris...loved your picnic!
    I am joining in the Paris Party festivities too~
    Teresa in California

  19. Sylvia,
    Oh my gosh....this was a fabulous post! I enjoyed it so much that I've read it a couple of times now, really I just drooled over your wonderful photos! These are absolutely priceless and you definately have some great guys to play along on your French picnic. I loved reading all the info on Paris. I'm going to keep them all in mind when I finally talk my husband into going. :)
    Hope all is well and that you're enjoying the summer...it looks like you are!

  20. SYLVIA... I am left gobbsmacked. Your Paris effort is sensational. Your photos... beautifully unique and original. Very nice post. That Midnight in Paris video was great also!
    Thanks for putting in such effort....well done!

  21. Bonjour Sylvia
    I am having such a good time on Anita's Paris tour... Your post is simply delightful! Makes me want to book a ticket to Paris... Thank you so much for visiting and meeting Bebe and your kind words. Please join us this summer for Bebe's adventures.. she will be traveling the world.

  22. Dear Sylvia,

    What a beautiful pique-nique you had with your lovely family and with all the special French touches.
    Was great to discover your blog and meet you and many thanks for visiting me.

    Enjoy the rest of the weekend, as we all dream of being in Paris together.

  23. Magnifique! What a fabulous picnic! Your photos are fantastic, the food is lovely and the presentation and cast of characters over the top! I want to come along on your French picnic! I am your newest follower - so enchanting!

  24. Wonderful - I love it all. Such beautiful images and a wonderful quote too!

    Hugs, Stephie x

  25. HI!!!
    SO glad I popped back in to see the real Paris Post....I must say it is a feast to the eyes......oh my....you could have fooled me..thinking you really were in Paris...WE did go daily to get fresh bread......Baguette.. Cheese....(my french is terrible--so I won't even try) and we went and got fresh fruit each day..OK, WINE too!!!
    You are stunning and your pics are a pleasure to look at!!!
    Isn't this party so fun???
    I think so

  26. I love Paris and Woody ALLEN "Midnight in Paris"'s movie...
    Best regards from PARIS,


  27. Never mind my parents photo being priceless - that last one of you and your son is absolutely adorable! I have loved the Paris hop this year - so many interesting people to meet and share their stories.
    I'm also loving your blog (thank you for sharing your most tasteful friends Anita!!!) and am off to bookmark for a return visit when my job list isn't quite so long!
    (ps I DID spend Friday evening looking for flights....but then I'm a little closer than you!)

  28. It is great having a picnic with you......Welcome in Paris darling...nice to met you here....what a great party this is !!...love Anita.....she is such a great friend for all of us.....happy week enjoy your time here....xxxx..

  29. OH HOW wonderful this is, isn't it my friend? As I continue to visit and REVISIT everyone, I am so blessed to see how all of you have taken on a creative twist to share different aspects of the Parisian lifestyle. When I see how you had taken THE TIME to gather your family, the food, the clothing and the space to do this photo shoot, I can only envision in my mind what was going through yours.....kind of like a class assignment that makes us ALL dig down to GET CREATIVE!!!

    I am most happy to see that everyone is finding each other. The colors, the art, the poetry and prose, HISTORY and more are linking us up to jump start a lovely summer.

    I thank you again my dear friend for such a memorable time....enjoy my dear. Anita

  30. Bonjour Sylvia!
    What a beautiful photo essay you have presented us with at Anita's lovely Paris Party! I love your joie de vivre and the happy , loving scenes you have shared with us! Also, you have a precious family!
    We are going to Paris again in July, and you have inspired me to try to have a "pique-nique" on the Champs de Mars!!
    And YES to "Midnight in Paris"!!!

  31. Good morning, Sylvia! I SO enjoying reading your post & your photos were the loveliest illustrations--what a beautiful pique-nique you had! Glad to have found you through Anita's party--what fun!

    I'll be following along...wishing you a the most wonderful weekend!


  32. Dear Silvia,

    Such a joy to look at your photo's. What a lovely picnic this must have been. You all look so stylish and the food delicious! I like the little salads you put in the jars. Such a good idea!

    Have a lovely new week!

    Madelief x

  33. "It is all about slowing down and enjoying your life more, savoring the moment".

    I couldn't agree with you more. A beautiful post. I have loved visiting you and will follow with interest.

    Thanks for stopping by to read my mysterious side of Paris.

  34. Dear Sylvia, i just adore your Paris picnic! Such wonderful pictures and such yummy food! Thank you for visiting me - i'm your new follower! Vive la France dear!

  35. What a charming picnic!!! I am glad your son got in the spirit -- my boys might take a few more years to be ready, like good wine or good cheese, ha.

  36. Well, this is just the most charming post! I love a picnic, especially a Parisian picnic. You are an inspiration! I'm now following and look forward to frequent visits.

  37. What a beautiful paris picnic!Your images are so lovely! What fun that must have been! The food looks amazing..and such darling outfits. Happy week to you. xxoo

  38. What a beautiful picnic!! just beauty in all your photo's of inspiration.
    Anita is a doll, I am enjoying my French tour.
    Thank you for all that you have inspired.

  39. Lovely post for Anita's party. I especially love your little clip your shared of Midnight in Paris. What a great tour. I hope to see you again. Mary

  40. Dearest Sylvia, I am revisiting a few of my favorite Parisian posts today and I cannot help but leave you a little note letting you know that I am in love with those mugs. Are they tin or ceramic? They are adorable.
    Just in case it went to your spam, I emailed you a response to your weekend visit too.
    Now to browse your gorgeous page.
    Much love,

  41. Sylvia,
    As always, what a fabulous post and absolutely scrumptious photos! You obviously put so much thought into each and every detail for this delightful picnic! Thank you for taking us along!
    Best Wishes and Blessings,

  42. Oh! What heaven -- you take us there, help us revisit our favorite moments of picnics in Paris -- and really -- aren't they the best? Your blog is lovely -- and now I must look at the post after! Thanks so much for stopping by Marmelade Gypsy, too!

  43. I loved visiting your Paris via Anita's Paris Party. I loved going on the picnic and your photography is beautiful! Going to be your newest follower! Love, Linda

  44. Sylvia, you've created an irresistible day here! I enjoyed every detail and all the creativity you poured in to making this a fabulous Parisian pique-nique.

    Thank you so much for stopping by. Your blog is lovely and I look forward to visiting often.


  45. Just came by from Anita's party (a little late but better than never) and have to say that I love your photos. And what a gorgeous backdrop, picnic and family! Am now a follower and will be back! Cheers, Kirsten

  46. My darling friend Sylvia,

    THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING that you did to make this Paris party so original and EXCITING! What I love so much is that YOU and many others PLOTTED AND PLANNED AND PREPARED everything so special. It is truly a time to remember. On June 8th when the party started, it was my last day of school and I literally could not wait to PARTAAAAAAY with you all, who know how to be sooooo creative.

    I wish you a wonderful weekend my dear!! Love, Anita

  47. Coming by to say bonjour, ma chere amie...(and a hug for dear Anita too!)...
    Savoring your gorgeous images, and joyful smiles!
    Sending love to you...
    Bon weekend, sweet sister!
    - Irina

  48. Let me put my dwindling French skills to use and say...cette post est tres magnifique! I LOVE all the photos, they definitely have me dreaming of a trip to Paris. I really love the last shot :)


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