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How to pack and plan the perfect European-inspired picnic

Posted at 10:42 AM, Jul 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-10 10:42:42-04

Your summer vacation plans won't consist of oversea travels, but you can provide your family with a worldly experience through food at a park picnic.

Jenn shares tips on how to pack and plan the perfect French or Italian inspired picnic, from the pastries to the cheese and a little bubbly.

Get Inspired

If you’re looking to get some inspiration, Pinterest is amazing for that just searching “Picnic Paris” or “Picnic Italy” you’ll get loads of ideas. I have shared some pictures that inspired me from Pinterest, plus some from my own picnic this past weekend.

Start with food

When you think about it, most of us travel because of the food. It’s such a highlight on vacation! If you’re looking to do a picnic inspired by your favorite destination, bring all those flavors and smells to your blanket!

Look for signature foods from that destination

Splurge on a fancy French cheese and pick up some fruits that are common to the area. A cheese board is always a great spread for a picnic (just remember to have a cooler of ice on hand to keep the cheese cool!).

If you’re doing more of an Italian theme, add in some olives, some cured meats, sweet pastries or desserts like cannoli. There’s a lot you can play with here, the key is to grab things from your local store that come from that destination.

It’s a good time to splurge

Since you’re getting just a few things to share and nibble on, this is a great time to splurge and get the extra fancy items.

Make sure you pack finger foods

Things that are easy to reach for and eat with small plates and toothpicks.

Don’t forget to add in a cool drink

Whether that’s some bubbly like Prosecco or Champagne, or even a beautiful wine from the region. There are really great options in bottle or even cans which can be easier to transport. You can even pre-mix some cocktails using spirits or liqueurs from France or Italy. This is probably best for your own backyard and not in an actual park, but you can also make non-alcoholic drinks too.

Little touches can up your picnic game

Make sure you have a great little basket, add some flowers that remind you of the destination, bring reusable wine or champagne glasses, and always have a blanket. See if you can find French or Italian themed paper or reusable plates.

Add in some music

Make it feel even more like you’re on the riverbank in France, or on a Tuscan hill in Italy by adding in some music. Spotify has great playlists of classic French or Italian music. Bring a small portable speaker to help amplify the music a bit.

Learn more about amazing vacation spots by following there accounts on Instagram: @Jennweatherhead and @travelstylemag.