Summer Picnics

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I love Summer and I love picnics! Anytime, (preferably summer) anyplace, anywhere: small secret gardens, along the Seine, escaping to St Cloud, Bois du Boulogne, or Versailles, nothing beats the feeling of eating outside on a sunny day. A picnic in Paris is perfectly simple: a bottle of crisp fresh wine, some soft creamy cheeses a crunchy baguette et volià!

Last weekend I spent an afternoon in my neighborhood (7e) hunting down some treats for a picnic I had planned with some friends. I really wanted to keep things simple and not spend too much time cooking beforehand, so I decided on a cheese and wine picnic pairing.

I visited Griffon, the sweetest little fromagerie close to my apartment, on to L’annexe for some wine recommendations and Moulin de La Vierge for crunchy baguettes. I packed everything up and headed off to my favourite nearby garden ‘Square D’ajaccio’, which I love for its less known location, lush trees and sneaky views of Les Invalides.

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Fromagerie Griffon/Cheese/ 23 bis Avenue de la Motte-Picquet, 75007 Paris

I equally enjoyed the preparation for this picnic as much as the picnic itself. My first stop was to visit Griffon, a magnificent little cheese boutique that opened recently, two doors down from my apartment. You can smell the cheese form our lobby! Really! The display and choices of cheese are immense and I love their playful combinations – mixing goat’s cheese with pistachio and basil! An hour later and after a lot of tasting, I emerged with a Saint Nectaire, a Comté, a goat’s cheese with basil, a blue goat’s cheese, and a Saint Maure (another goat’s cheese) ”Let’s hope our guests like goat’s cheese!” On to my next stop…

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L’Annexe/ Wine, 15 rue Chevert, 75007 Paris

My next stop was to visit our friends at L’annexe for a wine recommendation. How to strike up a bond with a French sommelier? Tell him you’ve bought all the cheese at Griffon and you desperately need a wine recommendation. You’re friends forever. It’s also a great way to learn and experience new wine. Our friend at L’annexe suggested something clean and crisp like a bottle of Quincy, to go with our selection of lighter cheese. It’s a sauvignon blanc from the left bank of the Loire valley and a truly heavenly pairing with the creamy cheeses.

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Moulin de la Vierge/Baguette/64 r St Dominique, 75007 PARIS

My last stop…It wouldn’t be a picnic without crunchy baguettes to munch on. I am a true fan of Patisserie Thomieux on Rue Saint Dominque, their croissants are fantasy but when it comes to a baguette you cannot beat Moulin de la Vierge just down the road. And that’s it!

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Picnic Accessories: Cheese board, a gift from a friend; picnic blanket from Merci (currently on sale), cheese knifes also a gift from a dear friend from Fortnum and Maison. Picnic basket from a little boutique on Rue Saint Dominique!

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