September 14, 2011

Across the Cafe Table - Picnics

This is the fourth Across the Cafe Table on The Travel Belles. These posts have been a great way for our community of smart female travelers to share, learn more about each other, and give tips to our readers of our favorite travel places and ideas. So, this month's Across the Cafe Table question is:


My first reaction to this question is another question: Can I have two favorite picnic spots? After contemplating this thought for a few moments I decided that yes, I will share two favorites.

My two favorite picnic spots are very different - one is in the new world and the other in the old world, one is in the middle of the city and the other is in the countryside. That said, both picnic spots are in places where food and wine are an important part of the local culture.

The first picnic spot I would like to share is in a historic park in the middle of a classic European city - Jardin des Tuileries in Paris. This park is lovely and filled with Parisians and tourists alike. When I used to fly to Paris for American Airlines, a friend of mine and I would often buy a baguette and cheese and have a picnic in this beautiful park. We would sit on a bench, watch people stroll by, and enjoy being in the middle of this amazing city. This is the perfect place for a picnic, especially around this time of year.

My next favorite picnic spot is thousands of miles from Paris in California. Oxbow Public Market near downtown Napa is a great place to eat while visiting this area of California wine country. This market is home to many local vendors and restaurants selling some wonderful edible (and drinkable) items. My favorite vendor is Pica Pica Maize Kitchen that sells arepas (Venezuelan corn flour cakes filled with vegetables, beans, cheeses, and meats). In the row of buildings across street there are tasting rooms for some small local wineries. There is a deck on one side of the market where you can take your food (and wine) and your picnic in the California sunshine. If you are here in the evening a beautiful sunset will most likely be the backdrop for your picnic!



Margo said...

ooh, I love Jardin des Tuileries. So many beautiful picnic spots in Paris.. I've visited the park, but never had a picnic there.

Jessica said...

Well now you have a good reason to visit Paris again!

Food Lover Kathy said...

Jessica - Two great choices. It was really impossible for me to choose just one, as I love to picnic wherever I am. (I also chose a park in Paris.) Your second choice is almost in my backyard. LOVE the Oxbow Market and have spent many afternoons and sunsets on the back patio area. All the vendors/restaurants are great, and you can find some of the best bread & baguettes this side of Paris from Model Bakery.

Rambling Tart said...

Paris AND California - two of my favorite picnic spots in the world. :-) I love the Sutro Baths in San Francisco, parked on a crumbling stone wall overlooking the ocean with goodies from the Russian Bakery. :-)

Jessica said...

@ Kathy - When I visit SF we'll have to meet for lunch at Oxbow Market!

@ Krista - I lived in SF over 4 years and only went to Sutro Baths right before I left. It is a lovely place - I should have visited it sooner and more often when I lived there!