Everybody loves to picnic. As for me, it brings back childhood memories of my friends and family at our lil green nook, ACC 'polo field', for some time-out and pica-pica. The best part about picnics are not just the food spread but the leeway granted for everyone to do such things in public: space out, observe surroundings/people, lie down, sleep and read. Although it was only in France that I had experienced an additional item to the list of "things to do in a picnic" --drink wine! Magnifique! To state the obvious, I am older now, therefore, I gladly embrace the joys of wine over shots of Tequila; and second, it is legal in France to be drinking in public so how terrible is it to face the glittering Eiffel Tower as I am lying down next to empty wine bottles munching on husband-made quiche? Boy, am I glad to not be missing out anymore.
at the garden of Tuileries with the Louvre behind us
a picnic's divine ending
As in other beautiful cities like New York, Paris has several outdoor spots for a perfect picnic particularly during the summer. My favorite place with the best view of Paris' marvels is at the Tuileries Garden which is surrounded by fountains and marble statues and joins into the Louvre's courtyard; in the opposite direction there is the Place de la Concorde, piercing its way up into the sky and a decent angle of the Eiffel tower.
our picnic spot; conveniently, to the right is the metro stop,Tuileries
Aside from the relaxing vibe of picnics which I normally prefer over bars during the summer, it is no doubt a cheaper option for catching up with friends, partner or husband with everybody arriving with their contribution of wine, cheese, cold cuts (charcuterie) or homemade dish. Even if you run out of wine in the middle of it all, you will be happy and surprised to find people selling some bottles, incognito, but with marked-up prices as what happened to my husband and I with a big group in Champ de Mars. And to the desperate smokers, they sell some, too. Come to think of it, it was almost midnight at that time--a picnic that late? Only in Paris!
crowded Champ de Mars
- If you are like me who needs to p** almost every other hour, don't go walking in search of a brasserie which could take too long and lead to a messy accident. Instead, remember your camping days and do your business in the bushes. Trust me, you won't feel too bad after seeing the rest of the used tissue lying around (and condoms, too,yuck!). Important, only do this when you are DESPERATE as I don't wish for you to develop a bad habit and worse, get caught by the roving police!
- Unless it is full-on summertime, bring a shawl or a light cardigan to cover up because Paris weather is just as moody and unpredictable as women tend to be.
- And if you get hungry in the Tuileries, there is an outdoor branch of France's famous bakery, Paul, which sells country-style savory and sweet pastries and drinks. Facing the Louvre from the garden, it is located just before the museum's courtyard on the sandy surface.
Paul bakery booth (middle)
the welcoming bushes of the Tuileries, remember, only if you're desperate!