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Picnic Places in Paris


Carlsbad
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Others with more experience will weigh in, but I don't think you can walk more than a couple of hundred meters in Paris without hitting a decent picnic spot.

I prefer the quais along the Seine, across the channel from Notre Dame or Isle St. Louis. Just west of the Berthillon Ice Cream (on Isle St. Louis, it's famous, you'll have no problem finding it if you're on the island) there were a a couple shops with everything you need for a picnic, and you can just walk over to the quais, but Paris is full of great places for bread, charcuterie, cheese and excellent prepared foods, so just keep your eyes open as you wander between the museums and the cafes.

The north side of the Jardin de Luxembourg is pretty swell, too, with trees, benches and a reflecting pool. And, if you're in the 7th, pop down the market on Rue Cler, near the ecole Militaire Metro stop. It's got everything you need. Though the best baguettes are actually a block or two from the market (try to hunt down Patricia Well's Food Lovers Guide to Paris , it's got everything else, including one of Paris's most celebrated cheese shops, and you can walk down to a sunset picnic at the Eiffel Tour.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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Another great picnic spot is the garden at the Rodin Museum. My wife and I have taken a backpack with food & wine and enjoyed a couple of quiet hours in the afternoon

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We bought everything we needed from little shops on Ile St. Louis and then walked to the Pont des Arts, a pedestrian bridge where people hang out and picnic, play music, and just soak up the sun. It was so great to sit on a bridge overlooking the Seine, with the water glistening in the afternoon sun. A memory we will treasure forever.

We brought bread, pate, cheese, cherry tomatoes, strawberries, raspberries and cookies. We skipped the wine that afternoon, but be sure to bring a corkscrew with you if you want some.

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I'd be interested in opinions on the best places are for a picnic in Paris.  Also, what would you eat, and where would you shop?

Last week's Figaroscope's “Dossier” dealt with where to buy picnic type stuff; it is still there at this site:

To bicycle:

l’Os a Moelle

Cyclobrunch

For a picnic basket:

Les Vivres

l’Avant-Gout

Earthy (“terroir”):

A la ville de Rodez

Exotic :

Mavrommatis

Noura

Bucolic :

Musee de la vie romantique

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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If I were rich...

I'd buy a lot of stuff from La Grande Epicerie du Bon Marché,

bread from Eric Kayser (rue Monge),

Some fruit from my Moroccan grocer (best fruit in Paris),

Bake my own lemon pound cake and/or white peach pie,

And take it all to the parc de Sceaux.

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If I were rich...

I'd buy a lot of stuff from La Grande Epicerie du Bon Marché,

bread from Eric Kayser (rue Monge),

Some fruit from my Moroccan grocer (best fruit in Paris),

Bake my own lemon pound cake and/or white peach pie,

And take it all to the parc de Sceaux.

I didn't realize Eric Kayser was legendary, but his bakery was right down the street from one of my hotels in Paris...great, great bread. And close to the quais and the Pont des Arts.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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I didn't realize Eric Kayser was legendary, but his bakery was right down the street from one of my hotels in Paris...great, great bread.  And close to the quais and the Pont des Arts.

Not legendary, but at the moment one of the best breads in Paris, though Moisan is doing very well too.

I wouldn't be caught dead picnicking on the Pont des Arts, especially in Summer. Yuck! No shade, no green, tourists, fire-eaters and even mimes, people riding bikes, pickpockets, smelly winos scolding their German shepherds and/or playing harmonica, and slippery mayonnaise on the boards. Non merci.

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My family does a lot of picnicking at night, which I guess is relevant -- the mimes are invisible, all the fire-eaters and tourists seem to be somewhere else (except for us :wink: ) and you don't have to wrestle others for a spot of shade.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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Thanks to all for some great ideas. Please post more if there are others.

Some fruit from my Moroccan grocer (best fruit in Paris),

* * *

And take it all to the parc de Sceaux.

Can you tell us where the Moroccan grocer and the parc Sceaux are located? Thanks.

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Ptipois,

Sorry that was your experience. I guess we were early enough in the summer that it wasn't a problem. We didn't have mimes, bicycles, mayonnaise, or winos. All we encountered was a gorgeous day with a cool breeze, the sun glistening on the Seine, and small clusters of people sitting around enjoying the day. I love listening to French people talk and laugh...the language is so lyrical.

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Ptipois,

Sorry that was your experience.

Not really an experience, I go by the Pont des Arts quite regularly. In Summer I always find it this way. I have begun avoiding it in the warm season unless I do have to cross the river. I like it better in Winter. Being a Parisian I'd much rather picnic in a quiet, green place like, yes, the parc de Saint-Cloud. The Pont des Arts is convenient for setting a rendez-vous though, as long as your darling doesn't make you wait.

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Along the canal Saint Martin might be a nice spot as well.

This weekend, I'm going to picnic somewhere along the Canal de l'Ourcq. Apparently there is trail that runs from La Villette all the way to Meaux. Although I doubt we'll make it that far.

www.parisnotebook.wordpress.com

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I've always been captivated by the name of the Bois de Boulogne but did not have a chance to visit there in my first sojourn in Paris.

Would this be a good place for a picnic and stroll through the park?

(I realize it is outside of Paris and would therefore be more of an expedition).

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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I've always been captivated by the name of the Bois de Boulogne but did not have a chance to visit there in my first sojourn in Paris. 

Would this be a good place for a picnic and stroll through the park? 

(I realize it is outside of Paris and would therefore be more of an expedition).

Bois de Boulogne is actually annexing the western city limits, but it is to many Parisians considered an integral part of the city.

I would stay away from the Bois de Boulogne for two reasons: First, many prostitutes who decided to make a living in the area call it "the office", unless you know where you are going you might be in for an unpleasant surprise :wacko:.

Second, the nicer parts of the park such as the beautiful green areas surrounding the lake and islands where the famous Chalet des Iles restaurant is located, can get really busy when it gets warm and Parisians decide to go for strolls or laze under the sun. Although it is nice, you will find no intimacy there. Plus, it is an ideal place for pickpockets.

Parc de St Cloud is one option I suggested earlier, I forgot to add the Foret de Meudon just 15 minutes away from Paris which is another option.

"A chicken is just an egg's way of making another egg." Samuel Butler
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My family does a lot of picnicking at night, which I guess is relevant  -- the mimes are invisible, all the fire-eaters and tourists seem to be somewhere else (except for us :wink: ) and you don't have to wrestle others for a spot of shade.

My one and only encounter with a mime in Paris was on my first trip. He approached me while making martial arts gestures and pulled his eyes back tight.

I gave him the finger.

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My one and only encounter with a mime in Paris was on my first trip. He approached me while  making martial arts gestures and pulled his eyes back tight.

I gave him the finger.

And i thought the French were culturally sensitive.. :biggrin:, may be it wasn't a French mime..

"A chicken is just an egg's way of making another egg." Samuel Butler
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My one and only encounter with a mime in Paris was on my first trip. He approached me while  making martial arts gestures and pulled his eyes back tight.

I gave him the finger.

And i thought the French were culturally sensitive.. :biggrin:, may be it wasn't a French mime..

He must have been Belge or Canadian.

He followed us around for awhile making the "I'm so sad you misunderstood, my tears are flowing"" mime gestures. :laugh:

I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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My one and only encounter with a mime in Paris was on my first trip. He approached me while  making martial arts gestures and pulled his eyes back tight.

I gave him the finger.

And i thought the French were culturally sensitive.. :biggrin:, may be it wasn't a French mime..

He must have been Belge or Canadian.

He followed us around for awhile making the "I'm so sad you misunderstood, my tears are flowing"" mime gestures. :laugh:

That is too hilarious!

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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And i thought the French were culturally sensitive.. :biggrin:, may be it wasn't a French mime..

(A French voice :)

With so many conditions to fulfill, how could we be up to the standards that are set for us and remain human? Being lyrical when we talk and laugh. Being "culturally sensitive". Hey, we're people, not museum items — and as people we have our share of stupids, plus a good portion of ill-mannered jerks, and we're entitled to a few obnoxious mimes as everybody else.

Sometimes the romantical image that is set upon us gets on my nerves. This is the Internet, and this forum is also read by French people.

(French cooling down. Sorry for this, it had to come out.)

I gave him the finger.

Bravo!

To return to the Pont des Arts, I think it's a nice place to eat a panini standing up there waiting for your pals to show up, but not to spread a tablecloth and sacrifice camemberts. However, if one avoids rush hours, why not? But at night — no way. At nights, in warm weather, it is the meeting point of all the drunks in the area (Notre-Dame drains another crowd of them).

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