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Picnic Places in Paris


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Interesting. Today’s Expatica had an article entitled “Picnic Paradise in Paris,” that listed the following: the Parc André-Citroën, Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, Parc de Saint-Cloud, forêt de Meudon, bois de Boulogne, bois de Vincennes, banks of the Canal St.Martin, Jardin des Plantes, Luxembourg Gardens and the Tuileries Gardens – almost all of which were mentioned above, but their descriptions might help in making your decision.

John Talbott

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

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.

From a French voice too :smile: .

I agree with everything you said, didn't mean to be offensive, I was just being a little silly...

"A chicken is just an egg's way of making another egg." Samuel Butler
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The mime incident was the only time I experienced anything like that in France. I find it amusing actually. It's something out of an American comedy skit (we like to make fun of French mimes).

Back to Picnics in France. It never occured to us to plan a picnic in Paris, maybe we missed out on some nicer places to do it. If we found a pleasant area to eat outdoors we would just buy some food in the neighborhood for a casual picnic.

Bastille Day is coming up. What are the popular spots in Paris for picnics on this day?

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Bastille Day is coming up. What are the popular spots in Paris for picnics on this day?

La Campagne - outside of Paris- of course!

During Bastille Day, Paris fills up with people from the banlieux and outer regions who come to watch the military parade and attend other festivities. It can get really crowded!! If you want to enjoy a nice picnic that day, it is advisable to do this outside of Paris in my opinion.

"A chicken is just an egg's way of making another egg." Samuel Butler
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Ptipois,

I'm sorry if my comment about the French language being lyrical offended you. I do not at all feel that the French have to live up to anything....that you have to TRY to be lyrical...I meant that as a compliment!!! I have always -- since I was 6 years old -- thought the French language was the most beautiful on the planet. That's why I studied it from 4th grade through freshman year of college. I'm a singer and when I speak French, I almost feel like I'm singing. When I hear French, to me it is just beautiful. I did not mean to imply that French people are museum pieces. You are humans like all of us. It drives me crazy when tourists expect everyone to be perfect...good grief, we all get grumpy, we all have our rude moments, etc.! But I was just saying that I loved being in France, and experiencing all the sights and sounds. That includes the people, the culture, the food, the Seine, etc! And I guess I thought that was better than "ugly Americans" who expect everyone and everything to be the same as at home. I never once expected anyone to speak English to me, but was most grateful when they did since I've always been far better at speaking French than understanding it. (And my speaking had gotten far too rusty, I'm afraid, since I hadn't used it in more than 20 years.)

And really, I'm just a people person who loves to see groups of people gathering to enjoy themselves on a sunny day. I love to see people talking and hear them laugh...to experience the good side of humanity when there is so much pain in the world. (I was so glad to not watch the evening news for a week!) It brings joy to my soul. So having that bonus while on a picnic with my husband, just added to the day for me. That's really all I meant by it.

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This may be stretching the topic but the pictures are so great I thought I’d mention that there’s an art show called Picnic that is on this week’s ParisVoice that looks neat. It’s at the Galerie Fraîch'Attitude, 60 rue du Fbg Poissonnière in the 10th until September 30th, open noon to 19H00 except Sundays and Mondays.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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Interesting.  Today’s Expatica had an article entitled “Picnic Paradise in Paris,” that listed the following: the Parc André-Citroën, Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, Parc de Saint-Cloud, forêt de Meudon, bois de Boulogne, bois de Vincennes, banks of the Canal St.Martin, Jardin des Plantes, Luxembourg Gardens and the Tuileries Gardens – almost all of which were mentioned above, but their descriptions might help in making your decision.

If you really want to stick to Paris proper, there is also a comprehensive listing of all Parisian Parks and Gardens here. It mentions in its list the Jardin des Serres D'Auteuil which is really beautiful too.

"A chicken is just an egg's way of making another egg." Samuel Butler
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I agree with everything you said, didn't mean to be offensive, I was just being a little silly...

Oh then that's perfectly allright :wink:

We all know the flaws of Internet communication - there's absolutely no way to hear it when we get a little silly. Dommage !

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I'm sorry if my comment about the French language being lyrical offended you.

No worry, there was absolutely nothing offensive in what you wrote, but then I believe it was a little too short! I'm glad you explained it further. It's true that when we French are described as being lyrical (especially on the pont des Arts :biggrin: ), we're so amazed that indeed we do need a bit of clarification. I understand your perception of France completely and I am quite aware that it was a compliment. But we tend to see ourselves as a more prosaical bunch, becoming lyrical in certain conditions that are few and far between. I sense now that you were referring to a different kind of lyricism — so to say to the beauty in the eye of the beholder.

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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?

I like to go to Parc Monceau after a trip to Alleosse (Fromagerie), which is one of the best cheese shops in Paris, at 13 rue Poncelet in the 17th arrondissement (Metro: Ternes). Just remember to go early because they are closed in the afternoon hours between 1:00-4:00 p.m.

Business Hours: Closed Sunday afternoon & Monday

Tuesday-Saturday: 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. & 4:00-7:00 p.m.

Sunday: 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Also on rue Poncelet, there are many fruit and vegetable stalls and fish and meat markets, plus the Boulangerie Paul for breads to complete your picnic fare.

"Some ladies smoke too much and some ladies drink too much and some ladies pray too much, but all ladies think that they weigh too much."

From a poem by Ogden Nash - Curl Up and Diet

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We once spent a week bicycling around Paris.

Stopped at the marche in the 17th, I believe, picked up baguette, cheese, pate; and bicycled to the bois de boulogne. There, we found a park bench in front of the lake, watching people boat to the restaurant....

Thinking ahead, we had a corkscrew. But, alas, had not thought of glasses!

So, we were embarassed, but passed the fine Bordeaux back and forth between us, hoping no one would see....After a couple of swigs each, we realized, no one looked or really cared!

It was a great picnic!

Philly Francophiles

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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).

You've said some things like this before. And I'll finally come out to flat out agree. I don't mean to suggest that anyone here does it. But I experience it in real life all the time. It doesn't bother me personally so much. But really, if the sames things were said about a perceived minority group it would be considered socially incorrect if not volatile.

Especially the stereotypes of French chefs. I mean really how many French chefs has the average person in the States met? I live here and am in French circles all the time, even I haven't met that many outside of some meetings for associations. Almost all the French chefs I've known and worked with have been hard working professionals. All this romanticization and macho chest thumping about the old guard in France is a joke. Does anyone really think that the "French temper" and culture would tolerate shoving and pushing plates in a professional kitchen? French machismo exists but it's different from American machismo.

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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Especially the stereotypes of French chefs. I mean really how many French chefs has the average person in the States met? I live here and am in French circles all the time, even I haven't met that many outside of some meetings for associations. Almost all the French chefs I've known and worked with have been hard working professionals. All this romanticization and macho chest thumping about the old guard in France is a joke. Does anyone really think that the "French temper" and culture would tolerate shoving and pushing plates in a professional kitchen? French machismo exists but it's different from American machismo.

I realise I'm not the average American since I live and work in Paris, but - I'm sorry - are you kidding? Being a hard working professional chef in a competetive Michelin-starred Paris kitchen today still means, yes, shoving and pushing - and the occasional on the floor fist-fights.

BTW - good picnic spot - Champ de Mars - on the Ecole Militaire side. The sun doesn't set until about 10 at night in the summer - plus the lights twinkle on the hour - it's pretty magical. What to bring - all easy walking/carrying distance - some of the small fruit and nut breads from Poujauran, seasonal cheese from Marie-Anne Cantin, a chilled wine from from Les Grandes Caves on rue St. Dominique - ask them to open the bottle so you don't need to carry a corkscrew.

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Especially the stereotypes of French chefs. I mean really how many French chefs has the average person in the States met? I live here and am in French circles all the time, even I haven't met that many outside of some meetings for associations. Almost all the French chefs I've known and worked with have been hard working professionals. All this romanticization and macho chest thumping about the old guard in France is a joke. Does anyone really think that the "French temper" and culture would tolerate shoving and pushing plates in a professional kitchen? French machismo exists but it's different from American machismo.

I realise I'm not the average American since I live and work in Paris, but - I'm sorry - are you kidding? Being a hard working professional chef in a competetive Michelin-starred Paris kitchen today still means, yes, shoving and pushing - and the occasional on the floor fist-fights.

BTW - good picnic spot - Champ de Mars - on the Ecole Militaire side. The sun doesn't set until about 10 at night in the summer - plus the lights twinkle on the hour - it's pretty magical. What to bring - all easy walking/carrying distance - some of the small fruit and nut breads from Poujauran, seasonal cheese from Marie-Anne Cantin, a chilled wine from from Les Grandes Caves on rue St. Dominique - ask them to open the bottle so you don't need to carry a corkscrew.

I'm not kidding.

EDIT: I'll refrain from commenting on the non-French chefs I've met during the past 10 years or since I've left France.

Edited by chefzadi (log)

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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....To return to the Pont des Arts....

Is this the right thread to start a movement to outlaw bongos on the Seine and its bridges? Our hotel is adjacent, and I love to keep the windows open in warm weather but may resort to mayhem at some point after several hours of repetitive rhythms... :sad:

eGullet member #80.

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I realise I'm not the average American since I live and work in Paris, but - I'm sorry - are you kidding? Being a hard working professional chef in a competetive Michelin-starred Paris kitchen today still means, yes, shoving and pushing - and the occasional on the floor fist-fights.

Er, I'm sorry (my turn!), but didn't I read somewhere that you worked at the Crillon?

:huh:

So it's not a typical situation.

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Le parc des Buttes Chaumont.  Take a blanket, saucisson sec, fruits, bread, and cheese. and wine.  :rolleyes:  I also agree with the garden behind the Musee Rodin.

I agree! This is one of the best spots in Paris, complete with waterfall, suspension bridge, wandering stream, crepe and ice cream vendors, pony rides and children's games, etc. Because it's across from the Mairie (administrative center for the district), there are always wedding parties and bridal parades. Very fun to watch. It's in the 19th, easily accessible from the Laumiere stop on the #5 Metro (from central Paris, go in the direction of Bobigny).

On the way up avenue de Laumiere toward the park, you'll pass rue de Meaux, a wonderful market street with fruit/vegetable stalls, wine and chocolate shops, a and a terroir with saucisson sec, cheese, and small nibbles (cheese rolled in ham, olives, stuffed small peppers, etc). The terroir is just around the corner from rue de Meaux on rue du Rhin, and has a bright yellow awning. Further down rue de Meaux you'll find la flûte de Meaux with the quarter's best bread and a croissant that locals say is the "third best in France." Back on avenue Laumiere, you'll also pass Vieille France, a small pâtisserie with nice treats.

There is also an organic bakery on rue de Crimee just south of rue Manin that has great bread, desserts, and individual-sized pizzas. It's a 2-minute walk from the north entrance of the park.

The cafe across the street, Kascade, is a bit bobo but has decent food and a beautiful outdoor terrace for before or after the park. Their desserts are especially good, in particular a chocolate moelleux served with pistachio cream and a dollop of chocolate mousse.

Meg Zimbeck, Paris by Mouth

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Le parc des Buttes Chaumont.  Take a blanket, saucisson sec, fruits, bread, and cheese. and wine.   :rolleyes:   I also agree with the garden behind the Musee Rodin.

I agree too! Just keep an eye on your food stuffs that are apt to roll down the hillside, otherwise you too may lose several nectarines to the delight of french hippies seated near the base. I would do roquefort, pears and a nice juracon. And if you're feeling really whimsical, after, go eat some madeleines from fauchon on la madeleine and watch all of the cars buzz around. This last is just proof that a picnic can take place just about anywhere in Paris, albeit a little impromptu and not including all food groups.

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  • 1 year later...

This week in Paris Voice Laura Van Iterson has a description of picnic places that includes: the banks of the Seine, the Ile de la Cité, the western tip of Ile Saint Louis, the Pont des Arts, the Canal Saint-Martin, the Parc Montsouris, Parc des Buttes-Chaumont and the Bois de Vincennes - Parc Floral.

John Talbott

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A lot of good suggestions in this thread! I particularly love the Buttes-Chaumont and the Parc de Saint-Cloud. Lots of green and grass you can sit on.

Today at lunch I picnicked with my busy bf in the Jardin du Palais Royal. I don't like picnicking on park benches, though, so we sat on the concrete near the side alley. Not too bucolic. (But what can you do when your picnic partner only has a half hour and has to go back up to work?) Still, he loved my lentil salad with lardons and shallots.

A couple of weeks ago (I think it was for the May 1 holiday) we took the RER line E all the way to the end and went to the Vallée de Chevreuse. It was beautiful, and we quaffed some rosé with sausage and salad and bread and quiche.

Two summers back, I used to picnic in the evening by the Canal St-Martin - an excellent pizzeria, Pink Flamingo, used to deliver (but I think they had to stop) and you could buy (plastic) glasses of wine "to go" from some of the bars/cafés along the Canal (or else buy a bottle at Le Verre Volé...).

Are the tents for the homeless still alongside the Canal now, though? (I haven't been in that neighborhood in a few months).

In any case, I agree with Ptipois that for a good picnic, you need grass and trees and no cars vrooming by.

Edited by sharonb (log)
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Are the tents for the homeless still alongside the Canal now, though? (I haven't been in that neighborhood in a few months).

Yes, quite a few as of three weeks ago, when I took this picture of a canal-side kitchen:

gallery_11280_4636_75154.jpg

I'd estimate about 100 hundred total tents in different areas, and some of the residents were a bit aggressive (with words and signs) towards people in the boat. The tour guide actually cautioned riders against responding.

Still lots of pedestrians taking advantage of the lovely spring day, though.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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There are so many .It all depends on whether you want to have a view of the eiffel tower ,then its champs de Mars ,or a view of notre dame and the seine ,then its quai de grds augustins or perhaps go to a place unchanged in 400 years and have a picnic at place voges.

Perhaps you want some privacy then go to an island in the seine river allee des cygnes.

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