Picnic in your own style

Picnicking in the great outdoors is a chance to revel in summer style. Imbibe, munch, nibble, be in tune with nature, friends of all ages, lovers, fairies, long grass, ball-play and music. Bucolic, blissful, stirring a welcome sense of deja vu, & a dash of freedom.

picnic opera

Picnic Style Sharon Meadows Opera in the Park

Perhaps like me, a slew of meals on the plains have honed your picnicking to an art form. Giving you an opportunity to open up a secret door within. Many al fresco meals have past my lips, from childhood on, a variety of tastes and flavors. Running the gamut from over the top seafood buffets to finger licking good chicken in a basket. Rest spots while traveling. Lavish braais (bbq’s) served up, poolside.  Countless meals on wheels – on the beach, in the bush, in the park, tasty meals under sun and stars, in different countries, at different stages, from breakfasts to sunset repasts.   Each one delicious and memorable, stirring my senses and invoking a kind of magic, that never happens at indoor meals.

Music in the Park Paris Botanical Gardens

Music in the Park Paris Botanical Gardens

What makes for a pleasurable picnic? Do you choose a statement blanket or fold up chairs? Offer easy eating food like small sandwiches, cut up quiche and sliced finger fruit? Is a picnic a chance to show your al fresco mettle with flowers, punch in crystal and your famous salad on real plates, with monogramed napkins?  Perhaps you stake out dappled shade, bring walking shoes and your playful side.

picnic fare

Dining Al Fresco Spanish Style

Sunday found me in San Francisco at Golden Gate Park witnessing Opera in The Park.  As the arias rolled across the lawn, I could feel the embrace of love and acceptance rising from deep in the earth. I half closed my eyes as multiple years blurred, and throngs of people from past and present criss crossed and blended, while picnicking to the music.  Paper criers and bottle collectors went about their business, people clip clopped by on horseback, carriage, bicycle and on foot. Performers cartwheeled, aristocracy strolled in lace, children darted and giggled. Dustmen, artists, inventors and maids let the notes float into their bones.  Surreal and sensible.

A good picnic must allow for timelines to merge in a meadow.

python lady

The Python Lady strolls the music fair

 Some people sprawled on fancy blankets while others had blue tarp and chairs. Luxurious layered tables with centerpieces, mingled with plastic totes and paper bags. A gathering of unequals, equalled.  All expressing individual style in the choice of food and designing their event.

Rich and poor, old and young, tattooed pierced or plain can rub shoulders and be at one, with the magic of the muse in music.

For me I prefer to keep my picnic habit simple. A sandwich, drink, blanket that fits in my bag. I let the rich liquid in the voices and instruments ground me, connect me to the vastness of being human en masse.  Holding and sharing roots, space to heal and allowing for the passage of pain and beauty to transmit from deep in the soil and out into the cosmos.

opera scene picnic

Mingling at the Opera of Humanity

What makes a good picnic for you?  Is it being with friends and family outdoors, enjoying an experience?  Do you feel the past or the pull of nature?  Are you authentic in your picnic style? Do you cover up or let it all hang out?  Who are you when humanity gathers to partake of outside festivities? I love to inspire comments and conversation so feel free to speak your mind below.

If you are ready to bring out more of your inner style  to live with confidence, I invite you to work with me.

Joie de Vivre,


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Picnic in your own style — 14 Comments

  1. Opera in the park sounds so wonderful! We are having a final blast of summer this week (today is supposed to be a record breaker for heat), so I have a final chance for a summer picnic. As always, your words and your pictures bring up such a place of calm and pleasure, I get a bit of vicarious pleasure just from reading. My senses get engaged from the beautiful descriptions – when I eat my rather basic lunch today I will call up some of the sounds and sights from your post.

    • Dear Judy, I have a smile on my face from reading your welcome comment. Glad to share some calm and pleasure. I hope you do indulge and put on some opera while you visualize and eat.

  2. What a wonderful post you gave us today! Best line: “A gathering of unequals, equalled.”

    My favourite outdoor feasts are very simple – a bottle of water and anything granola-like. Time slows when you sit under a tree watching for wildlife.

    • Dear Susan, Thank you. I love the idea that we are in places where we can equalize our foothold on the world. I admire your outdoor feast ease. Time does slow and I love the line you shared. Life is wild no matter what tree you sit under 🙂

    • Dear Louise, I have to admit the British picnic I know has always had a practical turn. When I visited Brighton for the first time many years ago, I was shocked both by the giant pebbles and all the English covered up drinking tea from flasks. The only thing that was familiar was the flasks of tea 🙂

  3. I have to confess that even though it is 12 AM … this blog post made me hungry and hoping for soft grass and sandwiches with people I love very soon… I love a beach picnic… but sand in the food doesn’t taste so good!

  4. Hello my lovely Jen! Our picnic style is simply blankets on the grass upon which the 5 of us can sit; plates, glasses, cups etc. from the picnic bag as necessary with food that everyone in our little group will eat. A plastic bag for the rubbish and as simple as simple can be. 🙂

  5. The best picnics I’ve ever been to were the impromptu ones on the beach during my youth. We would combine our loot of mismatched bags of chips, gatorades, oreos cookies, and oranges that we often picked up out of the yard just before heading over to the shore. These feasts with my high school pals were some of the bet times of my life.

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