A little elegance and a little outdoor dining and wine can be a wonderful change of pace this time of year.

If you’re a fan of “traditional outings”, a reader of Jane Austin’s Emma and other literature, or if you’re like us and are old enough to remember classic cinema and vintage TV, then you’ll have a pretty good picture in your mind of the quintessential Summer picnic.

A checkered blanket, a picnic basket, an array of fine cheeses, and maybe a light refreshing wine.

Ahh, nostalgia...

That scene could be painted with a romantic couple or a whole family gathered together, dining al fresco with pasta salad and fresh fruit, in a beautiful park with birds chirping and a slight breeze in the air.

Well, it’s not too difficult to recreate an Old-Fashioned picnic event – and of course, there is plenty of opportunities to make it modern and add your own twist.

First off, let’s get going on the pasta salad. It’s so easy to get pasta in a variety of shapes, colors, and flavors. You can put a new spin on just about any classic recipe – or go with Mom’s famous tuna macaroni salad if that’s what you love!

Here’s an idea for a Lemon Parsley Pasta Salad recipe.

Next, picnics are all about finger foods – fresh fruits, veggies, and dainty sandwiches with the crust cut off.

Here’s another easy recipe that won’t keep you in the kitchen for too long. This Swiss Chard Cheese Pie tastes delicious and can be enjoyed hot, cold, or lukewarm.

For vegetable salads and other exciting taste sensations, “O’Live A Little” stores in Canton and South Windsor, CT has unique, flavor-infused olive oils and balsamic vinegar.

It’s a real kitchen time-saver to have the right flavor combinations at your finger-tips.

And we would be remiss not to mention our wide selection of specialty cheeses – Imported fresh. Step up to the cheese counter and look at what on hand. Our fresh inventory is always changing. We have the perfect choice to go with any gourmet cracker – Or ask an expert about pairing a distinct cheese with fruit, chocolate, or a refreshing Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay!

Get creative and pick up little something special to snack on while taking a break in the great outdoors. We encourage you to go to have a picnic!!

Great Local Picnicking Spots

The word picnic is synonymous with going outdoors to beautiful, scenic parks and overlooks. Here some fantastic local settings, right here in Connecticut.

Heublein Tower – Is located off route 185 in Simsbury, CT inside the Talcott Mountain State Park entrance. Helpful summer time tip: Parking fees have been waived at all state parks for Connecticut residents.

Downtown Collinsville, CT – Offers Historic New England charm, and is situated right on the nicest bend of the Farmington River. Beautiful scenery and riverside parks and vistas abound. Have a picnic and then shop for local antiques!

Wickham Park in Manchester, CT is a real treasure. Just look at the stunning photos on their website and you will see they have many, tranquil, “themed” gardens that transport you out of your usual routine! The grounds are well maintained, there’s a lot to do and see for the kids, too. Or find a private setting and gaze at the Hartford skyline from your picnic blanket.

Harkness Memorial State Park in Waterford, CT is the ideal spot for a shoreline picnic. The expansive property, shorefront lawn stretches right to the water's edge. Stroll through beautifully manicured flower gardens that surround Harkness Mansion. You will really feel like you’ve gone back in time.

For a small state, Connecticut is plentiful with scenic locations for a picnic. Share a favorite spot of yours in the comments below or share it on Facebook.

Call out box: Historical Facts About Picnics

  • The French word “piqu-nique” was first printed in 1692, and was used to indicate when people brought their own wine to dine outside of the home = B.Y.O.B.

  • In 1748, the English word “picnic” was first used in a letter by Lord Chesterfield for an event involving card-playing, drinking, and conversation.

  • In the Middle Ages, picnics were used as a break during a day of hunting.

  • By early definitions, it literally translates to “pick a place”: An isolated spot for family and friends to enjoy an intimate meal.

  • After the French Revolution in 1789, the royal parks were open to the public and picnicking became very popular with the public.

  • It was customary and expected that everybody contributes or bring something for the meal = Pot luck

  • In early 19th century London, there was a “Picnic Society” started by Edwin Young.

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