5 ISSUES FOR £5 Subscribe to France Magazines today click here

What to take on a traditional French picnic

PUBLISHED: 15:56 12 June 2017 | UPDATED: 16:40 14 June 2017

A traditional French picinc © AlexRaths / Thinkstockphotos

A traditional French picinc © AlexRaths / Thinkstockphotos


As you would expect the French take picnics very seriously. Find out what to pack in your hamper so you can enjoy a traditional French picnic too

A post shared by nina (@ninaanna) on


The key to a French pique-nique is of course a good choice of bread. Choose a freshly baked baguette, picked up that morning from the boulangerie, or a flavoured bread like a fougasse – a Provençal flatbread flavoured with rosemary, olives or lardons. Sliced pain de campagne or pain aux céréales makes a good base (tartine) for a topping.


Related articles

Where to buy the best baguette in Paris

6 classic types of French bread



Pack plenty of cured meats – jambon, saucisson, rosette – which make tasty sandwiches, and some jars of terrines, rillettes and pâté to spread on slices of bread. The French love to crunch cornichons (gherkins) with those.

A post shared by Vomido #36 (@vomido36) on


Cheese always makes excellent picnic supplies. Either break off chunks of hard cheese like Comté, Cantal, Abondance or Tome de Savoie to nibble on, or take a creamy, soft type to spread, like a chèvre frais (fresh goat’s cheese) or a blue cheese.


Related articles

27 things you need to know about French food etiquette

10 expert tips for creating a heavenly French cheese board


A post shared by Maïko (@atelierparis11) on


While the Brits have coleslaw, the French have their own take on grated raw veg. Carottes râpées – shredded carrot doused in a tangy vinaigrette – is a firm favourite which you might see eaten alongside remoulade, shredded celeriac in a creamy sauce. Tomatoes are eaten whole, like a fruit, and radishes are also crunched whole, sometimes with a little bit of butter.


A staple for the French lunch, quiche is a real people pleaser. Buttery pastry filled with an egg, cream, cheese and bacon mix, quiche lorraine can be eaten hot or cold so is a great addition to any French picnic.


Related articles

French food you need to try at least once

French recipes to try at home


Savoury cakes

Another great addition to a French picnic are savoury cakes, which the French simply call ‘cake’. A ham, sun-dried tomato and olive cake is one of the most popular.

Sweet treats

The more elaborate French desserts are tricky to take in a hamper so opt for fresh fruit – grapes, figs, peaches, apricots, strawberries – and small cakes like madeleines or biscuits or even a tarte tatin, cooked the night before.


A French picnic wouldn’t be French without the odd bottle of wine. In the summer, you’ll often see families place bottles of rosé and white wine in the cooling waters of a stream running by their picnic spot.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Complete France visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Complete France staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Complete France account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Article by France Magazine France Magazine

More from Language and Culture

Friday, April 27, 2018

Known in France as la marinière, the Breton striped top is a wardrobe staple favoured by everyone from Coco Chanel to Pablo Picasso. Find out how the Breton shirt went from being a sailor’s uniform to a cult classic

Read more
Thursday, February 22, 2018

Famous as the author of Gigi, French writer Colette attracted much controversy during her long life

Read more
Wednesday, May 23, 2018

You’ve heard the term and probably have already eaten in a French bistro, but what makes a bistro in France so special?

Read more
French culture
Wednesday, April 4, 2018

You don’t need to break the bank to eat at a French Michelin-starred restaurant, as these 11 restaurants prove

Read more
Friday, November 24, 2017

Director and actress Fiona Gordon takes us behind the scenes of her latest comedy film Lost in Paris which is released in UK cinemas on 24 November

Read more
Monday, June 26, 2017

Helen Skelton recently moved to Canet-Plage near Perpignan after her husband, rugby league player Richie Myler, signed with the Catalan Dragons. She reveals why it the perfect place for her and her young family to live

Read more
Expats in France
Thursday, May 17, 2018

Get to grips with the French language: learn when to use accents and find out how French accents change the pronunciation of French words and how to type them on a keyboard

Read more
Learning French
Wednesday, May 9, 2018

With exclusive interviews from Cannes and showings of specially selected films, TV5MONDE are bringing Cannes Film Festival to you this May

Read more
Friday, April 20, 2018

Indulge your sweet tooth with our little guide to some of France’s traditional sweets

Read more
Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Whether its spread with salted butter or served with a dollop of jam, you really can’t beat the French baguette. Here’s how to make your own

Read more
Subscribe today

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

France Forum

Questions about France? Visit our free France forum to get help and advice from thousands of other Francophiles and expats. Topics include: property, tax, law, travelling, pets, education, healthcare and much more.

Join the forum

Most Read

Join us on social media

France magazine
Living France magazine
French Property News magazine

Enter our competitions

Win books, DVDs, travel and even holidays in France in our great competitions! Take a look at our latest competitions…

Enter now