<div style="display:inline;"> <img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/1028731116/?value=0&amp;guid=ON&amp;script=0">
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

Yesterday, 16:32

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

Read more
Friday, January 12, 2018

More than 600 years after France’s greatest heroine was born, Peter Stewart traces Joan of Arc’s quest to become the saviour of France

Read more
Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Author Jerry Marterer reveals his favourite museum restaurants in Paris that are worth visiting for the atmosphere as much as for the food

Read more
Tuesday, May 16, 2017

We all know French baguettes are the best but how do you decide which boulangerie to visit? Luckily there is an official baguette competition to help you find the best baguette in Paris

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
Friday, December 22, 2017

Test your French grammar and spelling by completing the sentences with the correct answer and find out whether your French language skills are up to scratch

Read more
Learning French
Friday, November 24, 2017

Viewing a property in France? Brush up on this French vocabulary for house viewings before you go!

Read more
Learning French
Tue, 12:29

France arguably has some of the best red wines in the world, but which ones are essential to your wine rack and what’s the story behind them? Richard Hemming shares his insider knowledge of France’s most famous red wines…

Read more
Friday, January 5, 2018

The prettiest of French sweet treats, macarons are one of the most iconic pâtisseries in France. Learn how to make your own chocolate macarons with this recipe

Read more
French recipes
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