Now I’m not saying this to be snooty or seem to be swanky but I’ve been in some pretty posh restaurants in my time. And what’s crazy is that I would honestly rather have a picnic in gorgeous countryside / on the beach / in a Mediterranean village square / in a pine forest…

Most of my favourite travel memories are concerned with food but not one of them is in an expensive establishment. Picnics are far more memorable. And don’t you find that food tastes so much better when you’re eating outdoors? Oh, and to be relaxed with no time schedule – perfect.

And of course, no huge bill afterwards.

Picnic foods have the following advantages too:

  • They are easy to buy, especially if you go to local markets
  • The often need little or even no time to prepare
  • More often than not, picnic foods are good for you!

What to include? Well, just looking at the photograph above gives me plenty of ideas:

  • Bottles of wine
  • A bottle of sparkling water
  • Fresh crusty bread
  • A large bunch of grapes
  • Lovely local cheese

I’m a non-meat-eater so that would be just the job for me.  Although there are plenty of other delights that the local market can provide:

  • More salad-y type foods like gorgeous fresh tomatoes or crunchy cucumber
  • Fresh local fruit such as peaches, pears
  • Charcuterie – sliced cold meats
  • Artisan paté – meat, fish or vegetable
  • Plump olives
  • Hummus
  • Fruit juice
  • Pastries from the local patisserie

When you think about it, you can enjoy a picnic in just about any public outdoor space. Parks, a mountainside, riverbanks, beaches – these are the most popular but you’ll see some wonderful places as you travel. Many North Americans think that ‘outdoor food’ means barbecuing – it doesn’t. Fresh natural foods beat charred burgers any day and in every way.

Remember too that picnics aren’t just for daytime – just add a couple of well-grounded candles to create a truly romantic evening meal in fabulous surroundings.


I love this place – Colee Hammock Park in Fort Lauderdale. You can sit and watch the water traffic go by while you enjoy a lazy lunch. It’s close to the famous Las Olas Boulevard so you can stock up on picnic foods, walk a few steps to Colee Hammock and spend a relaxing afternoon.


Colee Hammock Park

Colee Hammock Park,
1500 Brickell Dr,
Fort Lauderdale,
FL 33301,




JJ is originally from the UK and has lived in South Florida since 1994. She is the founder and editor of JAQUO Magazine. You can connect with her using the social media icons below.

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