When in France, a favorite thing to do is to gather friends and have an impromptu picnic. It’s so easy there with all the fromageries and boulangeries selling amazing food. Nothing beats the joy of a carefree picnic outdoors. But if you can’t make it to France this year, transport yourself instantly with a Provençal Picnic!

a provencal picnic


You’re sure to capture all the goodness of a beautiful summer day. The best part is that it doesn’t take much to enjoy a Provençal Picnic. Read on for easy inspiration.





We’re so happy you are here. Not only are the three of us sharing beautiful flowers in the garden, we are thrilled to introduce our special floral guest, our friend Jain from ‘ a quiet life ‘ . Our common theme is “outdoors” and you are in for a real treat when you visit Jain. Because her “outdoor” is beyond.


a quiet life


Some of the best picnics we’ve had on our { antique buying trip} travels have been simple, spur-of-the-moment ones with a French baguette, some cheese, fruit and a bottle of wine. Buying things in small stores you’ve never been to before is always a culinary adventure.

It was the French (bien sûr) who started these wonderful outdoor feasts after the revolution.


picnic set with French antiques


On paper, a picnic is basically taking a sit-down meal from the comfort of your dining room table to the inconvenience of having to gather everything you need, setting it up outdoors and then sitting down on the ground to eat. But in reality, the picnic  is so much more magical than that, isn’t it? {What’s not to love about sitting outdoors with friends and family with a hamper of delicious food?}


French picnic


At home, you can have your picnic in your own garden, at a park, at the beach, or anywhere you’d love to go. Picnics are perfect for lunch, but also dinner. {There is something magical about spreading out a cloth or blanket on the ground or a small table just when the sun goes down to enjoy the gloaming.}

Food can be super simple. I generally pick up cheeses, cured sausage, cornichons, bread and treats from Trader Joe’s and vegetables from our local farmer’s stand.


picnic food


Other than the bread, the cheese and the wine, we love to make our Salad Niçoise – it’s the perfect picnic food!

While I am generally a cabernet sauvignon or merlot drinker, a good rose is an excellent choice to serve with this kind of casual French picnic. My French favorite is Whispering Angel, made in Provence.


Whispering Angel Rose


How To Upgrade A Provençal Picnic


If you want to upgrade your picnic here are a few suggestions:


Master a Cheese Board


The French are masters at simple every day luxuries. I suggest you take an easy and personalized cheese board to your picnic.  An antique French wood board layered with two or three cheeses and apricots, a few nuts, and a little serving of French jam is just right for your Provençal Picnic.

Because Mr. FGH and I came back from our little trip feeling a bit under the weather, I set up this very very simple cheeseboard for our picnic on the back garden lawn with baguettes. cheese, organic strawberries and grapes, because basically I’m still making him eat home made chicken soup for every meal! But there are so many delightful things to add to your board, you know what you love.


French cheese board



Upgrade your picnic basket


Using an antique French picnic basket or a vintage English wicker hamper really elevates your picnic .  I am always thrilled to find these in any kind of condition, the antique French basket on the right holding the linens and baguettes has two top swing handles.


antique French picnic basket

A Provençal Picnic
Antique English picnic hamper


Bring Flowers


Flowers always bring beauty to any setting, for casual as well as more formal occasions.

{Ah! You are thinking…finally it’s about FLOWERS!}


picnic flowers


It is so easy to bring the beauty of flowers to a picnic. In your own garden, of course, you can pick a few and arrange in a vase, a wine bottle, or as I did in an antique enameled coffee pot. I picked the pink alstroemerias from the garden, and added statice  in white and purple, and tiny little dianthus chinensis that look like tiny miniature carnations. And because two are always better than one, I arranged the left over flowers in a vintage French glass milk bottle.


french antique coffee pot

French pink and purple flower arrangement


Play Pétanque


Beloved and played yearly at Mr. FrenchGardenHouse’s birthday bash, you will see people of all ages playing this French classic game as soon as the sun comes out in France.  It’s like bocce ball, and while it would be great to say we play with these antique French wooden balls, they’re really just for decor. We play with French sets that are colorful, so our little people, their parents and we can see who actually is the closest to the target ball!  Because there are prizes, and this yearly game is competitive!

A Provençal Picnic

A Provençal Picnic

A Provençal Picnic


{ps.our antique wooden Pétanque balls make a fabulous statement to frenchify your interior!}


Up Your Drinks Game


If champagne is more your thing, up your drinks game for your picnic by making the famed French 75. Using our deluxe cocktail cubes, it couldn’t be easier!


Make an Elegant French 75 Cocktail


A picnic is one of life’s simple pleasures. It’s a relaxing way of savoring the great outdoors, and appreciating the beautiful good things in life!


French picnic


Ps. I’m showing off some of our favorite “bloomers” in the garden right now. June is such a perfect month in the garden here at FrenchGardenHouse…and while I can’t take credit for these beauties {I just buy them, and Mr. FGH does the rest} I do love to share them with all of you.


french country garden


There is nothing I love more than this fresh bright green color of the boxwood hedges at this time of year.


eden rose in a french garden


The last of the Eden roses, aren’t they ethereal?


french fuchsias

ballerina fuchsia in a French pot


My father in law in Europe loved fuchsias. I know that Mr. FGH does as well, so each year I try to buy him a new one. The pink and white one is called Annabelle, this bright one is called Dark Eyes, and does have the most amazing ruffled skirts in deep purple.

I hope you have enjoyed your visit today! If I could, I’d invite you all over for a Provencal Picnic here in our back garden. I’m not sure how I would manage to get you all over here, but that we would have a grand time I’m sure of!


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Please be sure to visit all my friends for their outdoor flower therapy this Monday.  Mr. FGH and I are back on the road, for a small buying trip for antiques – of course! Hope your Monday is bright and shiny dear friends!

strawberries and roses
Jain at a quiet life

summer table setting in potting shed

Mary at HomeIsWhereTheBoatIs

hydrangeas on a summer table

Pam at Everyday Living

a provencal picnic
and me

Lidy at FrenchGardenHouse






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