Le Déjeuner sur le sable Português,summer is served.

  "look where I will...hampers are flying open and the green downs burst into a blossom of lobster salad.Weather allowing and bubbles al fresco,each parcel of joy like lunching on lawns"

Believe it or not we are almost halfway through the year now and hurtling full speed into midsummer.Sun,grass,sand and good food—this may be the closest thing to a peaceful getaway some of us get this season. So for those seeking to escape the fast pace of their working lives,take a look at some of the finest places to relax and de-stress while grazing on some exquisite finger food alfresco.Up until yesterday I had forgotten how wonderful a picnic can be.For the practice of outdoor lunches,Portugal offers some of the world’s finest places to relax and de-stress.Wide open airy spaces where you can extend the towel and enjoy the sound of the sea and the birds and the surrounding nature.While In the Algarve its so easy pack a hamper and head off to the beach.Clickety click, it was my 66th birthday and we made the spontaneous decision to do just this,celebrate alfresco. More déjeuner sur sable than déjeuner sur l´herbe,alas the nubile nude lady to sit between us was missing but,Zut alors,some things take a while to get finished.Did George ever finish that hat?
 How it all began,one of the earliest picnics
 The earliest known picnics were extravagant outdoor meals meant for groups of medieval royal hunters. Picnics would remain fancy meals for the wealthy for many years, before eventually shifting to simple meals that anyone could pack in a bag and enjoy in the sunshine. Now, cultures across the world have added their own spin on eating outdoors, adding games, specialty foods, and specific holidays to enjoy dining alfresco.
Ah! The picnic- what other meal is so synonymous with summer? Drawing it’s name from the 16th Century French word pique-nique which means “to pack a trifle”. picnicking began as a kind of pot luck dinner where everyone brought a dish to be shared.France is credited with not only coming up with its name, but also for perfecting this outdoor dining experience as an art! (Edouard Manet, Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe and all that) Why not do as the French do and stay in keeping with their love of joie de vivre!....and what a coincidence,yesterday. we just happened to have French neighbours for our pique-nique sur la plage However If you want to follow in English footsteps, whether its hats off at Henley, dining al fresco glitterati at Glyndebourne,having all the balls in your court at Wimbledon or languorously lounging like an Eva Langoria Bastón of good taste at Latitude,take a picnic blanket, a full hamper and choose a perfect spot to sip some Pimms.So wherever you are in the world,spending Sunday afternoon on the La grande jatte, down Franklin Engelmann´s way or otherwise,weather permitting,pack up a hamper and head to a beauty spot,lay out a spread and enjoy what´s left of summer.Saúde (Sow-OO-de) as we say in Portugal.
The word picnic did not appear in print in English until the early 1800’s.In England Picnic-ing became very popular at the turn of the nineteenth century. One of the most famous picnics for any Jane Austen fan takes place in Emma, when Emma and company take a trip in a courtege of barouche landaus to Box Hill (above).


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