One of my most favorite things to do in Paris when the sky is bright and the temperatures are balmy is to pack a picnic and go sit in the Luxembourg Gardens with a good book. Sometimes I’ll cobble together a lunch of leftovers, more often I’ll buy a sandwich on my way to the park (more on where to buy picnic supplies below). Last weekend, we toted along a sliced baguette and a mini-Epoisses, which was perfect until the moist cheese took a tumble in the dirt path rendering it inedible. Even so, it was a fairly idyllic lunch.
I have a favorite spot in the park, where I like to sit and read in cool and dappled shade. Sit. In a chair. Because, aside from a few narrow swathes of grass in the south section of the park, sitting on the lawn is forbidden. Interdit.
That doesn’t stop people from sitting on the grass, of course. They come, one or two at a time, parking themselves on the empty stretch of green. I often think: Don’t they wonder why no one else is sitting on the lawn? The answer, I believe, lies somewhere between “no” and “they don’t care about the rules.”
I know it’s mean, but I can’t help but get a perverse satisfaction from watching the gardien come and blow his whistle and chase the scofflaws away.
And then the lawn is empty again, a pure and unblemished sea of green.
Where’s your favorite place to picnic (in Paris or elsewhere), mes amis? I’d love to hear!
Where to buy picnic supplies near the Jardin du Luxembourg?
La Grande Epicerie
38 rue de Sèvres, 7e
Prepared foods, amazing cheese, bread, and other grocery supplies.
33 rue de Vaugirard, 6e
Drinks, chips, industrial-esque sandwiches and salads. Note: They’ll give you plastic cups and cutlery if you ask at the cash register.
Le Petit Lux’
29 rue de Vaugirard
High quality baguette sandwiches and salads, some prepared dishes, lovely pastries.
Bread & Roses
7 rue du Fleurus
Overpriced but delicious quiches and pâtisserie (I love the tarte au citron).