A Perfect Day for a Provençal Picnic


I’m joining The Novel Bakers for Picnic Week!

The Novel Bakers been busy packing picnic baskets, baking, and cooking up recipes for a couple of months now in anticipation of picnic week, from a host of books full of inspiration, delicious menus and theme picnics!


I had some inspiration for a Provençal Picnic from

A Perfect Day for a Picnic by Tori Finch.


“Chic country girl and gourmet Tori Finch understands the joy of a carefree picnic. There’s nothing like eating outdoors to capture your sense of adventure, and add flair to the food—whether you are entertaining a relaxed crowd of friends and family or preparing a romantic feast for two. Whatever the occasion, A Perfect Day for a Picnic is your guide to enjoying the outdoors life.”


“Many times on a a dreary day, I find myself gazing out of the window and dreaming of Provence. The fields of lavender, the azure sea. . .”


“However, you don’t need to be in the South of France to enjoy a taste of the Mediterranean. Summer’s harvest of produce and a warm sunny day are just what’s needed for a Provencal Picnic. Pack a checkered ground cloth, a baguette or two and some cheese. . .”




Among the recipes included for a Provençal Picnic was one for Salade Niçoise, a picnic friendly & hearty salad. Keep the eggs, tuna and dressing chilled and assemble when ready to manger!


I’ve been hoarding these galvanized déjeuner pails I found for $3.99 at Tuesday Morning or Mardi Matin a year ago. Fun for a packing or toting French picnic lunch!



Haricots verts, green beans, trimmed and cooked until bright green and tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and rinse under cool water. I used a microwavable bag of cleaned and trimmed beans from the produce section.

Solid white tuna packed in oil, drained and broken into chunks

Bibb or Boston lettuce, leaves separated

Small new potatoes, boiled until tender

 Hard-cooked eggs, halved or quartered

Plum tomatoes, halved (roasted if desired, I used grape tomatoes)

 Nicoise or Kalamata olives

Anchovies if desired, I omitted

Simple French Vinaigrette


Simple French Vinaigrette

 pinch of sea salt

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

4 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 generous teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 clove garlic, crushed (optional)

To make the dressing add a generous pinch of sea salt to the vinegar and mix to dissolve. Add the olive oil, Dijon mustard and garlic if using, and mix well before sprinkling on this salad.DSC_3331-001


I filled my picnic basket with some French treats from World Market or Marché Mondial. . .

French Soda

 French Soda and a Rosé. . .


Along with Filet Bleu Galet de Quimper Biscuits, a buttery shortbread cookie


Un Mondo Herbes de Provence Salami




Pack some Brie and some confiture frambroise.



Fresh figs


And some cocktail cornichons


Provençal Picnic Details:

Déjeuner Pails / Tuesday Morning, a year ago

Quilt/ Kohl’s

Napkin Rings & Confiture Jar/ Williams-Sonoma, several years ago

Napkins & Assorted Picnic Treats / World Market

Galvanized Bottle/Picnic Tote, Pottery Barn

White Dishes & Flatware / Mikasa French Countryside

Bistro Glasses/ Pottery Barn, several years ago

Blue & White Transferware / Antique Mall


“Lastly, when you get to the destination and set up the feast, don’t forget to relax, take your shoes off, enjoy the moment and pour yourself a large glass–you deserve it.”


“This book is a tribute to the picnic in all forms, be it a family day at the beach, a trip out in the car to your favorite wild spot with a flask of tea and a hunk of cake, or a cheerful children’s party. A picnic is one of life’s simple pleasures- they are about relaxing in the great outdoors. . .Mostly, they are a way of appreciating the good things in life. Live. Love. Picnic.”


Bon Appétit!


Bring your appetite and your virtual picnic basket and visit Jain, Michael Lee and Linda for Picnic Week.

Novel Bakers Picnic Week

Jain, a quiet life

Michael Lee, Rattlebridge Farm

Linda, More Fun Less Laundry

A Perfect Day for a Provençal Picnic

Thank you for your visit, I’m joining:

 Metamorphosis MondayThe Scoop,

Inspire Me TuesdayWow Us Wednesdays,

 Tablescape ThursdayFoodie Friday

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  20 comments for “A Perfect Day for a Provençal Picnic

  1. Lynn@Happier Than A Pig In Mud
    September 11, 2014 at 5:22 am

    The salad looks beautiful Mary, now I’m craving olives… at 5AM:@)

  2. Marg
    September 11, 2014 at 5:44 am

    You are the Picnic Queen. Love Love Love your Blogs

  3. Cheryl
    September 11, 2014 at 6:50 am

    Sigh. Still sweltering in Vegas. I would love to be laying on that blanket by the lake right now and enjoying the food and wine and cool lake air.

  4. Lynn R
    September 11, 2014 at 7:11 am

    So pretty again! I love all of the blue and white and those tin pails are so cute. Wish I was there relax in the sun dappled shade.

  5. September 11, 2014 at 7:15 am

    What beautiful inspiration for a French picnic! I am loving your “picnic week”! Fall is upon us so we need a fall theme! Have a great Thursday! 🌴

  6. September 11, 2014 at 7:27 am

    It’s a good thing (and bad thing) that I do not live close . . as when you were staging the gorgeous Provencal Picnic, that magnificent blue and white watering can may have suddenly disappeared and found its way into my trunk!….I can just imagine having that picnic on the shores of Normandie overlooking the English Channel…have to get those Quimper biscuits and raspberry jam!…Must get that book…looks like it is filled with inspiration!

  7. September 11, 2014 at 7:29 am

    Your beautiful post goes well with the book I’m reading “THE OLIVE FARM” … France in all her glory! Love those pails. What would we do without World Market?! Picnic On!

  8. mary
    September 11, 2014 at 7:33 am

    Gorgeous accessories as usual. Would love to know where you found the watering cans!

  9. September 11, 2014 at 8:03 am

    Mary, Ooh là là! I loved this picnic cookbook! Live, love, picnic — it could be my motto! The salad niçoise looks so delicious and the dijon addition is such a good idea. I must find a Tuesday Morning because I always love the things you find there and these buckets are adorable. Your entire picnic is so beautiful. I can just imagine lying on the blanket with a glass of rosé and bread with cheese and figs! Trés bien! Linda

  10. Melissa Smith
    September 11, 2014 at 8:22 am

    Oui Oui..Mary!

  11. September 11, 2014 at 9:18 am

    C’est Bon Mary! I would love to have my dejeuner in a galvanized french pail! Everything looks tres delicieux! Once again, I think you have thought of every little thing, the french details are delightful and your watering can collection adds to the ambiance as well as your cozy lakeside setting~

  12. Peggy Thal
    September 11, 2014 at 10:21 am

    So pretty! Such a fun and perfect picnic for 2.

  13. September 11, 2014 at 11:12 am

    How I wish I could come join you at your exquisite picnic! We could sip some wine, snack on some crackers and jam and then enjoy that FABULOUS salad! I would make that salad for dinner tonight if I thought Joe would have it….I will ask him and show him this post! We could “picnic” on the deck! Thanks for all you do for these beautiful posts, Mary. We DO appreciate it.

  14. September 11, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    you girls are so darn entertaining for me, historical parks, france, my head is spinning round the globe ;-)

    loving the french blue, right down to your country french dishes, not a thing is passing my scanning eyeballs, even the stolen fig leaf. SO many glorious pics… love your dappled lighting too.

    VERY impressed with your salad in a pail… i would have never come up with that! i have mine chalk full of seashells from my morning walks, i would be fearful of what latent sea diseases i would get from them lingering so long in the sea, i still keep waiting for the radioactive stuff to start showing up on our coast! in other words, i love how you stepped out of the bod right into a pail!

    its all so sweet… i adore the thought and care you share with us. i know how much work this week has been for all of us, but don’t think for a second its not noticed and appreciated!

  15. Pam Greer
    September 11, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    Absolutely fantastic!! I love every single thing!

  16. September 11, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    Je suis amoureuse…! Everything is perfect….I would kill for fresh figs right now…and Salade Niçoise is one of my favorites for lunch, brunch or picnics…Bon Appétit, Mary…

  17. franki
    September 11, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    All my favorites right down to the WINE!! franki

  18. September 11, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    I love all the galvanized items, Mary, and your pretty flowers look so Provençal! The salad nicoise looks so delish. I’d be leaving out the anchovies, too! Thanks for the pretty photos and all the work you do to make it all so beautiful, Mary.

  19. Sherry Myers
    September 12, 2014 at 10:43 am

    Beautiful! Gorgeous eye candy! Thank you for treating us all to such a delightful picnic. What time and effort went into this post. Your work is as lovely as I have ever seen in a book or magazine. Just sayin’!

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