The Picnic Food Shop

Pont du Gard, pink arrow, Vion, purple arrow

After our trip to the Pont du Gard we drove to a small family run campsite near the town of Vion, beside the Rhône. On route we stopped off for lunch and were intrigued (again) with the love of picnics by the French. We want to try it too, we always do and it wouldn’t be so difficult, but it does require some prior organisation. We felt jealous walking past as we headed for the motorway services cafe.

Our view at the campsite near Vion

We are guessing their picnics are more special than traditional Irish picnics. I see no tin foil. I smell no egg sandwiches. No Fanta bottle with gone off milk in it (for the lukewarm tea.) What are they feasting on? And they don’t need picnic tables, they eat standing at their car boots. They don’t even need children, we’ve seen grown adults meeting at the car boot for lunch. Some have cool boxes, others have baskets! Willow baskets! We have tried to linger longer beside them and have a good look but the baskets… they are so distracting we don’t see the food. Oh and the neatness of the boot? Very neat.

Old path to vineyards at the campsite

Today we think we might have cracked it…. the charcuterie (you might know it as a delicatessen?) We haven’t been inside one yet because it’s a little overwhelming not knowing what everything is but the whole picnic mystery is making us brave enough to give it a try.

View of the river Rhône from the vineyard at the top of the hill along the old path

Plus, this could be the solution to eating/not eating the pictures of food on the ferry… do you remember? If we can locate a charcuterie near Cherbourg, we will not be tempted by the pictures of pancakes, white sliced pan toast and lumpy porridge. It will be worth the effort. It’s a bank holiday in France today as I write and the local charcuterie is closed but maybe tomorrow…

These little guys could be in your Côtes du Rhône 2022