Quick Recipes and Easy

Gourmet Picnic Baskets – The New Style in Al Fresco Dining

Imagine savoring your favorite dish, a glass of wine in hand, a platter of gourmet cheeses before you, dabbing your mouth with a designer-print cloth napkin as you delight in the company of a loved one. No, you’re not in that expensive restaurant downtown – you’re enjoying the open air, sitting beneath the stars on a romantic overlook. Perhaps you’re at the beach, a secluded hilltop in wine country, or a rooftop garden in the huge city. Wherever you are, you’re relaxed, pleased and relishing the finer things in life.

This is the kind of experience that the new generation of gourmet picnic baskets can provide – baskets with fine quality tableware, custom accents, brass detailing and all the accoutrements of fine dining. Picnics are no longer about gingham cotton, paper plates and simple finger foods. You can now have a four-star dining experience anywhere you wish – from a boat to a rose garden to a busy town square in an exotic locale.

Today’s gourmet picnic basket is an impressive show of craftsmanship, aesthetics and attention to detail. Not only do they contain full sets of plates, glasses, utensils, cloth napkins and tablecloths, and waterproof insulated coolers; in these high quality picnic baskets you’ll also find extras such as salt and pepper shakers, detachable wine bottle coolers, mini cheese boards and knives, corkscrews and decorative wine bottle stoppers. They’re ideal for special occasions such as honeymoons, anniversaries, dates, and holidays as well as any time you want to delight in a tasty meal ‘al fresco’. To own a gourmet picnic basket is to always have a veritable celebration-to-go; just pack some food and beverages and you can have an impromptu outdoor party any time.

Some of these remarkable gourmet baskets even go so far as to include real crystal, Wedgwood fine bone china, and contents decorated with stunning patterns made by renowned designers. Although some of these picnic baskets are certainly luxurious, having a gourmet picnic basket is by no means out of reach of the average person – pricing starts around $50. Picnic baskets are available for any style or budget. Designs inspired by the Scottish highlands, the French Riviera, African safaris, and Tuscan vineyards are just a sampling of the types of baskets available. You can also choose between sets for different numbers of people, baskets that focus on a wine and cheese or coffee and tea picnic, and various themes such as sports, baby, wedding, and seasonal.

With all the different designs and price points available, you can find a gourmet picnic basket that’s perfect for your needs and will always be ready for a fun, delectable meal in the fantastic outdoors – whether it’s a special event, a surprise for a loved one or a spur-of-the-moment chance to delight in a fantastic outdoor location in style.

Stephanie Gottschalk writes the blogs ‘Picnic Fun – Tips and Recipes’ ( picnictips.com picnictips.com) and ‘The Joy of Water Fountains’ ( waterfountainguide.com waterfountainguide.com) for Specialty Living Inc., an Asheville, North Carolina-based company that aims to share their like of people, nature and life through high quality water fountains and picnic baskets.

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