What makes a perfect, relaxing picnic? Location, good weather, lovely company, great food, and because this is Southwest Louisiana, lots of mosquito spray. Picnics are an excellent way to enjoy the company of someone you care about or someone you would like to get to know better, but there are a few elements required in the planning stage to ensure your picnic is flawless and fun.
Pick the perfect picnic spot. There are so many ideal options in our beautiful area to enjoy a meal outdoors. Here are but a few suggestions.
Calcasieu Point Landing -- Located at 3955 Henry Pugh Road, Calcasieu Point Landing is a local park with a boatload of amenities. It serves primarily as a boat launch, but offers picnic tables for those interested in a peaceful picnic, panoramic views of the ship channel, and gorgeous Louisiana scenery.
Creole Nature Trail -- There are plenty of picnic spots to choose from along the 26-mile Creole Nature Trail. With marshlands, beaches, and over four-hundred species of birds, this Louisiana treasure is sure to set the perfect ambiance to enjoy a picnic. You may even catch sight of an alligator or two.
Prien Lake Park- Overlooking Prien Lake, you’ll find dozens of options for dining outdoors and taking in the amazing local scenery. From trimmed lawns and man-made streams and fountains to the shores of Indian Bay, Prien Lake Park is a twenty-nine-acre park certain to please on your picnic-outing.
Pack Accordingly. Part of being a successful picnicker is preparation. Consider the following items when packing your basket.
· A comfortable blanket to sit on.
· A cooler for items that should be chilled. Include ice packs or freeze water bottles to keep drinks and food cool.
· Disposable plates, utensils, glassware, napkins.
· A trash bag.
· Bug spray.
· A small Bluetooth speaker if you’re interested in light background music.
· Moist towelettes for easy clean-up.
· A small first-aid kit, just in case.
Choose the perfect cuisine.
The first step in deciding on food is to choose whether you want a picnic infused with tradition, or a modern feast. If you decide on going the traditional route, you may want to include time-tested favorites like fried chicken, potato salad, coleslaw, or cold cut sandwiches. To end the meal on a sweet note, include a southern favorite such as a few slices of sweet potato pie, or strawberry rhubarb hand pies.
Perhaps modern meals are more to your liking. Consider cold-cut lettuce wraps, fresh veggie sticks and hummus or beet and feta dip. Make blackberry and mozzarella skewers for snacking and sate your sweet tooth with chocolate ganache cupcakes or caramel popcorn bars.
Packing your picnic requires thought and preparation, but City Market and Deli, located at 710 Dr. Michael Debakey Drive, provides several easy options to make the packing a breeze. They offer a daily homemade soup, salad, and sandwich bar.
If you want to add a sophisticated flair to your basket, try their selection of stuffed olives, crackers, packaged cheeses, and wine.
If that’s not your style, you might enjoy something from their selection of craft beers and massive sandwich options.
With advanced notice, City Market can accommodate the needs of any customers. If you prefer cooked kabobs, or even something heartier, like spaghetti for your lunch outing, just let them know and they will do their best to find something perfect for you.
Bon appetite, al fresco!