5 Swoon-Worthy Summer Picnics
Does anything say summer quite like dining al fresco? Around the globe, Four Seasons hotels and resorts elevate the classic picnic with enchanting settings, appetizing adventures and inspired dishes.
In a Clandestine Park
How better to enjoy this 15th-century palazzo and its gated gardens than with a picnic supplied by Four Seasons Hotel Firenze‘s Michelin-starred restaurant? “This experience is quintessentially Italian,” says Vito Mollica, Executive Chef and Director of Food and Beverage. “Our dishes are steeped in tradition, and Italians are known for eating outdoors on holidays.” Choose your setting – a grassy lawn shaded by centuries-old ginkgo trees, a secluded gazebo or a blanket by the park’s neoclassical temple – and pop open a bottle of Tolaini al Passo. The Tuscan red pairs well with a meal of artful dishes, from melon with shaved ham and airy asparagus frittatas to classic baci di dama biscuits made with hazelnuts.
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On a White-Sand Beach
A tropical lunch meets relaxed adventure at Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Island, a private isle ringed with nearly 9 miles (14.5 metres) of sugar-soft sands.
“This island is meant for exploring,” says Chef Olivier Barré, “and the picnic is a delicious excuse to pause and enjoy the view.” Guests can stroll or cycle to one of dozens of spots, on the edge of turquoise waters or shaded by coconut groves, that simply beg for a gingham blanket. Lunch, neatly packed into a bike-friendly wicker basket, is completely customizable, though bites like pesto chicken and local cassava or banana chips are perennial favourites, not to mention the kiwi Danishes. While you dine, keep an eye out for Aldabra giant tortoises – more than 100 live on the island.
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Aboard a Private Riverboat
Take in the Czech Republic capital’s sights – the iconic Charles Bridge, Prague Castle – aboard one of Four Seasons Hotel Prague‘s elegant wooden boats. Built by master craftsmen in Italy, the two vessels that sail the Vltava River are furnished with deep blue cushions and overseen by captains in crisp white suits. Begin the picnic with house-made pretzels (a guest favourite) and bottles of chilled Prosecco, followed by hearty salads and sandwiches stuffed with prosciutto di San Daniele or smoked salmon. “Guests see the city from a whole new angle,” says Chef Concierge Petr Zezula.
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On a Mountain Trek
Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail launched its picnic program last summer and it’s back by popular demand. “The Colorado-inspired meals are a convenient addition to mountain biking or hiking adventures,” says Kate Allan, Guest Relations Supervisor. Guests can earn their lunch with a walk along one of the Four Seasons recommended routes, such as a hike to placid Piney Lake or a tour through aspen groves to scenic Booth Falls. The backpack spread includes a selection of portable delectables such as the Resort’s popular house-made granola and sandwiches of shaved meats – pancetta, calabrese and salami, among others – sourced from the state where you’re enjoying them.
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After a Heli-Tour
This unparalleled picnic experience from Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas starts with a helicopter trip through the Valley of Fire, a 40,000-acre nature preserve known for its bright red Aztec sandstone. Guests have exclusive access to a private landing pad at the base of the Grand Canyon. Here, a picnic fit for royalty is presented: plates like ahi tuna crudo, Waygu beef carpaccio and blackened salmon salad, along with Champagne. The food gains relish from the backdrop: towering canyon walls and the winding Colorado River. “Travellers visit Las Vegas for myriad reasons, many never realizing the destination’s proximity to one of the seven natural wonders of the world,” says Hotel Manager Angelica Palladino. After this excursion, you won’t be likely to forget it.