The Peninsula, Beverly Hills will celebrate International Picnic Day (officially on June 18) with year-round offerings to encourage a relaxing outdoor dining experience. Peninsula Hotels are now hosting a wide range of destinations for guided picnics such as Central Park, the Great Wall of China, secluded tropical beaches and cherry blossom Tokyo courtyards.
A picnic, as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary, is an outing or occasion that involves a packed meal eaten outdoors. Thought to originate from the French word “Pique-nique” – piquire meaning to pick at food and nique something small, picnics date back to Medieval hunting feasts and informal outdoor banquets of the social and wealthy, and it is believed that it was originally similar to a potluck, where each person present would bring a specific dish. The exact moment when picnic went from meaning everyone bring food to everyone eat outdoors is unknown.
During the Victorian era, picnics were very important social occasions, offering a rare opportunity for young men and women to spend time together in the great outdoors. They were also quite elaborate – a picnic for twenty people might feature cold salmon, lamb, veal, chicken, ham, pigeon pie, sandwiches, fruit, a selection of cheeses and a variety of baked goods.
The modern-day picnic is much less complicated, but whether it’s a romantic al fresco meal for two or a family event for all, the spirit and celebration of dining outdoors makes it special – and The Peninsula Hotels serve up a collection of delicious fare in inimitable Peninsula style.