around the world with bash, please: provencal picnic

Bonjour mes amis! Oui, oui vous l’avez deviné. FRANCE! We feel pretty lucky with this spin of the globe. The entertaining gods smiled upon us and we got to take an imaginary trip to Provence. Our idea came easily, as Provence is such a romantic place and inspiration is easily extracted from romantic countrysides. Who would we like to travel to France with? Our one true loves. So, our idea spawned from that and we created a Provencal anniversary picnic.

Meet our dapper husband who after honeymooning in France one year ago with his bride, decided to surprise his wife with a frenchy lawn picnic on their one year anniversary. Pretty sweet huh? Oui oui!

We set the scene with a pretty floral tablecloth in traditional French blue. Easily a picnic blanket, and beautifully appropriate. The food was all delectable French bites this couple loves to share : Duck pate & cheeses such as a Mimolette, Brillat Savarin, and Roquefort spread on French baguettes. Saucisson, fresh fruit, pickled vegetables and brie and butter sandwiches overflowed from the basket. Condiments such as preserved lemons, lavender jelly, and artisanal honeycomb all took them back to their picnics in the French countryside. For dessert: lavender macaroons and delicate lemon custard tarts.

A wine barrel we picked up at a garden shop became the perfect “drink boat” when sawed in half long ways. Homemade lavender lemonade infused with lavender simple syrup was the non-alcoholic refreshment.

Lillet and Rosé were two of their favorite French aperitifs followed by the elderflower liqueur St. Germain. All three make for light, summery, sweet spirits for a picnic and can be easily be cut with soda water for a sparkling spritzer.

CLICK HERE for the rest of the post after the jump!

Mini tables were created with wine crates we picked up on ebay. A ceramic milkmaid pitcher housed our ethereal pure white hydrangeas, purple stock, amaranthus, and seeded eucalyptus  mixed with fresh herbs.  Vintage milk bottles were vessels for fragrant rosemary, sage, and lavender sprigs.

Adornments were created with herbs tied around Spega yogurt containers and repurposed into votives for candles. Simple baker’s twine added texture and softness.

Same with the anniversary ring box, simple lavender sprig tied up with twine makes pretty packaging without a lot of fuss.

We made our own preserved lemons and lavender jelly and we can’t encourage you enough to do it too. Preserved lemons are delicious on salads or with cheeses, sometimes we just cut and eat them straight. Simply cut a fresh lemons into wedges, submerge in salt (we used kosher) inside a mason jar, and put in fridge to “cook” for 3 months. Super yummy and easy. Your friends will be impressed with your frenchy expertise and gourmand know how. They add a little surprise in a simple arugula and oil salad.

CLICK HERE for more of the Provencal Picnic

Lavender jelly is delicious and pretty simple as well. We used green grapes and fresh lavender picked from our bush but we think white plums would be nice too.
3 lbs  halved White grapes
2 lbs raw organic sugar
2 small lemons
2 cups of lavender flowers

1 Place prepared fruit in a bowl (not metal), add lemon juice and sugar and lavender. Cover with wax paper and macerate for several hours in the refrigerator.
2 Transfer mixture to a heavy pot and slowly bring to a full boil. Taste for Lavender flavor – – let steep longer if lavender is too faint. Remove heavier parts of stems leaving some flower petals in the mix.
3 Lower heat to a light boil, skim and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until mixture begins to reduce and thicken, and the grape halves begin to break down. Check for a jell set at 20-25 minutes.  You want it to scoop with a spoon, but pass through the tines of a fork.
4 Once the jam is sufficiently reduced, ladle into jars and seal.

We designed our jar menu tags in Adobe Illustrator with an herbal color palette and bistro simplicity. Easy to do with pantone color blocks and a good printer. Cut into squares, punch a hole and tie on with baker’s twine. If you don’t have Illustrator, you can easily make these in Word as well.

Other things we picked up to set the tone were raw linen runners, a open market basket, glass cloches, and wooden cutting boards. The last thing you need is a lawn, a park, or even a living room floor to host your picnic. Oh yeah, and a lover with a love of French food. Ooh la la. All gorgeous photos by Tinywater. Styling and design by BASH, PLEASE.

  1. erin / dfm says:

    wowwwww! such a gorgeous date for a lovely couple!

  2. Jillian says:

    Love! I need a pretty picnic like this….now to show my husband ; )

  3. amy says:

    This looks like pure heaven!

  4. heather says:

    oh my! How gorgeous! You’ve out-done yourselves- the wheel-barrow and crates to serve the food on are amazing! Of course I’m all over that cheese and the lavender jelly idea!! Thanks for the beautiful and inspiring images!

  5. maggie says:

    my favorite bash, please post so far!!!
    ooh -la-la!

  6. coolitagain says:

    this is too beautiful! every aspect!

  7. anna says:

    so romantic, i would love to be on that picnic with my husband.

  8. So stunning…can I live in this shot right now! The bash,please ladies and tinywater alwasy impress!

  9. Marissa says:

    This is so beautiful. I wish I was there right now.

  10. Masha says:

    That’s so romantic and so beautiful! I love all the photos!

  11. Simply divine! I’m not at all surprised that something as lovely as this came from the talented Paige Appel. Cheers!

  12. Tabitha says:

    I absolutely adore the lavender macarons! Such a fun detail along with everything else. Tres magnifique!

  13. Lisa says:

    It’s so nice and poetic. I’d loved to spend time like this!

  14. Alexandra Duron says:

    what a gorgeous set-up! i would love to replicate this for my own outdoor party!

  15. The WV Girls says:

    Wow!! This is totally my dream come true. Fabulous job ladies. Loving this! xoxo

  16. Love every last beautiful detail! And I’m sure it’s all yum-dilly-icious food, too! Great work Bash, and Please!

  17. Lovely photographs. I’ve been all about Provence lately … must just be that time of the year {sigh}. It’s fun playing around in my garden. But. Tickets? Where are my tickets?
    xo Michaela

  18. MissHeliotrope says:

    More recipes? I love lavender in things & really like details…

  19. Gorgeous picnic!! My favourite kind of thing!

  20. summer says:

    i love that this is a lawn picnic, it looks heavenly. beautiful job ladies.

  21. The wine barrel boat is absolutely precious! Now to just find a wine barrel…

  22. AlpineGypsy says:


    Wow. My kind of picnic!

    My husband to be (we are to be married in 2 weeks, but have been together 11 years…hehe) took me out on a picnic for our first date. He surprised me on a motorcycle, and we went to a beautiful coastal spot and watched crashing waves while toasting the sunset with red wine under the pines.

    This picnic scene is close to my heart. What a beautiful job of creating a mood you did~


  23. G says:

    The right way to write it would be ‘provençal’, rather than ‘provencal’. In fonetics, the difference is enormous: the way it’s said (provenssal) and the way you wrote it (provenkal).

    Cheers. Take care

  24. Mariela says:

    Lovely! Very beautiful and romantic.

  25. Ann says:

    This took my breath away. I love this idea. I’m inspired to do it too. Thanks for sharing! =)

  26. Tammy says:

    Simple and lovely. Kudos for culinary accuracy from the south of France (I’m less than 30 minutes from the Provence.) One of our house favorites is lavender lemonade as well. Such a tasty thirst quencher. Reason enough to plant a bush (or two) in the garden! That, and the visiting butterflies. And I’ve had lemon bars on the mind, so the dessert just reminded me to go off and make just that. Thanks!

  27. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE- the pictures, the idea, the beautiful and lovely set up, :) Can’t wait to try to lavender jam recipe! I love to make lavender lemonade.

  28. Amazing work ladies! Love your graphcs and your labeling! — and Annie, so lovely to see you in front of the camera this time! You look tre belle!

  29. Simone says:

    Oh my! Please tell me – where did you find that tablecloth? I must have it! The pattern and color is *PERFECT* Please tell me where I can find it! XOXO

  30. What pretty photos and very much like the real deal! I’m just back from a bespoke hospitality assignment at a private chateau in Champagne…so looking through these photos just brings back more bubbly memories! :)

  31. Gal says:

    Do you have the recipe for those yummy looking lemon custard tarts?

  32. Jennifer Douheret says:

    This post is soooooo crazy cool. Love every single aspect!!!! Your gorgeous photos are so inspiring and they really speak to my heart and soul.


  33. Jessica Nicholson says:

    I can almost smell the lavender looking at this oh the days of summer. alas this will have to wait till next year :-(


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