Late summer and autumn are ideal times for a picnic outdoors, relaxing in natural scenery with wonderful company. Many hotels and resorts featured in the Virtuoso network are surrounded by gloriously picturesque settings ideal for a gourmet picnic to fully take in nature's beauty. Everyone knows I have a special fondness for Vermont, and a picnic arranged by Twin Farms (pictured above) will be full of delicious local products before a specially-arranged evening stargazing with a telescope as you sip your vintage wine selected for you by the sommelier from their 15,000 bottle cellar. Enjoy this mouth-watering list of just a few of the places where we can arrange a perfect picnic for you!
Excerpt of 3/29/2021 Virtuoso article below by Elaine Glusac can be found HERE.
"A book of verses underneath the bough / A jug of wine, a loaf of bread – and thou,” wrote twelfth-century Persian poet and astronomer Omar Khayyam, describing paradise as a picnic – a timeless blend of nature, sustenance, and good company. The demand for socially distanced dining has spiked interest in outdoor venues. Picnics offer extra space – even miles – of removal from others, while chef-provisioned baskets ensure the meal matches the spectacular setting. The following properties pair gourmet fare with a range of wide-open spaces.
Table-to-Farm: Manoir Hovey
Pick a Spot: Share the bounty of rural Quebec at 36-room Manoir Hovey, 85 miles east of Montréal. The 30-acre estate with woodlands and English gardens on Lake Massawippi offers ample spots to enjoy the repast, but chef Alexandre Vachon also recommends taking it on the road for a leisurely drive through the Eastern Townships’ hills and farmlands. “You may be inspired to stop at one of the local producers highlighted on the menu,” he says.
The Spread: Locavore delicacies include Vachon’s homemade sourdough bread, cheeses – such as the woodsy Alfred le Fermier cow’s milk cheese from nearby Fromagerie La Station – lobster salad made from Gaspé Peninsula crustaceans, duck pâté and torchon using local La Canardière foie gras, and a bottle of local rosé. Virtuoso travelers receive breakfast daily and one lunch for two.
Sunset Aloha: Four Seasons Resort Lanai
Pick a Spot: “Lanai is an island sanctuary in and of itself,” says Alastair McAlpine, general manager of the 213-room Four Seasons Resort Lanai. One favorite among the many places to explore on the smallest of the six main Hawaiian islands: Hulopoe Beach Park, where a short trail leads to the cliff overlooking Puu Pehe (Sweetheart Rock) for a great view of the bay. McAlpine recommends sunset picnics for maximum drama.
The Spread: Escapists can expect an aloha-accented hamper with sandwiches (such as spicy lobster salad or grilled skirt steak), fresh fruit and house-baked cookies, and a bottle of Lokelani sparkling rosé. Virtuoso travelers receive breakfast daily, a $100 dining credit, and round-trip air transfers from Honolulu.
Out and About Napa: Solage
Pick a Spot: Spread across 22 acres in Calistoga, Solage’s 89 studio bungalows all have private patios for lunches and dinners under the stars. “Our bocce courts and two lawns are also prime spots to order from Solbar and spread a blanket outdoors,” says Solage’s Jay Heidenreich. Or grab a travel-friendly feast and set out on one of the resort’s complimentary beach cruisers along a preplanned route (with GPS directions) to explore the valley and nearby vineyards.
The Spread: Portable items for on-property picnics include spicy shrimp lettuce wraps, a fried chicken sandwich with slaw, and Solbar’s signature fish tacos, as well as the “chips and dip” – onion crème fraîche, caviar, and potato chips. The kitchen will also prepare cheese and charcuterie boards to take winetasting. Heidenreich’s recommendation: Frank Family Vineyards, less than a ten-minute drive from the resort. Virtuoso travelers receive breakfast daily, a $100 resort credit, and a bottle of house Napa Valley cabernet.
Head for the Hill Country: Lake Austin Spa Resort
Pick a Spot: After a morning paddle on the lake, spread a checked linen cloth under the shady cypress trees at Peace Point, the secluded corner of Lake Austin Spa Resort farthest from its 40 guest rooms. A pair of hammocks await. “You can enjoy chef Stephane Beaucamp’s picnic and then take a nap afterward in the lake breeze,” says general manager Jeff Holland.
The Spread: Wicker picnic baskets come packed with guests’ selections from the restaurant’s menu of health-conscious cuisine, such as “power bowls” topped with sustainably sourced salmon or organic chicken. Virtuoso travelers receive all meals and activities and a $100 spa credit.
Starstruck: Twin Farms
Pick a Spot: With just 20 rooms on 300 rolling acres near Woodstock, Vermont, Twin Farms has long encouraged pastoral pursuits in the Green Mountains, including picnics. Now the resort has added an evening picnic, complete with a telescope for stargazing after a rustic meal.
The Spread: Enjoy classic roast chicken with potato salad paired with a sommelier-selected vintage to match from the all-inclusive resort’s 15,000-bottle cellar. “A picnic at Twin Farms has always been a standout experience,” managing director John Graham says, “but now more than ever it completes a getaway to the farm.” Virtuoso travelers receive all meals and on-site activities.
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