With September only 2 weeks away, I’m sad to say that the end of summer is slowly creeping upon us. Which means only one thing – cramming as much enjoyment in as possible!
For me, one of life’s little pleasure is the humble picnic.
I always thought of picnics as a quintessentially British affair, but my slight obsession with learning the etymology of words led me to find out that they may, in fact, be French in origin.
While the earliest English citation, in 1748, associates a ‘pic-nic’ with card-playing, drinking and conversation; ‘pique-nique’ first appeared in French literature in 1649.
Based on the verb piquer, meaning to pick/peck/nab and nique, which means ‘thing of little importance’.
By 1694 the word was listed in the Dictionnaire etymologique de la langue francaise described as a shared meal with each guest paying for himself. However there was no reference to this being outdoors. It seems this was the work of the English.
My most favourite fact I learnt however, was that there was an actual Pic Nic Society.
With the French Revolution in full force the wealthy French fled, bringing their picnicking traditions with them.
In 1802, over 200 fashionable aristocratic Londoners formed the Society with members being either French or Francophiles – with the enjoying theatrical entertainment, lavish meals and gambling, all in some hired rooms in Tottenham Street.
As there was no kitchen, all food and drink had to be bought in with each member expected to provide their fair share.
This week’s recommendation then aligns with the spirit of sharing refreshments and frivolities with friend – Tarquin’s Cornish Gin G&T cans Shop.
With notes of juniper, florals and pink grapefruit this is an insanely moreish drink and handily available online with a picnic-with-friends sized pack of 12.