International photographer and wine enthusiast Bertrand Celce has written a wonderful piece on his blog about picnic dinners along the Seine. He explains that in France, many young people are working as interns and cannot afford a restaurant meal, so a picnic along the Seine, with a nice bottle of crisp, chilled wine is gaining popularity.
Good picnic foods are simple and easy to throw together. Look for things that don't need to be cooked like a baguette, a few cheeses, a sausage, those fresh tomatoes from the garden, marinated vegetables, a small bag of nuts, maybe a few containers of leftovers, and fruits like peaches and figs. Consider finger foods that everyone can share to avoid plates and cutlery.
If you don't have a river or lake or ocean nearby to cool you off, poolside dining is fun, too. Or you can put your sprinkler on low and pull up a lawn chair. As for deep city dwellers, well, hopefully there's a terrace or rooftop or fire escape you can climb on to search out a cooling breeze.
(Images: Dana Velden)