Planning the Perfect Lakes Region Picnic
Even though summer has winded down, there is still time for the perfect picnic. The kids, and grand kids, are back in school. Barbecues, lazy days of boating, and bathing suits will be replaced with cider mills, hayrides, and sweaters. But why not take advantage of the final days of summer-like weather and head out one last time with a picnic basket full of delectable local goodies!?
If a do-it-yourself picnic sounds nice, your first stop should be Beans & Greens Farm located in Gilford. Beans offers a tremendous array of items ranging from local honey and “fill your own” balsamic vinegar to smoothies and fresh-cut deli meats. Their crowning glory, however, is the incredible variety of local fresh fruits and vegetables, perfect for making salads and dip trays. If you have time, the back of the farm stand is home to some undeniably cute, and very friendly, farm critters tucked in between the gardens and greenhouses!
A picnic wouldn’t be complete without a cobbler or pie so the next stop on the DIY itinerary should be Picnic Rock Farms, situated off Route 3 in Meredith, for fresh-baked bread and desserts. Along with a friend, I have sampled most of the sweets but the blueberry pie and stone fruit cobblers have become the go-to. As with most local and family-owned farm stands, Picnic Rock has a little bit of everything. The fresh-cut herbs are perfect for easy-to-make salads (i.e. watermelon and fresh mint!) and their dipping oils, cheeses, and jams are great with crusty bread!
For the grab-and-go picnicker, The Wine’ing Butcher, located in Meredith, is hands-down your best bet! Their made-to-order deli menu ranges from mouth-watering brick oven pizzas to hot and cold “sandos” (try the Monterrey grilled—you will thank me later!). They also have an immense assortment of premade salads and side items, as well as the best selection of meats in the area. Beverages of all varieties, adult and otherwise, should certainly be acquired here. The wine and craft beer selection is not extensive, but they make up for that by stocking the most appealing and hard to find labels. For a bright, crisp, and refreshing summer wine I highly recommend the Hop Kiln Thousand Flowers.
As far as your picnic location goes, there are numerous—as in almost too many places to choose from. This may be the most difficult decision to make with all of the scenic beaches and state parks that are just down the road! If you own a boat, or you are a member of the American Boat Club of NH, there are a number of public boat launches and docks to tie up to and enjoy new areas around Lake Winnipesaukee.
Once you have gathered all the accoutrements necessary for a successful picnic all that is left is to pack up your car, or boat, and enjoy the last of that wonderful summer sun! Enjoy (and don’t forget your sunscreen)!