posted on Monday 29th June, 2020
A compendium of picnic locations, picnic recipes and picnic crafts in Ireland.
In 2016, Mary and Dave were visiting Other Voices in Dingle and on a wet and misty Sunday morning, contemplating their return to Limerick later that day, they decided to go for a walk before the venues opened and the music started again. Their walk took them to the mouth of the Milltown and the edge of the town.
Opposite the old distillery building, a roundabout and the river bank seemed to act as the border marker for the town of Dingle. There was no traffic, the result of the festival and late nights for everyone the two or three nights before. Perched on the verge was a bench where they stopped and ate chunks of fruit and a chocolate bar they’d brought as a snack. As they surveyed the area, the view to the Atlantic, the fog obscured buildings over the river, Mary paused and considered the scene and the petite snack they were eating.
“We should start a website” she said. “For lovely, unusual, forgotten picnic spots in Ireland. Places people might not know about. We could describe our favourite places to have a picnic, and people could tell us theirs, and we could go and visit all these places that we’d never know about otherwise.”
“That’d be great” said Dave. “We’d end up travelling the country just to have a picnic. I suspect a lot of them might be like that time up in Killarney though.”
This was a reference to when the two had driven from a sunny Co. Limerick to Kerry, and then round to a famous viewing point over the lake. As they arrived, the heavy clouds had opened up and thunderous rain and fog had enveloped the vehicle, reducing visibility to about 20 feet.
The couple had sat in the car, nibbling quiche and drinking tea, all the while trying to catch a glimpse of the lake, imagining the lives of the drenched wildlife that surrounded them.
“Well, maybe…” said Mary “… but it’ll be fun! We’ll see so many places we’d never have known about otherwise! And it wasn’t all that bad in Killarney.”
“So people are going to just tell you their secret picnic spots? You’ll need a great name for the site to get people to remember it and use it enough that they’ll trust you. I mean, would you tell them about that spot in the woods beside the river, near the hazelwood?” asked Dave, cynically.
Mary thought about this as they gathered the chocolate wrapper and fruit peels.
“No.” She said. “But that place is special for us. I’ll call the site Picnics Of Ireland, and it will be the definitive place to get information about picnics in Ireland.”
“OK” said Dave. “We should get started thinking about this now then. Visit loads of unusual places!”
“Take loads of beautiful photos!” said Mary.
“Put up loads of fancy recipes people can’t get the ingredients for in the local supermarket! Instagram everything!”
“No, easy delicious food!” said Mary. “And a map that people can refer to and post a link to their favourite place on.”
“Um,” said Dave, hesitantly. “Not sure how you’d do that map thing. But ‘Picnics Of Ireland’? That’s incredibly catchy. “
Four years and lots of un-photographed picnics later, it has finally started. The project. We hope you see it in the same way we do: a long term endeavour, to suggest and inspire everybody, and ourselves, to go outside and enjoy the fantastic beauty that makes Ireland so special.
But most importantly, enjoy your meal wherever you are! Dave and Mary X