We thoroughly enjoy our home province of Prince Edward Island! Our special Island is small enough that we can get to know all parts of it quite well. In summer, especially, we do a lot of day trips all around the Island. Most times, for our day excursions, I pack a picnic lunch and we head off for the day. Sometimes, I have a particular picnic destination in mind and have a good idea if there will be a park nearby that would be suitable for a picnic and, other times, it’s totally by chance where we land at picnic time. Apart from the opportunity to dine outdoors in our all-too-short summer season here on Canada’s Atlantic Coast, transporting our own meal means we can eat wherever we are whenever we are hungry without having to try and be at a certain location where there is a restaurant which may, or may not, be able to accommodate dietary needs.
Our recent day trip took us to the north shore area of the eastern part of the Island. I love PEI lighthouses – the iconic red and white structures are dotted here and there all around the coast of the Island. I had been searching to find the St. Peter’s Bay Lighthouse for some time and was determined to find it this year. So, this was our primary destination on this particular day trip.
It wasn’t particularly easy to find this elusive lighthouse but, with assistance of an acquaintance who provided directions, I was able to locate it. Access is via a single lane red clay road with a canopy of trees. The adventure was indeed worth it!
After we enjoyed the vista surrounding the lighthouse, not to mention the beautiful beach, we decided it was time to find a place to set out our picnic.
I knew of the small park by the water in nearby St. Peter’s Bay where I had had a picnic before (click here to view those photos). What I didn’t recall was the lovely gazebo at this site. This find was a blessing since the temperature had soared to 28C by this time and it was way too hot to eat out in the open with no shelter!
When we arrived, we found the large gazebo unoccupied so immediately went about setting out our picnic lunch. Someone had planted beautiful flowers in boxes around the gazebo and that formed a ready backdrop that I could not have planned or hoped for. Bonus! See how gorgeous the flowers look in the photo below and how they fortuitously match my color scheme and complement the color of the lemonade!
The color theme of my picnic was turquoise, always a summery color. The burst of hot pink in the drink certainly adds a punch of color!
I found the bowls, matching small salad dressing containers, and rectangular dishes at Walmart. Not only are they all color-coordinated in turquoise blue but the dishes come with the needed cutlery built in, a real bonus because there is no need to remember to bring cutlery separately.
The bowls match my insulated picnic basket. A blue-checked tablecloth and checkered napkins, already part of my picnic arsenal, were found to match as well.
A small model sailboat in matching colors and a collection of shells formed the centerpiece for my tablescape. I figure if I am going to dine outside, I might as well go all the way and set the table attractively! It makes for a more fun and memorable picnic.
For lunch, I prepared my version of a picnic buddha bowl, ensuring it contained contents that would travel. There is no one right way to make a buddha bowl but, typically, they contain some kind of grain (preferably high fibre), veggies and fruit, a protein source, and greens. I began by layering the bowl with lettuce from our garden. Our garden has been a good producer this year so the cherry tomatoes, celery (it’s there but it’s hiding in the photo), and carrots are garden-fresh. The grain I chose to use was a tri-colored quinoa. To make the meal more substantial and to add some protein, I included a half hard boiled egg in each bowl. The addition of the red onion gives a flavor and color boost. I love how colorful and healthy this salad is!
I often brine and roast boneless skinless chicken breasts for various uses and they are perfect sliced for a main meal salad or as added protein in a buddah bowl.
Some freshly picked blueberries from the Tryon Blueberries U-pick added a bit of color, texture, and sweetness to the salad. A simple balsamic dressing was all that was needed to finish the salad. This type of meal is great for a picnic. The meal is completely prepped at home and contained in a bowl with the dressing added at the time of serving. The meal travels well – I use several ice packs in my insulated picnic basket to keep the food good and cold. At meal time, it is simply a matter of removing the cover from each diner’s bowl and the meal is ready to go. Clean-up is super easy because the covers pop back on to the bowls and the utensils fit inside the bowls so there are no messy plates and utensils.
I love the little bottles in the photo below. When I made the rhubarb lemonade earlier in the summer, I froze some in these bottles to have it ready for picnics. The bottles help to keep the food cool as we travel and they quickly finish thawing completely when removed from the cooler as the picnic is being laid out. This is a super tasty (and colorful) summer drink – you can access my recipe by clicking here.
These high bush blueberries are great snacking berries and I often pack them in my picnic basket when the berries are in season. Today, their blue color matches my color scheme, too!
Peanut butter cookies are always a great stand-by picnic treat. They are easy to make, easy to transport, and satisfy the sweet tooth. For my recipe, click here.
Peaches are also a great fruit to take along on picnics. I love to incorporate the flavors of summer into my picnic menus.
I hope you have enjoyed a peek into my picnic in the gazebo in St. Peter’s Bay, PEI! The Island has many picturesque places suitable for picnics and each comes with its own unique view.
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For other picnic inspiration from My Island Bistro Kitchen, check out these:
Picnic by the Confederation Bridge in PEI
Sliders and Salad Sunday Picnic
A PEI Picnic in the Park
Casual Summer Picnic
A Canada Day Picnic in St. Peter’s Bay, PEI
A Casual Summer Afternoon Picnic
A Beach-Themed Picnic
A Pretty Pink Picnic
Canada Day Picnic
Oh Canada! A Picnic to Celebrate Canada Day
Labour Day Picnic by the PEI Seaside with Lobster Croissants on the Menu
A Plaid Picnic on the Verandah
Locovore’s Picnic – Food Day Canada 2016
Late Summer Charcuterie Picnic
Sunday Afternoon Wine and Cheese Picnic
Old Country Rose Afternoon Tea Picnic