Thursday, February 25, 2010

What To Pack For Your Picnic: Sweets

‘It was now the middle of June, and the weather fine;
and Mrs. Elton was growing impatient to name the day,
and settle with Mr. Weston as to pigeon-pies and cold lamb.’

‘Two or three more of the chosen only were to be admitted to join them,
and it was to be done in a quiet, unpretending, elegant way,
infinitely superior to the bustle and preparation,
the regular eating and drinking, and picnic parade
of the Eltons and the Sucklings.’

Emma – Jane Austen


Here is the proof of how thoroughly organized picnics were at the time. And copious. I shall then leave you with Mrs Beeton (1836-1865), one of the most famous cookery writers of all times, who surely knew how to plan a delightful and generous picnic. The illustrations, drawn and designed by The Book on the Hill’s Illustrator and myself, illustrate Mrs Beeton’s marvellous list. Bon appétit and prepare yourself : your picnic basket shall not be empty.


by Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management (1861)

Picnic Illustration
© The Book on the Hill

*guest post by The Book on the Hill
Thanks Charlotte!


  1. I begin to wonder how they managed to stand up and walk around. This is entirely too much food! The realities of the elaborate picnic scene in the Kate Beckinsale version begin to hit home.

  2. Incredible! How could they eat and drink all that and be able to walk back in the end?
    It's very interesting to know about these details ... and it's lunchtime here!

  3. Oh yummie!
    I'll stay here for a while and (let my computer) take a nap but only after I tasted everything.
    Let's start with the (cherry)cheesecake's!
    ... hmmm, SO góód!
    This is my kind of picnic!

    (my computer is ready to crash)


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