Picnic meals for Tanglewood and beyond
Photo by Jim McCullough, The Tanglewood Picnic by Gina Hyams
The candles are coming out at Tanglewood: It’s summer dusk, and the lawn is a maze of blankets as families wait for the concert. Newcomers ease through the crowd and admire the setups, from tablecloths, fairy lights, and china; to folding chairs and toddlers running in the grass. It’s picnic season in the Berkshires, and picnic is a flexible word here—a three-course dinner, a tailgate at the drive-through, or a snack on the lakeshore with a canoe trip.
Some people bring homemade strawberry tarts and farm salads, and many local purveyors of foodstuff give you the ready-made option of picking up a picnic to go.
On the elegant end, Blantyre in Lenox will make a Gilded Age affair out of potato chips, fresh tomatoes in balsamic and olive oil, cheeses and sandwiches, or a statelier chef’s tasting. On the comfort side, Loeb’s Foodtown in Lenox and the Elm Street Market in Stockbridge have a country grocer take on sandwiches, soups and salads. In those same neighborhoods, Nejaime’s Wine Cellars in Stockbridge and Lenox offer a range of composed spreads, as well as Spirited in Lenox.
To arrange your own French spread, head to Bizalion’s Fine Food in Great Barrington for imported meats, cheeses and olive oil, or their artisan baguette sandwiches. You can also assemble a picnic at other specialty shops such as Guido’s Fresh Marketplace in Pittsfield and Great Barrington, and farm stores and co-op markets.