So taking our clues from the painterly masters, what is essential to a French pique-nique today? ‘Where’ is important: a shady, sunny, grassy soft, rock hard, flat, tabled place near water—on a lake, along a river, by the beach. ‘Who’ is a group of friends and family; people we want to share our time and food with. ‘When’ is critical because the weather must cooperate so that even a snowshoeing trek on a sunny day can be as acceptable as a perfect May afternoon under a shady grove near a pond. ‘What’ might seem trivial at this point, but in fact what makes a great picnic is the obligatory tablecloth, whether red-and-white-checked or not, a basket from which all the food magically spills out, and of course, the food. Open to interpretation the food can be as simple as a loaf of bread, some cheese and charcuterie, and a bottle of wine—or elaborate as a towering meat-and-game pie and crystal goblets of Champagne.