The best part of summer has got to be all the alfresco dining options. Patios are great and all, but when so many of them back onto busy streets, it’s not exactly a tranquil experience. That’s why I’m a huge fan of picnicking. I’ve got a lovely wicker basket I pull out a few times a year, but best is having someone make it up for you. When I found out River Cafe offers picnic baskets all ready to go, I immediately started drooling.

River Cafe picnic

Yeah, girl! You get a wicker picnic basket. Fishing rod not included.

River Café Picnic Baskets include the basket and all the proper accoutrements such as linen napkins, a blanket and cutlery. You have to order 24-hours in advance and then pick up at their restaurant on Prince’s Island Park. These picnic baskets are perfect for those lazy days when you can’t bear to cook and just want to watch the afternoon shadows elongate over the banks of the Bow River. But they’re also ideal for day trips to the mountains or touring the Bow River bike paths.

What’s on the menu? Start with fresh fruit plucked straight from the Okanagan, plus a green bean and quinoa slaw with a yummy lemon mint vinaigrette. There’s rosemary smoked almonds, candied ocean-wise salmon and Sylvan Star gouda with home-made seed and cranberry crisps. Then comes the entree. Choose between Gull Valley grilled eggplant, roast sirloin or naturally-raised chicken sandwiches. Finish off with organic cookies and perhaps a lovely bottle of vino (you’ve packed yourself). Substitutions are no problem. River Cafe can accommodate celiacs, vegetarians and any food allergies.

Naturally, you have to return the picnic basket, cutlery and linen napkins, but if you’re biking or hiking they can pack everything for you in a paper bag with compostable cutlery.

Who wants to sneak away with me to Prince’s island park for a taste of summer?

Picnic Baskets are available until September
$35 per/person
Order online: www.river-cafe.com or by phone: 403-261-7670