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Back at Breaux Vineyards, Jennifer
Breaux Blosser says visitors can pair a
bottle with the cheeses, charcuterie and
dips the vineyard offers in its gourmet
shop or, with advance notice, her staff
will put together anything from a small
basket for t wo for around $25 to a 10-
person feast for around $150.
“And where we are, cell phones don’t
work,” she says. So people can really get
away from it all for a few hours and “
indulge in simple pleasures.”
BACK TO THE MASTER
The pleasure of the table is what attracted
my dad—and later, me—to the Renoir.
(And the fact that it’s a beautiful, classic
painting, of course.)
“It’s the most common of subjects—
what’s left of lunch,” says Jay Gates, director of the Phillips Collection, the museum
in Washington, D.C., where Luncheon
“We all work so hard
cooped up in our offices,
so any beautiful day is
worth having a picnic.”
of the Boating Party is again on display
after four years on tour. “But there’s such
a conviviality about it. It’s about friends
gathering in a beautiful spot along the
river to share each other’s company over
a meal after boating on the river.”
The wine is still on the table. The fruit
is there for snacking. And, Gates says, the
painting itself is delicious.
“Impressionism is a visually delicious
art form that celebrates the present,” he
says. “And picnicking was one of those
No wonder I’m not the only one who
packs the cooler for those nights in Nyack.
The whole village is there—the white-haired music teacher and his wife, the
owner of the wine shop, even the mayor.
Some of them set up lawn chairs; others
sit on the grass. Just like Renoir’s friends,
we’re all having fun. But I’m the only one
with a Bambi blanket.