08 February, 2011

Art of the Picnic at NGV

180 St Kilda Rd; (03) 8620 2444

The National Gallery has a rather marvellous thing going on for the weekends of the warmer months. Not content with keeping their art indoors, they've moved outside and are offering patrons the chance to experience the art of the picnic surrounded by the art of their sculpture garden.

The hampers are arranged by the on-site caterers, and they've thought of everything. Picnics, more often than not, are something you arrange yourself and the most careful of picnic packer can be forgiven for forgetting an essential in the haste of making the most of a beautiful day.

In this case, the organisers take care of all that forethought for you. Your hamper consists of a sturdy blanket, wrapped in its own carrying halter, cloth napkins and tablecloth, cutlery, plates and breadboard. Even the apple-box it all comes in can serve as a table once you've unpacked.
The edible goodies for two comprise a baguette, butter, quince and goats cheese, a quiche each, chickpea salad, a selection of cured meats and, for when you've nibbled through as much of that as you please, two macarons.

It's worth lingering over lunch while you ponder the serenity of this garden, nestled and protected within the city's most populated and visited precinct. Eureka peeks over lesser apartment buildings, but one suspects even those looking down from the comfort of their own home couldn't feel more at ease than the couples lounging on the dappled lawn.

While it's not included in the price ($35 per hamper for two), they haven't forgotten about beverages, and a bar in the garden (from where you also pick up your hamper) offers wine and soft drinks.

Pick your day right, and it's just about a perfect afternoon out.

Just watch out for this guy while you're there.
See the What's On page on NGV's website for menu and booking details


  1. Thanks for the correction!

    All take note: macaroons (two o's) are those flaky, almond concoctions that aren't quite biscuit or cake. Macarons, as I've now corrected the post to say, are the parcels of deliciousness pictured above

  2. Oo, I've organised a picnic box for this coming Saturday so good to see what's actually in the box. Immensely looking forward to it now! :)

  3. Hey Catherine, that's exciting! Let us know how it goes :)