Picnic Backpacks, Baskets & More


Picnic Backpacks, baskets, & More from Picnic at Ascot™, Picnic Time, and CanningPantry.com. Picnic at Ascot™ offers one of the most comprehensive ranges of picnic products and accessories available anywhere in the world. Manufactured in the UK, all products are constructed and insulated using a strong but lightweight 600-dernier canvas, making them both water and stain resistant. In fact these products are so good, the manufacturer offers a lifetime guarantee. Quite simply, we believe these are the best picnic backpacks and coolers you can buy. You will also find Picnic at Ascot's NEW Picnic Basket line. What makes these baskets stand out is the broad range of accessories included coupled with competitive prices and, of course, the quality construction that is the hallmark of Picnic at Ascot™.


Picnic Backpacks for Two
Picnic Backpacks for Two

Picnic Backpacks for Four
Picnic Backpacks for Four

Picnic Coolers
Picnic Coolers

Ice Cream and Beach Picnic Supplies
Ice Cream and Beach Picnic Supplies

Coffee and Tea Travel Collection
Coffee and Tea Travel Collection

Tailgating Coolers
Tailgating Coolers

Picnic Gift
Picnic Gift

Picnic Baskets
Picnic Baskets

Picnic at Ascot
Picnic at Ascot

Wine Accessories
Wine Accessories


WHAT IS A PICNIC?

Picnics evolved from the elaborate traditions of moveable outdoor feasts enjoyed by the wealthy often associated with hunting events. Picnics, as we Americans know them today, date from the middle of the 19th century. Although the "grand picnic" is generally considered a European concept, culinary evidence confirms people from other parts of the world engage in similar practices.

"Picnic. Originally, A fashionable social entertainment in which each person present contributed a share of the provisions; now, A pleasure party including an excursion to some spot in the country where all partake of a repast out of doors: the participants may bring with them individually the viands and means of entertainment, or the whole may be provided by some one who 'gives the picnic'. " ---Oxford English Dictionary [Clarendon Press:Oxford], 2nd edition, Volume XI (p. 779)

"The earliest picnics in England were medieval hunting feasts. Hunting conventions were established in the 14th century, and the feast before the chase assumed a special importance. Gaston de Foiz, in a work entitled Le Livre de chasse (1387), gives a detailed description of such an event in France. As social habits in 14th century England were similar to those in medieval France, it is safe to assume that picnics were more or less the same. Foods consumed would have been pastries, hams, baked meats, and so on...Picnicking really come into its own during the Victorian era, and enters into the literature of that period. Dickens, Trollope, Jane Austen all found pleasure in introducing this form of social event into their fiction. One can see why: a rustic idyll furnished an ideal way of presenting characters in a relaxed environment, and also provided an opportunity to describe a particularly pleasant rural spot. Painters have also been drawn to the subject...Monet, Renoir, Cezanne..." ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 602) [NOTE: This passage sites several sources for further study, including one for Japanese picnic customs.]

"The French might have invented the word "picnic," pique nique being found earlier than "pic nic." (The meaning, aside form the probably connotation of "picking," is unknown.) It originally referred to a dinner, usually eaten indoors, to which everyone present had contributed some food, and possible also a fee to attend. The ancient Greek "eranos," the French "moungetade" described earlier, or modern "pot luck" suppers are versions of this type of mealtime organization. The change in the meaning of the term, from "everyone bringing some food" to "everyone eating out of doors" seems to have been completed by the 1860s. The impromptu aspect, together with the informality, are what the new meaning has in common with the old; there is a connotation too of simple food, which may be quite various, but which is not controlled, decorated, or strictly ordered into courses. Picnics derive, also, from the decorous yet comparatively informal sixteenth-century "banquets" mentioned earlier, which frequently took place out of doors...Not very long ago, picnics were rather formal affairs to our way of thinking, with tables, chairs, and even servants. But everything is relative: what was formal then made a trestle-table in the open countryside seem exhiliaratingly abandoned. The general feeling of relief from normal constraints..." ---The Rituals of Dinner: The Origins, Evolutions, Eccentricities and Meaning of Table Manners, Margaret Visser [Penguin:New York] 1991 (p. 150-1)

"Picnic. An informal meal in which everyone pays his share or brings his own dish,' according to the Littre dictionary. That was probably the original meaning of the word, which is probably of French origin (the French piquer means to pick at food; nique means something small of no value.) The word was accepted by the Academie francaise in 1740 and thereafter became a universally accepted word in many languages. From the informal picnic, the outdoor feast developed. In Victorian Britain picnics may not have been as formal as country-house dinners, but they were often elaborate affairs. Weekend shooting parties and sporting events were occasions for grand picnics, with extensive menus and elaborate presentation." ---Larousse Gastronomique , completely updated and revised edition [Clarkson Potter:New York] 2001 (p. 883)