Favorite places in the Berkshires to enjoy a picnic are Tanglewood, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival and Shakespeare & Company. With so many gorgeous parks and public grounds, additional choices are simple to find, but getting great food requires knowing the options, so our recommendations follow.
ealTANGLEWOOD - Picnics on the lawn at Tanglewood are a celebration of the Berkshires – music, the outdoors and good food. Concerts are popular and well-attended and you'll need a ticket to get in. www.tanglewood.org 297 West Street Lenox (413) 637-1600
JACOB'S PILLOW DANCE FESTIVAL – Awarded this year with the National Medal of Arts, the Pillow features internationally-acclaimed performers on its 3 stages. Catch an early evening performance on the Inside/Out outdoor stage, then find a picnic table or a good spot on one of the lawns. www.jacobspillow.org 358 George Carter Road Becket (413) 243-9919
SHAKESPEARE & COMPANY - This acclaimed theatre is located on 30 acres, open to the public for exploring and picnicking. The Bankside Festival provides outdoor programs, and there's even a Renaissance Garden across from Founders' Theatre. www.shakespeare.org 70 Kemble Street Lenox (413) 637-1199
GUIDO'S FRESH MARKETPLACE - A favorite in the Berkshires, Guido's partners with specialty markets to offer quality fresh food. Berger's Specialty Foods has an excellent selection of cheeses, artisanal breads and pastries. The Marketplace Specialty Foods features deli meats and freshly prepared foods such as Baked Chicken, Cranberry Wild Rice, Spinach with Feta Pies and Potato Salad. The store has a good selection of wine and beer, and everything you need is right there. www.guidosfreshmarketplace.com 760 South Main Street, Great Barrington/ 1020 South Street, Pittsfield (413) 442-9912
HAVEN – Located in the center of Lenox, Haven Cafe & Bakery has a menu ideal for picnics. The sandwiches are exceptional (turkey sandwich is pictured) and our favorites are the curried chicken on ciabatta, the steak sandwich with bleu cheese, and the ham and cheese Croque Monsieur. The Aegean Salad and Cobb Salad are large and delicious, and specials - always changing - are served with fresh greens and make a great meal. Pastries are fresh and made in the bakery. Haven also sells practical, large burlap picnic bags. www.havencafebakery.com 8 Franklin Street Lenox (413) 637-8948
BIZALION'S – Bizalion's is a magical place. Helen and Francois have worked hard to cultivate an extensive menu of delicious sandwiches, charchuterie and cheese plates, salads. The blackboard menu includes a selection of sandwiches on baguette or grilled foccacia with cured meat, cheese, roasted vegetables, smoked salmon, and albacore tuna. Salads are fresh and delicious, such as the Arlesianne with tuna, red skin potatoes, onions, capers, anchovies and hard-boiled egg) and quiche lorraine. www.bizalions.com 684 Main Street #3 Great Barrington (across from the Fairgrounds) (413) 644-9988
NEJAIME'S WINE CELLARS - With two locations in Lenox and one in Stockbridge, Nejaimes is a convenient source for cheese, bread and wine. You can order picnics such as 'French Country' with cheese, pate and chicken breast; 'Summer Classic' with chevre and salmon filet or 'Mediterranean Tapas' with curried chicken, stuffed grape leaves and tabouli. Nejaimes has a broad selection of wines and they have local products and chocolates too. www.nejaimeswine.com 3 Elm Street Stockbridge/ 60 Main Street Lenox/ 444 Pittsfield Road Lenox (413) 448-2244