ARC Review: A Year of Picnics by Ashley English

Book cover for A Year of Picnics by Ashley English

Title: A Year of Picnics
Author: Ashley English
Publisher: Roost Books
Publication Date: April 4, 2017
Stars: 4/5

Summary (from Goodreads): Everyone loves picnicking—dining in the great outdoors, cozied up on blankets, and surrounded by the beauty of the natural world. Now imagine doing it year-round, where the setting speaks to the foods served, and you’ve got A Year of Picnics!

All it takes is a picnic blanket and some inspiration to take a meal from so-so to sensational. Pair the perfect location with the right foods, and you can take your picnicking to the next level. On mountaintops or rooftops, in nocturnal settings or in daylight, even in winter, this book invites readers to look at picnics in a whole new way. The twenty themed, seasonal picnics are made all the more special with activities, games, and crafts that encourage people to explore the outdoors and connect to one another—over food, perhaps on a blanket, in a special place. Grab a blanket and a basket, get outside, and start experiencing the joy that picnicking provides.

Goodreads | Amazon

If you are looking for a recipe book that is a little bit different from your typical book of tips and recipes, A Year of Picnics by Ashley English is sure to provide you with some inspiration. Not only are there themed picnics based on the four seasons, there are activities and ideas that revolve around the theme of each picnic. This book is full of fun ways to take your standard picnic and transform it into an event with its beautiful photographs and interesting approach.

As you can imagine, the most opportune time to venture out on a picnic is during the warmer months and when the weather is just right. The themed picnics included in this collection range from a coffee break picnic to a full on high altitude picnic. I am really looking forward to trying some of these ideas once it becomes a little bit warmer outside. I have already got the bird-watching picnic penciled in my daytimer, as the Carbonara Nests and Bird Seed Cookie recipes look divine, and I just love the fact that they fit the whole idea of being outside with the birds.


Each of the picnics contains a collection of activities to go along with the menu and the venue. Some picnics have things that the whole family can do and others are as simple as stretching on your coffee break. There is something that will interest anyone.

Since we are just barely past winter here in Southern Ontario, I was only able to give the Winter Picnic a try. My family really enjoyed our wintry walk and we had a blast blowing bubbles and spraying the snow with food colouring to make interesting designs in the snow. The S’mores Brownies were an instant hit, as they are chocolate brownies baked on a graham cracker crust and topped with lots of gooey marshmallows.

For anyone who enjoys spending time outdoors and loves to picnic, this is a must-have in your collection. While it is fun to go picnicking, it is even more fun when you add some interesting foods and different ideas to kick it up a notch. I am definitely inspired to get out and picnic more often this year.

weekend cooking imageI have linked this post to Beth Fish Reads Weekend Cooking.

17 thoughts on “ARC Review: A Year of Picnics by Ashley English

  1. Alyssa says:

    This looks wonderful! I love the idea of having matching activities to go along with it. Definitely need to check this out, thanks for sharing!

  2. Jaime Lynn says:

    I haven’t had a picnic in a long, long time! This sounds like it could be a great way to spend fun time with family, in the great outdoors! I don’t know about winter though… I might be too big of a wuss for that!

  3. Beth F says:

    What a fun book — I’m always looking for some good ideas for eating outdoors or as part of hike. I’ll have to look for this one.

  4. Mae says:

    You make the book really appealing — how could you go wrong with a picnic?

    best… mae at

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