Review: A Year of Picnics by Ashley English

Review: A Year of Picnics by Ashley English

A Year of Picnics by Ashley English is sure to provide you with some inspiration for your next picnic. This book that is a little bit different from your typical recipe book. 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.

Review: A Year of Picnics by Ashley EnglishTitle: A Year of Picnics: Recipes for Dining Well in the Great Outdoors
Author: Ashley English
Publisher: Roost Books
Genres: Cookbook, Lifestyle
Publication Date: April 4, 2017
Rating: four-stars

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.


❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃

Review: A Year of Picnics by Ashley English

❀ Lots of Themed Picnic Ideas

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.

❀ Perfect for an Outdoorsy Person

For anyone who enjoys spending time outdoors and loves to picnic,  A Year of Picnics by Ashely English 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.

About Ashley English

Ashley English

Ashley English has degrees in holistic nutrition and sociology. She has worked over the years with a number of nonprofit organizations committed to social and agricultural issues. English is a member of Slow Food USA and writes a regular column for the popular blog Design*Sponge, as well as a column for the quarterly publication Taproot. She is the author of four books in the Homemade Living series (Canning and Preserving, Keeping Chickens, Keeping Bees, Home Dairy), as well as A Year of Pies, all from Lark Crafts. Ashley and her family live in Candler, North Carolina, where they are converting their land into a thriving homestead.


About Lori

Avid reader. Contributor to The Candid Cover. Educator.

19 thoughts on “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

  5. Lori Smanski says:

    thank you for your review. this sounds wonderful. we live in Illinois and the winters can get dreadful. so while the kiddos were growing up, many times we would have a picnic in the house with food and games and lots of laughter and fun

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