Table Magazine
Food is our common ground, a universal experience.

Food Stories by Table Magazine

A collection of food stories by Table Magazine and contributors from around the world.

A Summer Picnic on the Regents Canal

Picnic on the Regents Canal.jpg

I don't believe anyone would disagree that London is experiencing an abnormally warm summer this year. What better way to enjoy it than with a picnic on a boat in Little Venice? We worked with the lovely people at GoBoat and La Fromagerie to create this story and help give you a bit of inspiration for your precious summer evenings and weekends. 

Earlier this month our team visited the La Fromagerie team at their Marylebone branch to pick up a few delicious picnic bits. With a whole room dedicated to over 250 cheeses you can imagine how hard it was to choose what we would bring along for our afternoon in Little Venice. After trying a selection suggested by the cheese monger we narrowed it down to four.

  • Rove des Garrigues - A soft Goats Cheese that would go perfectly with our Grape Salsa Recipe.

  • Anneau du Vic Bihl - A bio-dynamic cheese from a farm high up in the Pyrénées. The taste is earthy and nutty with a rich, creaminess.

  • Gruyere d’Alpage - This one comes from a small producer and is only available for a short time each year. The flavours are savoury & almost toasty, from the unpasteurised milk being heated in large copper vats over open wood fires which are located literally next door to the barn where the animals are housed. About 2 cheeses are made from the milk of 50 cows.

  • Rogue River Blue - This salty blue has a vegetarian rennet and is wrapped in grape leaves.

To add to our spread we also choose some delicately sliced pieces of charcuterie, punnet's of strawberries, peaches, Amalfi lemons, chutney, charcoal biscuits and a baguette. 

Upon arriving at Merchant Square it's as if you've been transported slightly into the future. Located a stones throw away from Edgware Road Station and just behind Paddington Station, the newly built up Merchant Square is surprisingly full of activity. It's a hot twenty-eight degrees as we walk towards the docks, staring enviously at the children playing the water fountain as we go. To our right is a public green where a hopeful crowd is watching the World Cup. 

Fromagerie GoBoat canal picnic

Fifteen minutes later we've had our tutorial with the GoBoat team showing us how to direct the boat and how to get our propeller untangled if the issue should arise. As we set sail, the team waved us off with smiles and we began setting up our spread. It was a weekday so the canals waters were quiet leaving us a clear path to Little Venice, something that we encourage you to take advantage of as the GoBoats are discounted during the week! Onlookers stopped and pointed at our table of produces, we couldn't help but agree with them that it looked delicious. The water was thick with seaweed making it look as though we were floating on a sea of electric grass.

To start things off Aimee, the creator of our wonderful playlists, was in charge of steering the boat towards Little Venice. With the boats holding up to eight people at a time we had plenty of space for the six of us to move around, take photos and lounge. We admired the cafes, canal boats and baby ducks as we began to consume our feast from the cheese shop. The standout for everyone was the Gruyere that left us wishing it was available all year round. The goats cheese paired with our Grape Salsa and baguette was a close second. It wasn't until an hour later that we realised we needed to start heading back. We all agreed however that we would be back to the canals soon for another summer picnic. 

la fromagerie and GoBoat Picnic.jpg

Photography by Ola O. Smit + Ariana Ruth
Words by Ariana Ruth
Special thanks to GoBoat + La Fromagerie