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20° & RAINY ON TUESDAY 26 MARCH IN SYDNEY
By Kara Jensen-Mackinnon
December 21, 2017
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Where to Buy the Best Supplies for a Perfect Picnic

The nine essential picnic eats and drinks.
By Kara Jensen-Mackinnon
December 21, 2017
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Gone are the days when two wheels of supermarket cheese and a packet of water crackers were all you needed to wow your friends at a Sunday picnic. Today, if you want to pull together a delicious and Instagrammable spread, you'll require: adorable picnic blankets, lots of friends willing to be impromptu hand models, flowers and — most importantly — an impressive array of food and drink. So, here's our roundup of the best tasty morsels and drinks that you can buy to make your picnic the envy of all your fellow park hangers.

MORTADELLA, CONTINENTAL DELI, BAR & BISTRO

Any picnic worth its weight in truffle-infused salt requires an array of cold cuts spread out on a roughly hewn wooden board. Continental Deli, run by the Sydney food MVPs behind Porteño and Bodega, is a one-stop shop for all your cured meat and tinned seafood needs. Pickup some Ortiz anchovies from Spain, La Belle-Iloise sardines from France, octopus, salami and, of course, a hefty package of mortadella .

GOAT'S CHEESE, FORMAGGI OCELLO

Formaggi Ocello owners Carmelo and Sogna Ocello got their start pedalling rare imported cheeses around local farmers markets. But upon realising Sydney's insatiable desire for all things cheese, they decided to open a permanent shopfront in Surry Hills. The focal point of the store is a seemingly endless cabinet stocked with over 200 cheeses lovingly selected from around the world. It also has very friendly staff who are more than happy to discuss the ins and outs of the best picnic cheeses. While we'll leave the majority of the cheese selecting to you and the experts, we do suggest the Prato Fiorito — a smooth goat's cheese from Piedmont adorned with edible flowers — for peak picnic Instagrammability.

GROWLER OF NATURAL WINE, P&V WINE AND LIQUOR

P&V (it stands for piss and vinegar) is only a recent addition to Enmore Road, but it's fast becoming a favourite. The brainchild of wine-writer Mike Bennie and Lou Dowling of Mary's, the wine store stocks an impressive range of natural wine, artisan spirits and craft beers. It's also your go-to destination for tap-poured natural wine, which is available in a range of sizes to go (including growler size, 1.89 litres, the perfect size for park drinks in the sun).

CUSTARD TARTS, SWEET BELEM

If you've got a hankering for a buttery flaky pastry filled with warm custard and dusted with cinnamon, look no further than Sweet Belem in Petersham. Owner Jose Silva is up early most days preparing his first batch of tarts for the hungry morning crowd, but the bakers continue to cook them all day because people like those puppies warm. The unassuming patisserie churns out hundreds of tarts a day, so it's no surprise that they're widely acknowledged as Sydney's best custard tart. And they have gluten free options, too.

SMOKY BABA GANOUSH, THE SULTAN'S TABLE

The individual who rocks up to a picnic sporting a giant takeaway container of fresh technicolour dips and a slab of still-warm Turkish bread is a goddamn hero. At Sultan's Table, the dip selection situation operates in a choose-your-own-adventure fashion where you can pick up to four dips depending on the girth of your container. Flavours include parsley, jajik (garlic yogurt), carrot, chilli, beetroot, spinach, hummus and smoky baba ganoush.

POTATO BREAD, BOURKE STREET BAKERY

Bourke Street Bakery swung open its doors in 2004. The carb mecca has since expanded to 11 locations. If you're after something hot, the pie and sausage roll offerings are second to none (there are vegetarian options available, too) but our top pick is the sourdough selection. The famed loaves come in a range of sweet and savoury flavours — from fennel and raisin to prune and almond — but our personal favourite for pairing with cheese, is the potato and rosemary, lovingly named, Mr Potato Bread.

CANNOLI, PASTICCERIA PAPA

For all your icing-sugar-dusted-ricotta-cannoli needs there's really no going past Pasticceria Papa, which has three locations dotted around the city. Hot tip — if you call ahead, those crispy shells will be stuffed to order so there will be a 0% chance of any sogginess. It's also worth mentioning that if you require sweet snacks on the larger scale the ricotta cheesecake is a triumph.

BAGELS, IGGY'S BREAD

It's a truth universally acknowledged that the true success of a picnic lies in its carb selection. If that carb selection includes bagels, and it should, head to Iggy's Bread in Bronte. The unassuming bakery is headed up by Yugoslavian-born Igor Ivanovic, who turns out both incredible bread and bouncy bagels from his oven. Get there early, though, as Iggy's is almost as renowned for its long lines as it is its great baked goods.

SEA SALTED CARAMEL BONBONS, KAKAWA CHOCOLATE

When the sun starts setting behind the trees it's time for picnic dessert. Cakes, pastries and cream filled delights are perfect fodder for the afternoon, but as dusk falls you'll need something a little... darker. Kakawa, run by chocolate maestros David Ralph and Jin Sun Kim, has all your decadent needs from almond praline to strawberry and balsamic vinegar truffles, fudge and the loved sea salted caramel bonbons.

Published on December 21, 2017 by Kara Jensen-Mackinnon

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