Summer Travel :: Take Time For Lunch

[trip style = any]

"On the coasts of France and Italy, a midday meal isn't some grab-and-go affair. It's the centerpiece of your day--every day." - Adam Rapoport, EIC Bon Appetit Magazine

When's the last time you had a lengthy lunch? The kind where you sit under the shade of an umbrella or low-hanging tree without a care in the world?

I recently read an article in Bon Appetit Mag {my new magazine obsession} extolling the lost art of the long lunch. Inspired by a summer vacation to Tuscany and the daily afternoon ritual of gathering with friends and family to eat fresh food and cheap wine, the mag's editor, Adam Rapoport, examined the leisurely European midday meal.

It made me think. In the past few years, I can only recall two instances of an nhurried afternoon nosh. The first was in Europe three years ago. I was with friends in the Cinque Terre. There were long pasta lunches AND long pizza dinners {it's Italy ok, you eat a lot} atop the stone cliffs of the Italian Riviera. The second was on Wilson Island, Australia last year. Sitting at a long table in a bathing suit cover-up {hair messy from a morning snorkel in the great barrier reef}, an Italian chef prepared a four-course meal every day at noon. Not surprisingly, along with the free-flowing fine wines, the gourmet lunch lasted for hours. I haven't had a long lunch since.

It's true; we're just past summer's midpoint but that's not to say we can't adopt the not-so-lofty luncheon for an upcoming weekend or late-summer trip. In fact, I'm going to attempt to channel a smidgen of the Europeans' August holiday tradition this week on vacation in Washington's backcountry. There will be market-fresh food, there will be laughter and there will be cheap rosé, and aside from my book and a morning bike ride, I'm banking on lunch acting as the centerpiece of our three-day getaway.

Cin cin, I hope you find time to clear your schedule and fill it to the brim with family, friends and food to reclaim lunch.

[photos by @tripstyler]