It’s no secret that we’re big fans of the Cicciolina restaurant in Cusco. We love their laid back style and the consistent quality of their food, so when we heard they also offer Sacred Valley picnics we couldn’t resist checking them out…
And so we found ourselves on the banks of Lake Piuray about 45 minutes outside of Cusco (on the road to the Sacred Valley) sipping Pisco punch, admiring the stunning view of the Andes Mountains and having a picnic unlike any other!
Often, our readers tell us that they didn’t expect there to be so many tourists when they come to Cusco and Machu Picchu, so the Cicciolina Picnics are a not just a breath but a gust of fresh air amongst what can be generic experiences in the Valley.
Forget past picnic experiences of soggy sandwiches and luke-warm tea, for this is a luxury picnic experience. They essentially transport an entire kitchen and dining area to the picnic spot where waiters serve a sit-down lunch complete with ceramic plates and glasses, a country-style menu and the same quality service you would receive in the restaurant itself.
You can select from four different picnic spots – Lake Piuray, Maras, Moray or Pisac which are all located in stunning, natural settings in the Sacred Valley and here’s the best bit… you won’t see anyone else, yep, it’s just you, the picnic staff and the stunning view.
The food is perfect for the setting – rustic, country Andean fare that includes dishes made from the local ingredients you see in the fields around you. Beetroot and sweet potato chips with guacamole to snack on when you arrive and then a banquet with a selection of mains including a delicious alpaca terrine with caramelized onions and goldenberry chutney, quinoa coated chicken with the famous Peruvian huancaina sauce, potato and quinoa salad, the traditional ‘solterito’ mix of fava beans, fresh cheese and herbs and the essential ‘choclo con queso’ corn and cheese dish grown in the Valley itself.
Desert included a wild elderberry cheesecake served with hot espresso which we sipped as the clouds rolled in and the sky darkened before we happily continued on our way down to the Valley
Best of Peru Travel Recommends:
- We absolutely loved the picnic and recommend it to anyone who is spending a day in the Valley and wants something a bit different where you can pause and really take in the stunning Andes in style.
- You can choose from three different menus so speak to Cicciolina to see the different menu choices when you book.
- If your budget doesn’t stretch to a luxury picnic, they also offer packed lunches which you order directly in the restaurant in Cusco and a self-serve option where they deliver a more basic picnic to wherever you are in the valley and you then drop the equipment back later that day to the restaurant.
- Do check out the portable toilet for one of the best bathroom views in the Valley!