24 Wineland picnic spots for summer
A good picnic doesn’t require much more than a patch of grass, a shady tree and a lovely view – and these are not hard to find in the winelands. Many wine farms invite you to bring your own basket, increasingly however, you can pre-order a delicious gourmet picnic – complete with ‘proper’ crockery, cutlery, condiments and coffee to finish – at one of the many wineries that have realised there’s hardly a better way to showcase their wines.
Some picnic spots have been going strong for several years – in Constantia, Buitenverwachting was among the first to take picnicking to a new level of sophistication at tables beneath oak trees around the beautiful gardens. The savoury platter is laden with things like snoek pâté, cold meats, meatballs and quiche along with salads and cheeses, while the sweet platter includes fruit kebabs, koeksisters and chocolate brandy truffles, all followed by tea or coffee (R125pp). Hampers for kids under 10 are available at R45pp.
Contact: Tel +27 21 794 1012 or visit www.buitenverwachting.com
Steenberg is one of Constantia’s largest and oldest vineyards, dating back to 1682. Take a Saturday or Sunday to sit on the beautiful lawns under the Silvermine mountains and indulge in the standard basket containing panini, snoek pâté, trio of cheeses, cold meat platter, couscous salad, mushroom, thyme and parmesan tartlets, chocolate brownies and a bottle of wine – 1682 MCC, Cabernet Sauvignon or Sauvignon Blanc (R350 per basket). There’s also the Special Event basket (R500) which spares no expense in taste sensations. The kids’ baskets include yoghurt, dried mango, a mini hotdog, crumbed chicken strips, Melrose cheese wedges, a Smartie box and a Ceres fruit juice (R60pp). Vegetarian and Halaal baskets are also available.
Contact: Tel +27 21 713 2211 or visit www.steenberghotel.com
Solms-Delta offers picnic baskets made by Fyndraai chef Shaun Schoeman for R145pp, including basil-pesto-marinated farm vegetables with chive humus; sage and boegoe-flavoured feta cheese; olives, baby leaves and almonds; spicy sliced biltong; fried bacon, onion and potato mayo salad with vinaigrette and rocket leaves; local cheese with homemade blatjang, crackers and kraakbrood; chicken tandoori with cucumber and honey mustard yoghurt; lamb kofta with mint creamed cheese; smoked Franschhoek trout and smoked snoek pâté with caper berries and fresh lemon; home-baked Cape breads served with butter, cured meats and condiments; fresh seasonal fruit salad; apple tart with fresh cream and apple syrup. A choice of Solms-Delta Lekkerwijn, Solms-Astor Langarm or Vastrap, soft drinks or Solms-Delta Vogelvrij Spring Water is included in each basket for two. There is a kids picnic menu at R75 as well as a vegetarian picnic option. A guide will carry your basket and blanket and assist in selecting a quiet spot on the forested banks of the Dwars River or overlooking the farm dam. Bring a costume and towel on those warmer days. Booking is essential and the picnic season operates from 1st September to 30th April.
Contact: Tel +27 21 874 3937 (ext 115) or visit www.solms-delta.co.za
Le Pique Nique, Boschendal Wine Estate
At the gateway to the Franschhoek valley, Le Pique Nique at Boschendal remains an old favourite. Expect wicker baskets (R150pp) packed with freshly baked baguettes, snoek pâté, red-pepper humus, cold meats, cheeses, coronation chicken and salads unpacked onto tables beneath large umbrellas and fragrant pine trees. Dessert and filter coffee is served at the gazebo (Le Pavillion), one of Boschendal’s famous landmarks and also the name of its most picnic-friendly wine range. There’s a vegetarian option too, while children’s fare includes a ham and cheese roll, chicken kebab, fresh fruit, chips, yoghurt, an iced fruit lolly and Jelly Tots (R59pp).
Contact: Tel +27 21 870 4272 or visit www.boschendalrestaurants.co.za
If you love the dramatic Simonsberg setting but want to try something new, Allée Bleue also offers an elegant take on country picnics, from the starched white linen to the ice bucket cradling a bottle of wine or two. The picnic includes pâtés (snoek and chicken liver for meat-eaters; peach salsa and hummus for vegetarians), paprika cream cheese, cold meats (or crumbed aubergine) served with rémoulade and pickles, ciabatta with smoked chicken and mayonnaise (or brie and tomatoes), rocket salad with sundried tomatoes, olives and parmesan, prawn (or avocado) cocktail, Cape cheeses with preserves and biscuits, and vanilla cheesecake with summer fruits (R145pp). Children can play safely, confined by a Cape Dutch garden wall, pausing to snack on finger sandwiches, sausage rolls, mini meatballs, yoghurt, sweets and fruit juice (R45).
Contact: Tel +27 21 874 1021 or visit www.alleebleue.com
In Franschhoek itself, Rickety Bridge offers a gourmet and regular picnic at R145pp and R120pp respectively, and has recently introduced a picnic and wine pairing, where three tasting-size glasses of wines can be sampled with three elements from the basket – such as garden-fresh crudités with Springbok carpaccio, chicken and peppadew kebabs or salmon roulade (R185 to R195 depending on choice of wine flight). Bookings are made for only 10 people or more with a 24-hour notice.
Contact: Tel +27 21 876 2129 or visit www.ricketybridgewinery.com
Mont Rochelle really ups the ante with its three sumptuous picnic options to be enjoyed next to the dam (blankets provided) or at tables alongside a boules court in the garden. The country basket contains cheeses, condiments and Italian cold cuts; sliced smoked Franschhoek trout with lemon and capers; smoked chicken and cottage cheese wraps; and flourless chocolate cake with strawberries (R290 per couple; R85 for children who also get crisps, chocolate and juice thrown in). You can upgrade to a gourmet basket (most of the above plus some seafood and marinated grilled Provençal vegetables, followed by panna cotta and Champagne soaked seasonal fruits at R370 per couple), while the deluxe basket includes tiger prawns with cocktail sauce; oysters with lemon and Tabasco; herb-grilled chicken; and a mouth-watering selection of petit fours and chocolates (R450 per basket).
Contact: Tel +27 21 876 2770 or visit www.montrochelle.co.za
Picnic along the Franschhoek river under grand oak trees on the boutique wine estate of Holdenmanz. The Franschoek Kitchen provides a packed basket of local cheeses and charcuterie, skewered chicken and beef satays, a savoury mushroom quiche, smoked salmon pate and tomato chutney, chicken liver pate, seasonal farm jams, a garden salad, homemade bread, donuts and chocolate brownies – for just R160 per person. Each basket for two includes a bottle of mineral water.
Contact: Tel +27 21 876 2729 or visit www.holdenmanz.com
You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to picnicking at Spier. You can sit around the lake or meander down the banks of the Eerste River. Choose your picnic box online or visit the takeaway picnic deli Eight to Go. Online you have the following choices: gourmet picnic (R298 per couple), relaxed picnic (R220 per couple), raw picnic (R320 per couple), vegetarian picnic (R270 per couple), heritage picnic (R300 per couple) and a kids picnic (R70 per child). At Eight to Go, situated close to the tasting room, you can fill your basket with fresh breads and sandwiches, roast chicken and much more as you make your way through the deli. Spier is spacious and comfortable and you can choose to take a seat at the picnic benches or lounge on the lawns. Picnic bookings must be made two days in advance.
Contact: Tel +27 21 809 1153 or visit www.spier.co.za
For Cape specialties with a German touch, try the ‘picnic barrel platters’ at Blaauwklippen. In addition to pâtés and cheeses, the standard option includes a selection of cold meats, wienerwurst, oriental spring rolls, chicken samoosa and berry cheesecakes (R165pp or R210pp including a bottle of Landau Red, White or Rosé and a bottle of Aqua-Bella water per couple). The ‘exclusive’ option also includes delicacies like homemade melba toast, fried haloumi, pastrami and traditional pickled fish (R200pp or R245pp with wine and water). Kids can enjoy toffee apples, yoghurt, chocolate chip cookies and fruit skewers at R55.
Contact: Tel +27 21 880 8222 or visit www.blaauwklippen.com
At Zorgvliet, you can create your own basket at the deli, or order the ‘Banhoek basket’ which includes sandwich ham and roast beef, blue cheese and cheddar with figs, olives and biscuits, salads, a beef, chicken or vegetarian wrap and something sweet (R395 per couple including wine). Grab a family basket with two salads, a whole roasted chicken, four baguettes and flavoured cream cheese (R375 including wine). A special occasion? Upgrade to the Silver Myn basket where the cold meats include parma ham, salami, pancetta and smoked chicken, and a selection of gourmet cheeses (R485 per couple including wine). For children there’s a jungle gym and a choice of two R55 or R65 picnics, one with a cheddar and ham roll and muffin, the other with a chicken burger and brownie (plus sweets, chips and a ‘squirrel’s beverage’).
Contact: Tel +27 21 885 1399 or visit www.zorgvliet.co.za
Long known for its unpretentious hospitality, Hartenberg offers a country picnic hamper packed to the brim with Eleanor’s snoek pate, beetroot and cumin pate, homemade lamb and pork terrine, tomato and basil salad, potato salad, chicken and thyme tart, farm bread, rosemary foccacia, cheeses and a chocolate brownie. (R145pp including juice or a half bottle of wine!). Focusing on sustainability, the ingredients are sourced locally and the picnic containers are made of biodegradable materials. Enjoy it on the lawns, or take it with you along the estate’s popular wetland walk.
Contact: Tel +27 21 865 2541
Warwick is the first estate in Stellenbosch to open 365 days of the year, where you can picnic and go on a ‘Big 5 Wine Safari’ (a guided 4×4 tour through the vineyards for R50pp, R85pp with wine tasting, free for children under 12). You can sit on the lawns spilling out onto the dam, where you can relax under umbrellas on scatter cushions and beanbags while being served by your own picnic butler; in ‘The Forest Courtyard’ a gravelled area with tables and chairs adjacent to the water feature and a jungle gym; or in ‘The Pods’, designer-rustic wooden shelters flanking the dam. Served in zero-carbon-footprint packaging, the menus change regularly but the promise is to satisfy the most discerning palate and most sophisticated gourmand (R299 for two, R49 for the kiddies’ picnic).
Contact: Tel +27 21 884 4410 or visit www.warwickwine.com
Hermitage restaurant at Hazendal offers a picnic (R130pp, R35 per child) comprising homemade bread, chicken liver paté, spinach and feta quiche, Greek salad with fresh homemade rolls, crispy chicken pieces, sliced ham, cheese and biscuits, chocolate brownies and fresh fruit salad. On Sunday afternoons you can also enjoy live music/theatre in the Plaasteater.
Contact: Tel +27 21 903 5034 or visit www.hazendal.co.za
Morgenhof offers two meat picnics as well as a vegetarian option, all include a Greek salad, potato and spring onion salad, ciabatta, vanilla cupcakes and a selection of cheeses (R150pp). Kiddies get a choice of a hot dog, beef burger or chicken strips with potato wedges, a juice and vanilla cupcake (R60pp) Bring your own blanket and sit anywhere on the beautiful lawns.
Contact: Tel +27 21 889 2024 or visit www.morgenhof.com
Remhoogte’s picnic basket (R250 for two adults sharing) contains french bread, a tub of olives and pickles, platter of cold meats and salads, cheese platter, a dessert and a bottle of wine (Remhoogte Chenin Blanc or Aigle Noir Red Blend). Enjoy while watching zebra, wildebeest and springbok graze metres away against a breathtaking Simonsberg, Jonkershoek, Stellenbosch and Helderberg mountain backdrop.
Contact: Tel +27 21 889 5005 or visit www.remhoogte.co.za.
Now also home to a lion park, this estate has huge gardens dotted with gazebos and benches and there are many shady spots for spreading your own picnic blanket. Hudson’s restaurant offers deluxe picnic baskets containing a selection of cold meats and salads, fresh bread, a platter of cheeses, biscuits and preserves, fresh fruit and homemade muffins (R280 for two people). Bunny buckets for small children include a hot dog, cheese, crisps, juice and sweets (R48 per child).
On tree-shaded lawns sloping down to the lake, enjoy freshly baked French loaf with snoek pate and chicken liver pate, rare roast beef sirloin with homemade mustard, grilled chicken fillet with a sweet chilli sauce, garden greens and baby tomatoes, potato salad, homemade spinach and feta quiche, selection of cheeses, biscuits and preserves, mini milk tart, koeksister and fresh fruit (R290 per basket for two; R390 for halaal). The kids’ basket includes a chicken drumstick and cheese roll, chips, lollipop and fruit juice (R60 per child). You can also pre-book a choice of two braai baskets with the standard garlic bread, Greek salad, potato, chive and bacon salad, boerewors, a selection of cheeses, biscuits and preserves, mini milk tarts, koeksisters, fresh fruit and different meats depending on the basket (R290 or R360 for two; Halaal R450 or R475 for two; minimum two baskets to be ordered, wood, firelighters and grid provided). Order to be made 72 hours in advance.
Contact: Tel +27 21 900 5700 or visit www.zevenwacht.co.za
Rhebokskloof Wine Estate
Breathtaking views and gardens make this a popular picnic spot, with baskets (R265 for two people) including fresh baguettes with gypsy ham, rocket, parmesan cheese and a sweet melon and African rock chilli salsa; Franschhoek smoked salmon trout and cream cheese; freshly baked spinach and feta quiche topped with olive tapenade; homemade Cajun rubbed chicken schnitzel served with African rock chilli salsa; a platter of five different local cheeses with biscuits; pasta salad with smoked chicken, marinated peppers, sun-dried tomatoes and basil dressing; mini pecan nut tarts with a honey and rose cream; and double coated chocolate brownies.
Contact: Tel +27 21 869 8386 or visit www.rhebokskloof.co.za.
During the harvest, you can order a picnic from Jason’s Hill restaurant and enjoy the surrounding Badsberg mountains. The picnics include a selection of cheeses, smoked chicken paté, ciabatta, cold meats (ham and beef), an apple, yoghurt and a bottle of wine – Sauvignon Blanc, Rosé or Merlot (R250 per couple). Kids can snack on a sweets, ham and cheese sandwich or croissant, a yoghurt and a cool drink (R50pp). Blanket and glasses provided.
Contact: Tel +27 21 344 3256 or visit www.badsberg.co.za.
Klein River Cheeses
Enjoy delicious picnic lunches on the banks of the tranquil Klein River, under the trees on the extensive lawns or on the veranda of the beautifully renovated Picnic Shed. The basket option (R220 per couple) contains warm bread, mini quiches, seasonal salads, fruit or preserves, a Klein River cheese platter and cold meats; there is also a choose-your-own option. Kiddies mini picnics (R30pp – R50pp) are served in individual picnic baskets.
Contact: Tel +27 28 341 0693 or visit www.kleinrivercheese.co.za
Ashton Wine Cellar
Sit on the stoep or soft green grass (blankets provided) and tuck into ciabatta, a variety of cheeses, olives, figs, carpaccio, chocolate for dessert, and a bottle of wine (dry white, red, rose or semi-sweet) at only R120 for two adults sharing. A kid’s basket (R30) is available with a bacon and breadstick roll, a hotdog, juice and sweets. There’s a Jungle gym for kids and a giant chess board for intellectuals! Booking is essential at least 24 hours in advance.
Contact: Tel +27 23 615 1135 or visit www.ashtonkelder.co.za.
At Viljoensdrift, you can take a boat ride on the Breede River, lay your blanket on its banks or simply sit on the deck. Picnics consist of an array of breads, cold meats, pates, preserves, simple snacks, sweets and seasonal salads from their choose your own selection. Baskets are packed for two or three people, each with fully biodegradable and compostable utensils.
Contact: Tel +27 23 615 6017 or visit www.viljoensdrift.co.za
Cape Point Vineyards, Noordhoek
Less than an hour’s drive from Cape Point, lies Cape Point Vineyards. Settle into the backdrop of the Noordhoek amphitheatre which overlooks Noordhoek beach, wild fynbos and manicured vineyards. A wide selection of picnic baskets are offered, from a full meal of the farmer’s basket (R280 per couple) to the snack option of the cured meat and cheese platter (R155 per couple). Other offers include winemaker’s basket (R380 per couple), vegetarian basket (R320 per couple), picnic loaf (R250 serves 4), kiddies hamper (R55pp) and a cheese platter (R155 per couple). Picnic blankets, cushions and umbrellas can be provided.
Contact: Tel +27 21 789 0900 or +27 83 444 7088 or visit www.noordhoekvineyards.co.za
BYO Picnic tips
For those times you feel like bringing your own!
Most wine farms are open to the public at different times and some require that you reserve a spot a day in advance for BYO picnics. Wine farms allowing BYO picnics include Goede Hoop, Mooiplaas, Stellenrust and Villiera in Stellenbosch; Landskroon and Le Joubert in Paarl; Schalk Burger & Sons in Wellington; Brandvlei in Worcester; Rietvallei and Springfield in Robertson; Rijk’s Private Cellar in Tulbagh; Lammershoek and Pulpit Rock in the Swartland; Groote Post and Ormonde in Darling; William Everson in Elgin; Birkenhead, Springfontein and Whalehaven near Hermanus; Raka, 17km from Stanford.
Other great picnic spots within Cape Town include Table Mountain, Buffels bay and Bordjiesdrif in Cape Point Nature reserve, Tokai Forest, Oudekraal, Company Gardens in Cape Town CBD, Silvermine, Lions Head, Signal Hill and Maynardville Park in Wynberg.
What to drink
Whatever you choose to drink outdoors on a warm, sunny day should be refreshing – the citrus fruit and minerality of a crisp, acidic Sauvignon Blanc or an unwooded Chenin Blanc; the fresh melon and strawberry flavours of a dry but fruity Rosé; the relative lightness of a Pinot Noir (note that even red wine should be served chilled); the effervescence of a Méthode Cap Classique (there’s nothing like bubbles to raise a picnic to another level altogether).
Avoid oak (the only wood in your basket should be the cheeseboard and a few toothpicks) and don’t go for anything too complex: all subtlety will be lost in the fresh air and sunshine. But the wine also shouldn’t be inferior to anything you would normally drink at home…
Picnic catering companies
Dial a Picnic offers tailor-made picnic baskets and caters to individuals, weddings, engagements, corporate team building events, birthday parties and even theme-based picnics. They source your requirements, from organic produce to silver goblets, to make your picnic one to remember.
Tel Cape Town: +27 82 789 5478,
Tel Durban: +27 82 638 4624,
Tel Johannesburg: +27 83 601 7135; +27 81 329 7538; +27 73 037 7771.
Cravings Delicatessen offers a delicious array of healthy options which you can pre order. Pick up your cooler bag and head to the beach or your favourite picnic spot. Tel +27 21 434 5200. www.cravings.co.za
The Wild Peacock Food Emporium provides an extensive selection of foods ranging from gourmet to quick snacks. Pre order or get a basket packed and choose your own venue.
Tel: +27 21 801 3663. www.wildpeacock.co.za
Lots of different things to nibble on, preferably on the lighter side and served cold (so pack it all in a cooler box, along with some ice in which to plunge your bottles of wine later). Sandwiches are an obvious choice, but why not take some beautiful, fresh mozzarella, ripe vine tomatoes and some basil leaves and create a caprese salad.
A sturdy wicker basket and/or cooler box, a couple of rugs, some cushions or fold-up chairs, an umbrella for shade. If you need a place to get new picnic equipment, try www.picnicsouthafrica.co.za
No need to pack a corkscrew if you’re on a wine farm – they’ll open your purchases for you (and screwcaps were surely invented for picnics?). No need to resort to plastic or pewter cups either, given that most wine glasses come in cardboard boxes with inserts, so can be transported pretty much anywhere. Plastic and paper or metal and glass, the level of sophistication is entirely up to you – just make sure you’ve got the tools you need to eat whatever food you’ve prepared. And don’t forget the napkins/wipes and a rubbish bag for afterwards.
Sunscreen, insect repellent, antibacterial gel, antihistamines…