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 Cape 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.
Please note: most of these venues will require you to book beforehand, and it’s always best to confirm prices with the specific wine farms concerned.
Here are 24 of the best spots in the Cape Winelands to enjoy a ready-made gourmet picnic this summer
Picnics in Constantia
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 (R145 a person). Hampers for kids under 10 are available at R45.
Contact: Tel 021 794 1012 or visit www.buitenverwachting.com
Picnics in Franschhoek
2. 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 (R175 a person) 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. The menu includes things like farm-baked gammon, rare roast grass-fed Black Angus beef with onion & fennel marmalade and sweet mustard. 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 (R75 a person).
Contact: Tel 021 870 4272 or visit www.boschendalrestaurants.co.za
3. Allée Bleue
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, 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 (R150 a person). 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 a person).
Contact: Tel 021 874 1021 or visit www.alleebleue.com
4. Rickety Bridge
In Franschhoek itself, Rickety Bridge offers a gourmet and regular picnic at R155 and R200 a person respectively, It’s essential that you book in advance – the picnic is laid out on the verandah, giving you a beautiful view over the mountains. Bookings are made for only 10 people or more.
Contact: Tel 021 876 2129 or visit www.ricketybridge.com
5. Mont Rochelle
Mont Rochelle really ups the ante with a few picnic options to be enjoyed next to the dam (blankets provided) or at tables alongside a boules court in the garden. Ranging between R170 and R450, you can expect cheese wedges, sticky chicken wings and cold meats, all the way up to pan-fried prawns and smoked salmon. Call them for details – and it’s best to book in advance.
Contact: Tel 021 876 2770 or visit www.montrochelle.co.za
6. Solms Delta
Fyndraai restaurant offers picnic baskets for R175 a person, or R290 for a couple. There is a kids picnic menu at R75 a person. A personal 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 private Solms lake.
Contact: Tel 021 874 3937 (ext 115) or visit www.solms-delta.co.za
7. Franschhoek Kitchen
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, salads, fresh bread and a bottle of wine – for just R165 per person. Each basket for two includes a bottle of mineral water.
Contact: Tel 021 876 2729 or visit www.holdenmanz.com
Picnics in Stellenbosch
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 a couple), relaxed picnic (R220 a couple), raw picnic (R320 a couple), vegetarian picnic (R270 a couple), heritage picnic (R300 a couple) and a kids picnic (R70 a 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 021 809 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 (R165 or R210 a person 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 (R200 or R245 a person with wine and water). Kids can enjoy toffee apples, yoghurt, chocolate chip cookies and fruit skewers at R55 a person.
Contact: Tel 021 880 8222 or visit www.blaauwklippen.com
At Zorgvliet, you can create your own basket at the deli, or choose between a number of options. The snack basket (for R390) for two includes charcuterie, quiche of the day and gourmet cheese and crackers, as well as a bottle of wine. If there will be more of you, the Picnic Basket for four includes a whole roasted chicken, baguette and preserves, salads and a bottle of wine. For children there’s a jungle gym and a basket containing choice of beef burger or chicken wings, crisps, a drink of choice and a toy for R90.
Contact: Tel 021 885 1399 or visit www.zorgvlietwines.com
Long known for its unpretentious hospitality, Hartenberg offers a country picnic hamper packed to the brim with Eleanor’s snoek pâté, cold meats, local cheeses including goat’s cheese and brie, a chicken terrine, baby potato salad and seasonal fruit (R175 for two including a 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 021 865 2541 or visit www.hartenbergestate.com
Warwick is simply gorgeous: 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. The picnic costs R375 for two – pretzel sticks, two beautiful salads (think asparagus, red pepper and pea), a selection of cheeses, salami and coppa, and a biltong pate are among the goodies you’ll find.
Contact: Tel 021 884 4410 or visit www.warwickwine.com
Hermitage restaurant at Hazendal offers a picnic (R290 for two) comprising homemade bread, snoek pâté, spinach and feta quiche, Greek salad with fresh homemade rolls, chicken kebabs, creamy potato salad, 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 021 903 5034 or visit www.hazendal.co.za
14. Morgenhof Estate
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 (R150 a person). Kiddies get a choice of a hot dog, beef burger or chicken strips with potato wedges, a juice and vanilla cupcake (R60 a person) Bring your own blanket and sit anywhere on the beautiful lawns.
Contact: Tel 021 889 2024, www.morgenhof.com
Remhoogte’s picnic basket (R300 for two adults sharing) contains spanakopita, french bread, platter of cold meats and salads, cheese platter, a dessert and a bottle of wine. Enjoy while watching zebra, wildebeest and springbok graze metres away against a breathtaking Simonsberg, Jonkershoek, Stellenbosch and Helderberg mountain backdrop.
Contact: Tel 021 889 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 (R310 for two people). Wine is not included. Bunny buckets for small children include a hot dog, cheese, crisps, juice and sweets.
Contact: Tel 021 881 3590 or visit www.vredenheim.co.za.
On tree-shaded lawns sloping down to the lake, your basket could include treats like freshly baked French loaf with snoek pâté and chicken liver pate, rare roast beef sirloin with homemade mustard, chicken wrap, 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 (R350 per basket for two). The kids’ basket includes a chicken drumstick and cheese roll, chips, lollipop and fruit juice (R60 a child). You can also pre-book a choice of two braai baskets with meats that you can then braai in a beautiful spot on the estate. These cost R395 and include pork neck, sirloin, chicken, lamb chops, garlic bread, and a selection of salads. Order to be made 72 hours in advance.
Contact: Tel 021 900 5700 or visit www.zevenwacht.co.za
Picnics in Paarl
18. Rhebokskloof Wine Estate
Breathtaking views and gardens make this a popular picnic spot, with baskets (R295 for two people) including a whole baby chicken, sourdough baguette, salmon terrine, a selection pâté and spreads such as hummus and olive tapenade, summer green salad, veggie cous cous salad, and a selection of Winelands cheeses. To finish, there’s a Belgian dark chocoalte brownie and a summer fruit meringue. There’s also an option for kids, costing R65.
Contact: Tel 021 869 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. For only R59 per person, you can indulge in a chicken wrap, selection of cheeses, biltong, cold meats and something sweet to finish. If you’d like to include a bottle of wine, you’ll pay R120 per person. Kids can snack on a sweets, ham and cheese sandwich or croissant, a yoghurt and a cool drink (R59 a person). Blanket and glasses provided.
Contact: Tel 023 344 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 (R150 a 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 (R42 – R59) are served in individual picnic baskets. Wine isn’t included, but you can buy something to drink from the deli.
Contact: Tel 028 341 0693 or visit www.kleinrivercheese.co.za