Forgo cramped restaurants full of lovey-dovey couples this Valentine’s Day and treat your loved one to a delicious picnic in a beautiful, romantic spot. Either fill a basket with home-made goodies and a bottle of bubbly, or order a pre-made hamper – just make sure it includes chocolate-covered hearts.
Buitenverwachting Wine Estate (tel 021-794-1012) in Constantia serves picnic food such as salads, quiches, breads and dips on platters for R120 a person.
Spread out on the lawns outside Jonkershuis Restaurant (tel 021-794-6255) in Groot Constantia with one of its gourmet picnic baskets. It costs R250 a basket for two and R60 for a child’s basket.
Spier Wine Estate (tel 021-809-1983) near Stellenbosch is open year-round for picnics. Pre-order a basket filled with delicious fare or buy homemade jams, cheeses, cold meats and salads from the Spier deli to make your own spread to enjoy on the banks of the lake. It costs R240 for a picnic basket for two (vegetarian option available) or R45 for a child’s basket.
Picnic under umbrellas on the terrace of Camps Bay restaurant The Roundhouse (tel 021-438-4347). Feast on tapas or pizzas and yummy cocktails while watching the sun set over the ocean.
Enjoy a moonlight picnic and music at Hidden Valley Wine Estate with a pre-ordered picnic basket filled with ciabatta, cold meats, cheese, dips, nibbles and a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc. Baskets cost R395 and serve two (tel 021-880-2646).
For romantic picnic spots in Johannesburg, head to Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens, the Rose Garden at Emmarentia Dam, Delta Park and Zoo Lake with your picnic blanket and hamper.
The beaches of Kwazulu-Natal are all great for picnics, or head to the Durban Botanical Gardens (tel 031-309-1170) and its classical music concerts and the Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve (tel 031-469-2807).
Away from the city, there’s Shongweni Nature Reserve (tel 031-769- 1283), Karkloof Falls in the Midlands and a shady picnic spot in the middle of Lake Eland Game Reserve in Oribi Gorge (tel 039-687-0395).
Picnic Fanatics (tel 031-203-2556) in Durban makes up gourmet picnic platters with treats like Thai chicken balls with sweet chilli sauce, corn-and-chickenstuffed baby potatoes and smoked salmon and brie bites from R82 a person. Pick up your platter at the shop in Durban, or have them deliver it to you.
Easy recipe ideas for a perfect picnic menu
- Mini sausage rolls
- Tomato and basil tart
- Mushroom pâté
- Carrot cupcakes
- Mum’s marmite tart
- Mini bacon and mushroom frittatas
If you need a picnic in a hurry, call Dial-a-Picnic (tel 082-789- 5478). They’ll make up a picnic basket for you and either deliver it to your house or set it up in a picnic spot of your choice. Baskets range from R180 to R195 a person and are filled with organic food products and handmade treats. Dial-a-Picnic covers Gauteng, the Cape Peninsula and Nelspruit and its surrounding areas.