Nothing says “Summertime and the living is easy” quite like an alfresco meal. Fortunately we live in a country that’s blessed with a dreamy climate and stunning natural beauty, which means we’re never far from a beautiful place to enjoy an outdoor feast.
The thrill of unwrapping lovingly packed sandwiches and other tasty nibbles, and cracking open a cold beer, homemade lemonade or a glass of wine, while relaxing under a tree by a river is the stuff that memories are made of. A lot of companies have cottoned onto this idea by offering ready-packed picnic hampers full of delicious treats, so that all you have to do is call and reserve one, before pitching up to claim your spot. Here are some that are worth a try:
1. The Greenhouse Restaurant at Babylonstoren
The setting The lush garden at the heart of this illustrious wine farm is where you’ll find the elegant Greenhouse Restaurant. The farm-fresh produce is served in picnic-style wooden crates, and can be enjoyed within the restaurant itself during colder weather, or outside under the majestic oak trees.
What’s on the menu Options may vary according to availability of ingredients. They include:
- Freshly baked scones served with cream
- Pot pie served with crunchy salad
- Soup (hot or cold), served with crisp melba toast
- Farmhouse cheeses
- Marinated Babylonstoren olives
- Smoked chicken
- Sandwich of the day
- Potato wedges
- Jar salads
- Homemade ginger beer and craft beer
- A selection of Babylonstoren wines
Wow factor The impressive steel-and-glass conservatory, custom-built for Babylonstoren by Serres et Ferronneries d’Antan in France. The farm-to-fork practices employed at the estate’s other fine restaurant, Babel, are in full evidence here, incorporating ingredients freshly plucked from the surrounding garden.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 10am – 4pm
Please note The Greenhouse Restaurant does not take reservations. It’s first-come first-served (and, trust us, it can get busy). That said, groups of 13 to 25 guests may book their place two months in advance, and larger groups are encouraged to book one of the private function venues.
Cost See the menu for the 2017/18 season
Contact 021 863 3852, email@example.com
Location Babylonstoren, Klapmuts Simondium Road, Franschhoek
2. La Bri Estate
The setting A secluded refuge in the Franschhoek Valley, dating back to the 17th century and the arrival of Huguenot settlers in the region. In fact, the original grant for La Bri is one of the oldest Huguenot-allocated farms in Franschhoek.
Picnics are enjoyed in the estate’s private garden, offering spectacular views of the majestic Franschhoek Mountains and vineyards. It helps that La Bri is one of the hop-off points for the Franschhoek Wine Tram ( red and yellow routes), making it a particularly convenient spot to enjoy a picnic lunch on peaceful sunny afternoons.
What’s in the basket
- Cheese board (selection of cheese, olives from the estate and freshly baked bread)
- Meat jar (Salami sticks & sweet BBQ chicken strips)
- Garden jar (Salad of the day & chargrilled artichokes)
- Fish jar (snoek pate)
- Dessert jar (seasonal fruit & something sweet)
- Items are subject to availability
Wow factor Should you give into the temptation to linger, La Bri offers stimulating tasting experiences, such as the Chocolate & Wine or Lokum & Wine pairing or their Biltong & Wine experience. The estate stocks a range of boutique wines, crafted via their unique gravity-fed winemaking process.
Opening times Monday – Friday, 10am – 5pm
Weekends & Public Holidays, 10am – 4pm
Please note Picnic baskets are only available on request. 48 hours’ notice is required and bookings will only be confirmed once proof of payment is received.
Cost R550 per basket (serves 2 people)
Contact 021 876 2593, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location La Bri Estate, Excelsior Road, Franschhoek
This old wine farm, founded by the Cape’s first governor, Simon van der Stel, is rich in history and rustic charm. The acclaimed restaurant offers a high-class dining experience with mesmerising views, but if it’s a picnic you’re after, the estate’s Wine Tasting Centre, housed in a traditional thatched roof wine cellar, offers delicious platters that can be enjoyed on the lush lawns. Of course, it also provides the opportunity to sample some of the estate’s fine vintages.
Wow factor The views of the majestic Constantiaberg Mountains are spectacular, and the journey to the estate is an experience in itself, as the road takes you through sprawling vineyards, and around a paddock where horses trot about and cows graze.
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 10am – 5pm
Please note The estate’s Wine Tasting Centre works on a first come, first served basis.
Cost R50 per wine tasting
Contact 021 794 5190/1
Location 37 Klein Constantia Road, Constantia
4. Cape Point Vineyards
The setting With breathtaking views of Noordhoek beach, acres of fynbos and the estate’s manicured vineyards, the picnic site at this award-winning winery is hard to beat.
What’s in the basket
- Bobotie wraps
- Curried chicken and grape salad
- Couscous salad
- Freshly baked ciabatta and crackers
- Selection of charcuterie and salami
- Pickle potpourri of cornichons, peppadews, olives and sundried tomatoes
- Potted chicken liver and bacon pate
- Roasted aubergine with hummus and toasted cashew nuts
- Local cheeses with caramelised onions
- Seasonal fruit salad
Wow factor The elevated ocean and mountain views and the gourmet grub.
Opening times 11am – 5pm (except Thursdays)
Please note picnic baskets must be booked 24 hours in advance.
Cost R395 per basket (serves two); R65 (kid’s basket); vegetarian option available
Contact 021 789 0900, email@example.com
Location Cape Point Vineyards, Silvermine Road, Noordhoek
The setting Five kilometres outside Stellenbosch, nestled in the Banghoek Valley overlooking majestic mountains, this historic estate boasts an ideal picnic site under the oak trees among the vineyards. Bring a blanket and settle in for the afternoon…
What’s in the Zorgvliet basket
- Baguette and preserves
- Meat wrap
- Trio of gourmet cheese and crackers
- Chicken drumsticks
- Fresh green salad
- Something sweet
- Bottle of Silvermyn wine of your choice
- Top ups such as beef meatballs, quiche of the day and whole chicken available at additional charge
Wow factor Each basket is packed lovingly with only freshly produced gourmet foods. Also, you can top-up your basket with individually priced items. Enquire about the two-people baskets such as the Snack, Meaty and Veggie baskets as well as the Kiddies Basket.
Opening times Wednesday – Sunday, 9am – 5pm (15 September 2017 – 30 April 2018)
Cost R490 (zorgvliet basket for two); R800 (family basket for four, must be booked one day in advance); R110 (kiddies basket); R465 (vegetarian basket for two); R500 (snack basket for two); R450 (Silvermyn basket for two); R450 (Meaty basket for two)
See the Zorgvliet picnic menu
Contact 021 885 1399, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location Zorgvliet Wine Estate, Helshoogte Road, Stellenbosch
6. Noble Hill Wine Estate
The setting A serene picnic spot by a lake, surrounded by rolling vineyards and the Simonsberg mountain range. The estate provides a unique winelands experience with its latin-inspired picnics.
What’s in the basket
- A bottle of Noble Hill wine
- Charcuterie board & selection of local cheeses
- Black bean & grilled corn salad
- Seasonal green salad
- Fresh avocado guacamole
- Artisan ciabatta and homemade tortilla chips
- Seasonal fruit & yoghurt parfait
- Mexican wedding cookies dusted with powdered sugar
- Still or sparkling mineral water
- Chimichurri chicken-breast (at additional charge)
- Estate-grown olives (at additional charge)
- Additional artisan ciabatta (at additional charge)
- Bottle of Mèthode Cap Classique (at additional charge)
Wow factor The estate’s restaurant, Cosecha, was one of the first places in the Cape to offer authentic Mexican-style cuisine. Many of the ingredients are sourced from its own vegetable and pepper garden, so guests can enjoy fresh guacamole, burritos and enchiladas along with the farm’s selection of fine wines.
Fun fact The Californian family who owns the estate were handed a set of keys when they purchased it, hence the large key on the wine bottle’s label.
Opening times Available October – April
Monday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm (closed on Tuesdays)
Please note Advance bookings are essential, and changes or cancellations require two days notice.
Cost R540 (picnic basket for two); R960 (picnic basket for four); R50 credit (picnic without wine); R65 (kid’s picnic basket); vegetarian option available (must be requested upon booking)
Contact 021 874 3844, email@example.com
Location Noble Hill Wine Estate, Klapmuts-Simondium Road, Paarl
7. Vergelegen Estate
The setting Vergelegen’s mystic camphor forest is the setting for a ‘white tablecloth’ picnic for both intimate as well as family and friend gatherings, in a beautifully shaded and tranquil environment.
What’s in the basket
- Artisanal bread with truffle flavoured farm butter
- Homemade duck liver pâté & port wine jelly
- Farm style pork pâté layered with forest mushrooms
- Chilli tomato chutney
- Zucchini pickles
- Cured salmon, roasted beetroot & chive crème fraiche
- Zesty lemon quinoa & roasted cashew nut salad
- Selection of home styled cured meats
- Slow roasted chicken breast with wild rocket salad & wasabi tzatziki dressing
- Freshly baked pastry tartlet
- A selection of local cheeses served with homemade biscuits & preserve
- Lemon cheese cake with toasted cashew nut brittle
- Aromatic filter coffee
Wow factor The wonderfully tranquil and shaded picnic spot in one of the most beautiful wine estates in the country.
Opening times Daily, 12.15pm – 4.30pm (November to April); collect baskets between 12.15pm and 1.30pm
Cost R255 per person (excludes entrance fee, wine or beverages, and gratuity); R95 per child (aged 3-10 years); vegetarian picnic available (must be requested at time of making reservation)
Contact 021 847 2131, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location Vergelegen Wine Estate, Lourensford Road, Somerset West
8. Spier Wine Farm
The setting The farm allows you to lay your blanket anywhere on the enormous estate, which boasts lush lawns and shade aplenty. The stretch of grass in front of the Farm Kitchen (where you collect your goods) looks onto encroaching vineyards, while the fields opposite the wine-tasting centre boast a peaceful dam that’s the focal point of every picnicker’s gaze.
What’s in the basket Whatever you want! The newly launched Farm Kitchen gives alfresco-loving diners the option to build their own picnic with the massive variety of homemade fare on display. If you aren’t partial to spontaneity, pre-order your seasonal basket before 12pm for collection the previous day. And, before you leave, you might like to swing back by the Farm Kitchen for take-home treats and trinkets.
The Summer (2017/18) Picnic (vegetarian option also available), contains:
- Wood-fired baguette with patés and apple chutney
- Camembert, traditional preserved fruits and lavash (soft, thin flatbread)
- Marinated olives
- Caprese pasta salad
- Marinated cabbage and dried berry slaw with whole grain mustard dressing
- Farmer Angus bacon and potato salad with farm egg
- Seared farm chicken with coronation dressing, toasted almonds and apricots
- Farmer Angus beef linzer
- Layered chocolate and salted caramel trifle
- Bottle of wine from Spier’s signature range
Wow factor Spier has gone to great lengths to source natural and organic produce, and have done a fantastic job at that. The delicacies at the deli are made using seasonal produce grown organically on the farm, as well as ingredients from trusted local suppliers to create nutritious, delicious, farm-inspired food.
Opening times Daily, 10am – 4.30pm (including public holidays)
Cost R580 for two (additional people are charged R290 per person)
Order your picnic
Contact 021 809 1172, email@example.com
Location Spier Wine Farm, R310 Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch, Cape Town
9. Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa
The setting This private picnic spot at the romantic Stanley’s Rock, in the mountains overlooking Camps Bay allows guests to breathe in the fresh mountain air while gazing at the glistening beaches on the Atlantic Seaboard. The gourmet picnic offering beautifully presented in baskets purchased from the Cape Town Society for the Blind.
What’s in the basket Several options are available, including gluten-free and vegetarian hampers, and alcoholic beverages can be purchased separately. Twelve Apostles’ executive chef will personally prepare the basket of goodies, to include seasonal specialities and suit various dietary and special requests.
Wow factor The Twelve Apostles’ excellent service and facilities are well tailored to making its guests feel like royalty, and the picnic spot, situated as it is between mountain and ocean, couldn’t be better placed to allow full appreciation of Cape Town’s beauty. There are hiking trails to explore, and plenty of space for children to run around in – you might even spot whales and dolphins frolicking in the deep.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Cost Picnic Pleasures: R2450 (for two people, includes gourmet picnic and bottle of champagne)
Picnic Proposal: R2950 (for two people, includes gourmet picnic, bottle of champagne and a large bunch of red roses)
Contact 021 437 9029, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa, Victoria Road, Camps Bay, Cape Town
10. Warwick Wine Estate
The setting At this picturesque Stellenbosch winery, you have a choice between relaxing under umbrellas on scatter cushions and beanbags on rollings lawns beside a dam while being served by your own butler, or enjoying your picnic in one of their specially designed picnic pods.
What’s in the basket
- Sichuan pepper crusted beef fillet with aioli
- Rosa tomato, mange tout and butter bean salad
- Baby potato, red onion and fried caper salad tossed in a light whole grain mustard aioli
- A chunk of matured cheddar
- Warwick’s famous biltong pâté
- Trio jar of homemade sweet chili sauce, cream cheese and basil pesto
- Herbed stretched homemade bread
- Loved Ponies onion marmalade
- Homemade smoked butter
- Gluten free Key Lime pie jar
- If you wish to bring your own wine, MCC or champagne, an R80 corkage fee per bottle applies
Wow factor The beautiful setting, artisanal gourmet food, excellent wine and outstanding service.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 11am – 5pm (September – April)
Picnic baskets are ready for collection from 12pm
Cost R550 (basket for two people); R300 (basket for one person); R125 (kiddie basket); vegetarian and vegan options are available
Contact 021 884 4410, email@example.com
Location Warwick Wine Estate, Between Stellenbosch and Klapmuts, R44
11. Allee Bleue
The setting A walled grassy garden, gingham tablecloths, views of the vineyard and the majestic Drakenstein Mountains in the background all combine to make the perfect picnic spot. Let the kids entertain themselves on the jumping castle, water slide, soccer field and trampoline while you enjoy a leisurely lunch in the shade of large umbrellas and trees.
What’s in the basket
- Rare roast beef wrap with Allee Bleue herbs, fresh tomato & spicy mayo
- Farm grown micro herb salad with an Allée Bleue Cabernet/Merlot wine reduction dressing and
- Pecorino cheese shavings
- Allee Bleue farm style pies
- Allée Bleue Farm Style Cheese Platter
- A selection of cold meats
- Freshly baked bread
- Fruited dry Melba toast
- Homemade Smoked Olive Tapenade
- Aniseed Onion Marmalade
- Chili Tomato chutney and Basil Pesto
- Farm-grown olives
- Creamy yogurt balls
- White Chocolate Mousse served with handmade Pumpkinseed brittle and Fresh Fruit
Wow factor In addition to the historic setting that dates back to 1690, the farm-fresh salads are made using a range of micro herbs and lettuce that’s grown on the estate.
Opening times Monday – Sunday & Public Holidays, 11am – 3pm (September 2017 – April 2018)
Booking is essential
Cost R195 per adult; R65 per child; vegetarian options available
Contact 021 874 1021, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location Allee Bleue Wine Estate, Intersection R45 and R310, Groot Drakenstein
12. Lanzerac Wine Estate
The setting A grand old wine estate, dating back to 1692 when Governor Simon van der Stel granted the land to Dutch adventurer, Isaac Schrijver. Lanzerac Deli provides pre-packaged picnics that can be enjoyed on the estate’s pristine lawns, along with spectacular views of the expansive vineyards and the majestic Jonkershoek Valley.
What’s in the basket
- A selection of cheeses
- Mini baguette
- Spiced apricot chutney
- Chardonnay onion marmalade
- Mini quiches
- Goat’s cheese and mediterranean vegetable salad
- Vanilla cheesecake
- Gourmet cupcakes
- Homemade ice tea jar
Wow factor The estate offers invigorating spa treatments at the Lanzerac Spa, and a wine-and-chocolate tasting experience at the Lanzerac Tasting Room.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 8am – 7pm (wine sales close at 6pm)
Cost R385 (Lanzerac basket), or you can create your own from the display of cheeses, cold meats, breads, pastries and desserts available at the Deli, along with a bottle of Lanzerac wine.
Contact 021 887 1132, email@example.com
Location Lanzerac Wine Estate, 1 Lanzerac Road, Stellenbosch
The setting The Rhone Rose Garden Picnic area is surrounded by the exhibition vineyards, the Rhone Homestead, the Cellar Door and Winery. The lawn under the shady oak tree is perfect for laying down a blanket, or you could settle at one of the tables.
What’s in the basket
- Farm baked baguettes & butter
- Camembert, crisp lavash, preserve
- Chicken liver spread
- Farm-made hummus
- Selection of Werf butchery cold cuts
- Coronation chicken & black eye bean salad
- Baked chocolate & marshmallow pie
Wow factor While it’s rather nice to be waited on hand and foot, we kind of like the idea of exploring the farm and finding our own quiet, shaded spot.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 12pm – 5pm; basket collection between 12pm and 2pm
Cost R480 (Rhone basket for two); R95 (children’s basket); A vegetarian option is also available
Contact 021 870 4274, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location Boschendal Wine Estate, Pniel Road, Franschhoek Valley
Don’t let the summer months sail on by. Subscribe to our newsletter for your weekly guide to the hottest happenings in the Cape.