What better way to enjoy summer than with tapas, drinks and breathtaking views? Picnics offer an intimate dining experience that, when done right, is not easily forgotten. We’ve put together a list of some of the finest picnic spots around Cape Town, all of which provide packed picnic baskets – all you have to do is grab a loved one and share the experience.
JORDAN WINE ESTATE
Where: Stellenbosch Kloof Road, Vlottenberg, Stellenbosch
Price: R900 per basket, serving two, including a signed bottle of Jordan MCC
The atmosphere: The Bakery at Jordan regularly hosts picnics at its scenic vineyard, with private picnic pods overlooking the farm dam and majestic Stellenbosch Valley. For Valentine’s Day, the winery is hosting a Twilight Valentine’s Picnic. The gourmet picnic baskets are available from 6pm until 10pm, making it ideal for an after-work event. A safari-style Land Rover tour of the vineyards including a wine tasting is also available as an added extra, prior to the picnic.
What’s in the basket? Each basket boasts a selection of gourmet treats from a variety of locally produced hard and soft cheeses such as Camembert, Stanford, and Boerenkaas, to charcuterie. Think Italian coppa, Parma ham, South African biltong, and salami. The menu is accentuated by a light smoked salmon and goat’s cheese salad, gorgonzola tartlets, various preserves such as olives grown on the vineyard, and Jordan’s famous wood-fired bread with an indulgent tiramisu for dessert.
Wine included? A bottle of MCC from the vineyard’s cellar door, signed by the winemaker, is included for the Valentine’s Day picnic. The standard picnic offering comes complete with a bottle of wine from the Chameleon range.
The nitty-gritty: Advance booking is essential, and all picnic packages are suited to two people only.
Operating times for picnics:The Twilight Valentine’s Picnic takes place on 14 Feb, from 6pm to 10pm. Standard picnics run from Monday to Sunday, 12pm to 5pm.
HIDDEN VALLEY WINES
Where: Annandale Road, Stellenbosch NU, Stellenbosch
Price: R410 per basket
The atmosphere: Hidden Valley Wines is the perfect place to experience the natural peace and vibrant beauty of the Helderberg mountain range. Lay your blanket down in a lush damside secluded settings, and feast from a picnic basket while listening to the sounds of the winery’s nature and rich birdlife. We recommend a short scenic stroll through the indigenous gardens before settling down for your al fresco experience. Picnic packages are available throughout the year, with the option to customise a basket for special events.
What’s in the basket? The Hidden Valley Wines team presents each of their picnic baskets with a straightforward yet classic selection of local cheeses, homemade bread, fruits in season and a variety of hand-crafted charcuterie. A sweet culinary surprise treat rounds out the package.
Wine included? No, but there is a good selection available to order as an optional extra.
The nitty-gritty: A booking of 24 hours in advance is required, and all picnic packages are suited to two people only.
Operating times for picnics: Standard picnics runs throughout the year from Monday to Sunday, 9am to 6pm during summer, and 9am to 5pm during winter.
ZORGVLIET WINE ESTATE
Where: Helshoogte Road, R30 Banhoek Valley, Stellenbosch
Price: R500 – R820 per basket
The atmosphere: Bathe in sunlight or the cool shade of the oak trees and inhale the fresh air of the beautiful Banhoek Valley at Zorgvliet Wine Estate. For Valentine’s Day, the winery is running a Sunset Valentine’s Day picnic with extended hours from 11am to 8pm. The vineyard is also renowned as an ideal family-friendly Winelands destination and comes complete with a jungle gym to keep the kids entertained.
What’s in the basket? For couples, we suggest opting for the ‘Zorgvliet for Two’ which serves up a trio of gourmet cheeses, chicken drumsticks, freshly baked baguettes with preserves, a light salad, and a surprise dessert. A variety of other options are on offer including packages tailored for vegetarians and kids. The ‘Family of Four’ picnic setup comes as the perfect Sunday family lunch with a difference. A slow oven-roasted full chicken accompanies the quiche of the day, two salads, and baguettes with preserves.
Wine included? Yes, with each basket. Choose a bottle from the Silver Myn wine range which includes Sauvignon Blanc, Rosé, and Argentum (Bordeaux blend) varietals.
The nitty-gritty: All bookings need to be made at least a day in advance.
Operating times for picnics: Valentine’s Day Picnic 14 Feb, 11am to 8pm | Summer Season runs Wednesday – Sunday 9am to 5pm until 30 April.
LA BRI ESTATE
Where: Excelsior Road, Franschhoek
Price: R650 per basket
The atmosphere: La Bri Estate happens to be one of the oldest vineyards in the Franschhoek region. This secluded vineyard, nestled in the majestic Franschhoek valley, dates back to the 17th century and the arrival of Huguenot settlers in the region. And it is that old-world charm which positions the winery as one of the most special picnic spots in the Winelands. Escape from the city humdrum and unwind in the estate’s private garden with its sweeping views over the majestic Franschhoek Mountains and vineyards. La Bri Estate is adding a romantic Valentine’s Day picnic experience to their standard offering.
What’s in the basket? Guests can expect a sumptuous selection of treats for Valentine’s Day. Highlights include chargrilled chicken strips, a range of luxury cheeses, onion marmalade, olives grown on the estate coupled with a crunchy fresh slaw. For dessert, a selection of seasonal fruit is paired with chocolate treats.
Wine included? A glass of the limited release La Bri Sauvage 2012 MCC is included as well as still or sparkling water. Additional wine can be ordered from the Tasting Room on arrival. Still or sparkling water is included in the package.
The nitty-gritty: Booking is essential, and the closing date for Valentine’s Day orders is on 11 February. The picnic package is suited to two people only.
Operating times for picnics: Daily 10am to 5pm
Where: Norval Foundation Art Gallery Art Museum, 1 Ou Kaapse Rd, Steenberg Estate, Cape Town
Price: R320 (R220 for members) or R600 (R500 for members), per basket which is suitable for 2.
The atmosphere: The sculpture garden at Norval Foundation, one of the most striking architectural additions to Cape Town in recent years, is a without a doubt a great place for a picnic. Set at the foot of Ou Kaapse Weg with a view that encompasses mountain and vineyards, the establishment also hosts regular pre-ordered picnic packages. And price includes admission to Norval Foundation’s museum and gallery spaces, making the ideal full-day city escape.
What’s in the basket? The Skotnes restaurant, the foundation’s culinary arm, is famous for its passion for traditional South African cuisine. And its South African Picnic includes Bobotie samoosas, rainbow coleslaw, Chicken Mayonnaise stuffed vetkoek, and filled doughnuts for afters. For those after a more gastro-foodie touch, the Gourmet Picnic is perfect for an intimate culinary experience. The Skotnes team promises a smoked Ocean Trout, spinach and Orechette pasta, Roosterbrood with smoked Snoek pâté and soetpatat hummus, finished off with raspberry Herzoggies. Vegetarian and gluten-free options are available. The Kiosk also offers take-away coffee and a range of top-notch Italian gelati.
Wine included? No, but wine may be pre-ordered from the restaurant. Still or sparkling water is included in the package.
The nitty-gritty: All bookings need to be made at least 2 days in advance.
Operating times for picnics: Wed – Mon 10am to 5pm | During summer early opening on Wed @ 8am & late closing on Sats at 8pm
CODA AFRICA AND THE BUBBLE PICNIC
Where: Huguenot Monument, 13 Lambrechts Rd, Franschhoek
Price: R250 per person | Kids U12 free
The atmosphere: On 17 February Franschhoek Hospice presents internationally acclaimed acts CODA Africa and The Bubble live for this once-off picnic event at the beautiful Huguenot Monument. CODA Africa is a popular local group who perform a variety of genres ranging from classically-inspired ballads to electro-swing, dubstep, reggae, and hip hop. Fronted by charismatic vocalist Zami Mdingi, CODA Africa combines electric strings of violin and cello with saxophone and DJ. Following their dynamic performance, The Bubble will take centre stage with SAMA-nominated electric cellist, Carol Thorns while the sun sets over the surrounding mountain range. The Bubble is a clear, glass-like, luminescent sphere that bathes the performer in light. It is an original and innovative staging concept – a marvellous marriage of music, architecture, and light. Perfect for a magical and memorable picnic concert experience.
What’s in the basket? Price excludes any food offering. A variety of set and customised picnic baskets can be ordered via The Picnic Company. Advance booking is essential.
Wine included? Audiences will receive a complimentary glass of bubbly upon arrival; otherwise, make sure to bring blankets and beverages to get the full experience out of this picnic concert.
The nitty-gritty: Advance booking is essential.
Operating time for picnic: 17 Feb, 5pm to 8pm