A Picnic Spectacular


“If I’d have known it was going to be this beautiful” said my sister-in-law, “I’d have worn a tiara.”

We were on the steps of the Nederburg Manor House, looking out over the immaculate tree-fringed lawns, out past the vines to the mountains in the near distance.  A table had been set out for us under a shady tree, a glass vase of pink roses in the middle and the white table cloth fluttering slightly in the breeze.  We were the only ones there.

The picnic season has started at Nederburg. Monday to Saturday you can book a table – limited numbers – and larger groups can book on Sundays as well.

We’d been greeted with a beaming smile by our hostess Gail, who handed us each a glass of sparkling Nederburg Premiere Cuvee Brut as we stepped into the cool of the manor house.  She then wafted us past the orchids and the grand piano, across the polished floor boards and Persian rugs of the high-ceilinged Victorian rooms, and out on to the stoep.  Up above us, an eagle was making lazy circles in the sky, its shadow falling across the vines and the grass in front of us.

The boys chased each other round and round the beds of the rose garden while we decided what wine we’d like to drink.  It seemed a shame not to finish the Premiere Cuvee Brut, so Gail brought that out for us in a bucket of ice, and we sipped a little more while deciding what to have next.  Then we decided to have another bottle while we thought some more… it was remarkably good value at R 53 after all, though the majority of wines on the list were under R 65.

The picnics came in traditional baskets, though within the baskets each course was packaged in smart bio-degradable cardboard containers.  The bread was still warm out of the oven.  It proved to be a good selection of cold meats (including smoked kudu and parma ham), a chicken and bacon kebab, smoked salmontrout and homemade salmon pate, tartlets, preserves, dips, salads and puds.  The glass of bubbly was included, as was tea and coffee afterwards. At R 145 per head, it seemed extremely reasonable. The kids version (R 60) was a tad disappointing – a burger and a bag of pretzels.  But then it’s hard to fathom what food would be greeted by kids with universal excitement and I guess this was a good bet.  The party packaging was popular too, and included a bottle of bubbles – a very nice touch.

Lying on the soft grass afterwards, playing aeroplanes with the boys, looking up at the spreading canopies of oaks, jacarandas and plane trees I felt as though we’d slipped into an advert for washing powder. It was ridiculously lovely.  I began eyeing up the Manor House and wondering if we could move in.  Thank goodness little boys get tired; otherwise I think we’d still be there.


The picnic season at Nederburg runs seven days a week until the end of March.  Book your picnic basket two days in advance by contacting Sunette Rust on 021 862 3104 / 021 862 3104  or on

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