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.
Where: Stellenbosch Kloof Road, Vlottenberg, Stellenbosch
Price: R645 per basket, serving two, including a bottle of wine from the Chameleon range. Kiddies baskets are R125 per person.
The atmosphere: The private picnic pods on Jordan Wine Estate’s lawns have breathtaking views of the Stellenbosch Kloof Valley as well as the Stellenbosch Mountains, and can accommodate 2-8 people, per pod, depending on the pod.
What’s in the basket? Wood-fired vegetable focaccia and Cape seed loaf to be enjoyed with a selection of charcuterie, including Italian coppa, South African biltong as well as salami Napoli and locally produced hard and soft cheeses like camembert, brie, Stanford and boerenkaas.
This is accompanied by estate-grown and pickled Jordan olives (Kathy Jordan’s secret recipe), homemade Thai chicken pâté, garlic aioli, beetroot-and-orange chutney, mixed herbs and piquanté pepper spread, as well as compound butter. There is also a sumptuous, jewelled tabbouleh salad with smoked chicken, roasted nuts with citrus dressing, as well as honey-and-lime pineapple skewers served with cilantro. And to end on a sweet note, picnickers can select the chef’s patisserie of their choice.
Youngsters can enjoy special kiddies baskets in-between running on the lawns and playing with complimentary bubbles. The basket also includes a cheesy, pizza-inspired beef sausage roll, pineapple and maple-glazed bacon skewer, a packet of crisps as well as a juice box of their choice. For dessert, there’s a layered yogurt-and-fruit jar with cookie fudge crumble and a giant cookie.
Wine included? The standard adult picnic offering comes complete with a bottle of wine from the Chameleon range.
The nitty-gritty: Advance booking is essential.
Operating times for picnics: Picnics run from September to the end of April, Monday to Sunday, with the baskets being ready for collection at The Bakery from 12.30pm.
Where: Annandale Road, Stellenbosch NU, Stellenbosch
Price: R440 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 lush, dam-side 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 walk through the nature trail and indigenous gardens before settling down for your alfresco 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 run throughout the year from Monday to Sunday, 9am to 6pm during summer, and 9am to 5pm during winter.
Where: Helshoogte Road, R310 Banhoek Valley, Stellenbosch
Price: R570 – R875 per basket
The atmosphere: The Zorgvliet picnic area and restaurant is situated in the most picturesque setting. It’s considered “a piece of heaven fallen from the sky, where picnickers can get lost in their dreams, inhale the fresh air of the Banghoek Valley and bask in the warm sunshine”. Here, family and friends can enjoy the spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and vineyards. There is ample space for kids to run around, play games, and enjoy the jungle gym and kiddies splash pad.
What’s in the basket? For couples, we suggest opting for the ‘Zorgvliet for Two’ which serves up a duo of gourmet cheeses and crackers, 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 and a surprise dessert.
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: Summer Season runs Wednesday – Sunday 11am to 5pm until 30 April.
Where: Lourensford Road, Somerset West, Cape Town, 7130
Price: R310 per person (excluding entrance fee, wine, beverages and gratuity), R310 per person for vegetarian/pescatarian options and R330 for vegans. Kiddies baskets for 3-10 year-olds are also available at R115 per head.
The atmosphere: Vergelegen’s mystic Camphor Forest – which consists of descendants from the ancient camphor trees planted by Van der Stel – is the perfect setting for a ‘white tablecloth’ picnic. It offers an opportunity for both intimate as well as larger gatherings of family and friends in a beautifully shaded, tranquil environment in the remnants of Van Der Stel’s Camphor forest.
What’s in the basket?
The standard menu includes artisanal bread with red-wine-and-truffle-flavoured farm butter, homemade duck liver pâté and thyme butter, farm-style pork pâté layered with forest mushrooms, chilli-tomato-and-aubergine chutney, and zucchini pickles. Starters consist of gin-cured salmon, roasted-beetroot-and-chive crème Fraiche, and mains are made up of a selection of home-styled cured meats, coronation chicken, Spanakopita and a traditional Greek salad. For dessert, there’s a baked yoghurt lemon tart with mixed berry compote and coconut crumb, as well as an aromatic filter coffee. There are also options for vegetarians, vegans and pescetarians. Download the full menu here.
Wine included? No, but there is a good selection available to order as an optional extra.
The nitty-gritty: Reservations need to be made at least 24 hours in advance.
Operating times for picnics: Daily 12.15pm to 1.30pm for collection of picnic baskets (Nov-Apr). The picnic area closes at 4.30pm.
Where: R310 Baden Powell Dr, Stellenbosch, 7603
Price: R275 per person. Kids’ picnics are available at R150 per child.
The atmosphere: Picnics can be enjoyed next to a dam or under the oaks of Spier’s idyllic farm setting.
What’s in the basket? Spier offers seasonal and vegetarian/vegan picnics, made with local, natural and organic produce wherever possible. Options include a classic Greek salad, a roasted cauliflower grain salad with celery, quinoa, brown and basmati rice, curry pickled carrots and harissa dressing.
For meat-eaters, there’s sustainably-raised “Farmer Angus” roast beef served with pickles, Farmer Angus roast chicken drumsticks, as well as Klein River cheddar, summer fruit chutney, green fig preserve and crackers, Farmer Angus charcuterie and Vadas Smokehouse & Bakery baguette, butter, red pepper hummus, as well as their famous pasteis de natas.
Wine included? No, but there’s a wide selection to add as an optional extra
The nitty-gritty: Group bookings need to be made in advance, and picnickers can bring their own chairs, cushions and blankets or hire from Spier. A refundable deposit of R150 is payable per basket.
Operating times for picnics: Collection times for picnics are from 12pm to 2pm, and the picnic area is open from 11am to 4.30pm. Baskets need to be returned by 4.30pm.
Where: Green Valley Rd, Franschhoek, 7690
Price: R640 per basket
The atmosphere: After a short stroll through the vineyards, picnickers can relax under ancient oaks right next to the idyllic Franschhoek River. Expect to hear singing birds beyond the laughter of your friends, “as dappled sunlight melts the day into enchanting flavours and beautiful memories.”
What’s in the basket? There are options for meat-eaters and vegetarians, including a selection of freshly-made produce and delicious snacks. The rustic Franschhoek picnic basket includes a chicken waldorf crepe, greek meatballs with tzatziki dressing and honeyed gammon with pawpaw chutney, accompanied by a Dalewood mini-cheese selection, basil-infused cream cheese, artisanal ciabatta, as well as a chickpea, rocket and halloumi salad, and more. The vegetarian basket includes a harissa cream cheese and wild rocket crepe, a zucchini, feta and mint spring roll, as well as a butternut blue cheese and tomato frittata, accompanied by Piccalilli baby vegetables, salad, ciabatta and more. For the full menu click here.
Wine included? Yes. One bottle is included but more can be added from Holden Manz’ wide selection.
The nitty-gritty: It is essential to book at least 24 hours in advance since the picnics are made to order. The basket includes all cutlery and crockery, as well as a blanket and pillows.
Operating times for picnics: Baskets are available for collection from 12pm till 3pm. The picnic area closes at 4.30pm.
Where: Victoria Street, Camps Bay
Price: Picnic Proposal – R3450 per couple; Picnic Pleasures – R2950 per couple; Residents Picnic – R1600 per couple (this package is only available to residents of the hotel)
Situated right above the Atlantic Ocean, The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa offer a variety of picture-perfect picnic spots with breathtaking views all-year-round. Whether it’s at a picnic table at the romantic Stanley’s Rock, nestled in the untamed beauty of the Table Mountain National Park or in the secluded Fynbos Gardens, there are various options for laid-out picnic sites to toast romance as the sun sets into the sea. Picnic spots are subject to availability and can only be upgraded 72 hours prior to the booking. Please note that here is a R1000 surcharge to use the Fynbos Gardens.
What’s in the basket? The picnic proposal package includes a basket filled with decadent treats for two people, as well as a bottle of Moët & Chandon Imperial Champagne, and a bunch of roses. Beyond fresh, homemade specialties, the “picnic pleasures” option for two includes a bottle of Moët & Chandon Imperial Champagne. And the residents-only picnic includes the use of all picnic spots, a Gourmet Picnic Hamper and a bottle of South African Méthode Cap Classique. All picnic hampers have been purchased from the Cape Town Society for the Blind.
Wine included? All picnic packages include a bottle of Champagne or Méthode Cap Classique.
The nitty-gritty: Picnics need to be booked in advance as a limited amount of picnics are available daily.
Operating times for picnics: All day; weather and season dependent (summer days are longer)
Where: 1 Ou Kaapse Rd, Steenberg Estate, Cape Town
Price: R295 per person | Kids’ picnics are R95
The atmosphere: Set at the foot of Ou Kaapse Weg, with a view that encompasses mountain and vineyards and one of the most striking architectural additions to Cape Town in recent years, the sculpture garden at Norval Foundation is a great place for a summer picnics from The Skotnes Restaurant. The Skotnes only takes 5 picnic bookings a day, so expect an intimate, curated offering with lots of privacy, overlooking the museum and sculpture garden. No crowds, no deli fridges, everything is prepared in advance.
What’s in the basket? Visitors can expect to find baskets of fresh, local and seasonal produce – in keeping with the Skotnes’ philosophy of supporting local, small-batch food suppliers. Baskets also include a range of desserts made by our in-house pastry chef.
Wine included? No
The nitty-gritty: The family-friendly picnic hampers are ordered ahead of time, and the price includes admission to Norval Foundation’s museum and gallery spaces. There are also special picnic bags that are packed for children, so everyone gets their own picnic basket.
Operating times for picnics: Wed – Mon 10am to 5pm | During summer early opening on Wed @ 8am & late closing on Saturdays at 8pm