Dine al fresco this summer with 5 of the best Cape Town picnic spots. Here’s a handful of venues in and around the Mother City where you can spread your blanket (and get the best pre-packed baskets) in the Western Cape.
Kirstenbosch Tea Room – Newlands
Okay, so technically it’s not in the ‘countryside’ but few cities can brag about having a Botanical Garden – let alone one as spectacular as Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens – within its limits.
Choose the Garden Gourmet Picnic and pick from sandwich options including spicy chicken mayo, roast beef with mustard and pickles, or grilled veggies with basil pesto and feta. And salads such as the sushi salad: wasabi-marinated veggies with crispy fried prawns or smoked salmon.
Baskets also come with scones and clotted cream or cake and a non-alcoholic beverage. Wines and beer can be bought. It is also possible to rent a picnic blanket for R30 (with a deposit of R130).
For a truly unforgettable experience book a picnic during the Kirstenbosch Summer Concerts which run from the end of November to early April.
Cost: R210 per person for the Garden Gourmet picnic and R280 for English Tea for Two
Open: 364 days a year (excluding Christmas day), 08:30-17:00
Where: Gate 2, Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden, Rhodes Drive, Newlands
For more info, visit the Kirstenbosch Tea Room website here.
Cape Point Vineyards – Noordhoek
Soak up the sprawling views of Noordhoek beach and beyond as you kick back on the lawns of this beautiful wine farm. The picnic basket includes 11 tasty treats like Thai spiced fish cakes with sweet chilli dipping, potted chicken liver and bacon pate and chocolate eclairs with white chocolate mousse.
And did we mention charcuterie, salads and local cheeses? Oh and wine. Yes, you need a bottle or two to toast the view and compliment the basket, for sure.
There’s also a vegetarian picnic option and a kids’ picnic. Bookings are essential for this popular picnic spot.
Cost: R395 for a picnic basket for two people (vegetarian/non-vegetarian); R65 for kids’ picnic for 1
Open: 11am to 5pm, Mondays to Wednesdays and Fridays to Sundays
Where: Cape Point Vineyards; Silvermine Road, Noordhoek
For more info, visit the Cape Point Vineyards website here.
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Boschendal – Franschhoek
Boschendal Estate is something of an icon. Its spectacular setting – lush lawns and shady oak trees, hemmed in by the mountains of the Groot Drakenstein – make it a favourite Saturday jaunt among Cape Town city folk in the know.
They go for the views, but also for the generous picnic baskets on offer. There are two beautiful picnic venues. Choose from the Rhone picnics featuring items such as potted Angus beef, farm-style hummus and stoneground flat bread, or Werf Garden picnics packed with snacks including hams and chicken kebabs.
Only naturally grown produce from the estate and locally made artisanal goods are included in the picnic baskets. Banting, vegetarian and kiddies picnic options are available.
Go on a Sunday during Summer and enjoy your picnic to the live sounds of some of SA’s best muso’s at the Boschendal Summer Sunday Music sessions which run from the end of November to early April.
Cost: Rhone picnic: R860 basket for four, R440 basket for two, R240 basket for one and R85 for young children
Werf picnic: R780 basket for four, R395 basket for two, R210 basket for one and R85 for young children
Open: Rhone picnics open from 01 September 2016, Monday to Sunday. Basket collection from 12h00 – 14h00
Werf picnics: Open from the 01 October 2016, Wednesday to Sunday. Basket collection from 12h00 – 14h00
Where: Boschendal Estate, Pniel Road, Groot Drakenstein, Franschhoek
For more info, visit the Boschendal website here.
READ MORE: Cheese and chocolate heaven in Franschhoek
Rhebokskloof – Paarl
A beautiful, family-friendly venue nestled between the granite hills of the Paarl Rock mountains. Think jumping castles, a trampoline, jungle gym and free pony rides over weekends, as well as a range of pre-packed picnic options (including vegetarian and gluten-free) at good rates.
The Lakeside Picnic is the real deal with farm-baked bread, cold meats and pickles, plus sliced beef sirloin and potato salad and the promise of “something sweet”. Wash it all down with a bottle of the wine farm’s flagship The Rhebok Cape Blend 2013.
Cost: Gluten-free picnic: R195; vegetarian picnic: R165; Lakeside Picnic: R185 – (all prices are per person and exclude beverages); Kiddies picnic: R65 including a juice
Open: Mon to Friday: 9am – 5pm, Sat & Sun: 10am – 3pm
Where: Wine Route Number 8, Paarl, Windmeul
For more info, visit the Rhebokskloof website here.
SEE ALSO: The spectacular gardens of Babylonstoren
Grotto Beach – Hermanus
Any beach is always a good idea for a picnic, and the Western Cape has some of the most spectacular in the world but Grotto Beach (walk to the right along the cliff path to the secluded little patch of sand between the rocks) is special.
Stock up on your own picnic goodies from The Deli (181 Main Road) and enjoy 2 kilometres of this pristine, Blue Flag, seldom crowded beach with its spectacular views over Walker Bay.
Cost: Free – just the cost of your picnic
Open: All year round
Where: From Voëlklip to the mouth of the Kleinrivier lagoon, with the Walker Bay Nature Reserve on its north-eastern flank
For more info, visit the Hermanus Tourism website.
Words: Jazz Kuschke
Images: Supplied; Hermanus image: Leo Benning for Hermanus Tourism