2 October 2019
Summertime in the Mother City is good for many reasons, but one of the things we look forward to most is lazy afternoons sprawled on a lawn with a glass of crisp white wine and a basket of tasty treats. That’s right, folks—it’s time to check out the best picnics in Cape Town. There are many other places to spread your blanket, but what makes all of these ones special is that they all supply ready-made picnic baskets with everything you need. You can just arrive, pick up your basket, and get snacking.
Simon’s at Groot Constantia, Constantia
Take up your spot on the spacious lawns beneath an oak tree at Groot Constantia. The grounds are huge, so it’s easy to find a good spot. You can pre-order a packed basket from Simon’s Restaurant. Baskets contain a selection of pâtés and dips, baguette, cured and home cooked cold cuts, salads, local cheese, biscuits and preserves, and dessert. Vegetarian and halal-friendly baskets are also available on request. Add a bottle or two of the award-winning Groot Constantia wines and you’ve got yourself a perfect afternoon.
TheCellars-Hohenhort, set against the verdant backdrop of the Hohenort gardens, is hosting picnics for a limited time only this October. The country’s 2nd oldest camphor trees tower over the grounds, providing ample shade. The picnic baskets include tapas, freshly baked ciabatta with farm butter, free range roast chicken, artisanal house salads in a jar with vinaigrette, carrot cake with cream cheese icing, bottled water and freshly pressed juice. There are also add-ons available for a slightly higher price. You can also top up with an order from The Cellars-Hohenort wine list. Bookings are essential.
Rumbullion, Camp’s Bay
Rumbillion is an incredible venue with views over Camp’s Bay and Clifton. There are wooden tables to sit at and enjoy the view on the tiered lawns. This is a tapas-style picnic, and you can order from a large selection of items, from charcuterie and olives to amazing fresh salads and bread. For those who are after a more substantial meal, burgers and wraps are available too. The venue is also fantastic for kids.
Cape Point Vineyards, Noordhoek
Cape Point Vineyards overlooks the Noordhoek beach, and the picnics here are truly special. The sloped lawns are located beside a tranquil dam where coots paddle around between reeds. There are comfy cushions to lean on, and tables for those who prefer not to sit on the ground. The Cape Point Vineyards wines are delicious; there’s nothing like the Sauvignon Blanc to take the edge off a sunny summer’s day. The baskets include such treats as couscous salad, patés, bobotie wraps, roasted aubergine, local cheeses, and koeksisters for dessert. Kids baskets and vegetarian baskets are also available, and there is a lovely kids’ play area.
Kirstenbosch Tea Room, Kirstenbosch Gardens
Kirstenbosch is a no-brainer as a picnic venue. The expansive lawns are as inviting as they come, with huge trees for shade and flower beds flanking your spot. You’re welcome to take your own picnics, but you can pre-order one from the Tea Room. The baskets include a salad and sandwich of your choice, along with scones for dessert and juice or water. Wine can be ordered separately. They also offer an English tea for two, with tea or coffee, scones, mini quiches, sandwiches, and cake. If that wasn’t enough choice, you can also choose from an assortment of platters for various numbers of people.
Vergelegen, Somerset West
Vergelegen’s picnic spots are nestled beneath the camphor forest on the estate, with white-cloth tables in the dappled light. Bookings are to be made 24 hours in advance, and kids’ and vegetarian options are available. The menu is mouth-watering: artisanal bread with truffle flavoured farm butter, homemade duck liver pâté, port wine jelly, zucchini pickles, cured salmon, roasted beetroot, lemon quinoa & roasted cashew nut salad, home-style cured meats, slow roasted chicken, a selection of local cheeses, and a dessert of lemon cheesecake with toasted cashew nut brittle. Need we say more?
The Galileo Open Air Cinema, Various locations
The Galileo screens open-air movies in a number of beautiful locations around the city, including various wine estates, Kirstenbosch Gardens, Battery Park at the V&A Waterfront, and Kelvin Grove. Galileo no longer offer pre-packaged picnics but have a variety of food vendors at the location. You’re also welcome to pack your own basket and bring it along on movie night.
Eagles’ Nest, Constantia
Eagle’s Nest is another gem on the Constantia Wine Route. The lawns have both sun and shade, and there are wooden tables available. There aren’t traditional picnics available, but you can enjoy platters of meats, cheeses, fruit, preserves, and patés, and order the estate’s award-winning wine to stash in large ice buckets for easy access.
Twelve Apostles, Camp’s Bay
If you’re after the most romantic picnic spot in Cape Town, this is it. With a dramatic backdrop of Table Mountain and panoramic views of the sea, this private picnic spot for two is sure to impress. The spot is specially laid out for you, and the package includes a picnic basket packed with decadent treats, a bottle of Moët & Chandon Imperial, and a bunch of roses.
The Picnic Company, any location
If you want to choose your own venue but still have a delicious picnic basket prepared for you, try the Picnic Company. They’ll pack your platter box for you with any of a huge variety of options. No matter your tastes or dietary requirements, they have you covered. There are platters of eastern-inspired mezze, delicious low-carb treats, high-tea snacks, finger-food, petite fours, and fancy canapés. And if you’re after something in particular, just ask—they’ll be able to create custom platters for you. Take your platter to your favourite beach, garden, or mountain, and tuck in. Easy as that!
Tables at Nitida, Durbanville
Nitida’s dam-side lawns make a stunning location for eating al-fresco, and their wines are the perfect accompaniment. The baskets include delicious homemade tapas, Mediterranean dips, preserves, oven roasted tomatoes with Danish feta & Hillcrest olives, seasonal fruit, salad, freshly-baked ciabatta, wraps, cheeses, cold meats, and a sweet treat. There are kid’s options available too.
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