Wine writer and aficionado Cathy Marston shares her top 5 picnic spots to spend Stellenbosch summers.
Now that the weather is picking up again (AT LAST!!!) it’s time to turn everyone’s attention to eating al fresco. I can’t think of many things I enjoy more than sitting outside over a long lazy lunch, and the perfect way to ensure you don’t get rushed or hassled by eager staff is to choose a picnic. Collect your basket and blanket and find your perfect spot and then never move until the sun goes down – that’s the way to spend a sunny afternoon. Here are five favourite and different options from around Stellenbosch.
1. Uitkyk offers a romantic setting in which to enjoy your picnic, lounging on the lawns in front of the beautiful Georgian manor house. The picnics are fresh and tasty and almost too much food for two people, so my advice would be to take a cool box for a doggie bag later on. All picnics come with water and a bottle of wine and you can choose which you want with the price increasing accordingly. I’d go for the Glass Memories MCC which is the perfect sophisticated sipper and ideal for imbibing whilst you beat your loved one at croquet on the lawns. Price – from R400 for a picnic for 2.
2. Zevenwacht is an interesting option for picnics and is perfect for people who love to braai but can’t be bothered to clean up afterwards. They offer a fairly standard-fare picnic which costs R290 for 2, but if you like a bit of action with your lunch, then go for the braai basket instead – make sure you book well in advance. A range of meats, breads and salads are packed along with wood and everything else you need for a braai, all you have to do is pick your site and get down and dirty over the coals. Great fun and lots of space to run around for kids as well. Price – R290 for a picnic for 2.
3. Warwick is rapidly turning into the Picnic Estate with chef Dane Newton whipping up ever increasing numbers of baskets on a weekly basis. However, you never feel cramped or bothered by your neighbours as you relax in some of the ‘picnic pods’ dotted around the lake or just chill out on the lawns. It’s an awesome place for families as well – bring your own towels and swimming cossies because your little monsters will definitely want to play in the lovely new water feature, whilst you can indulge in a leisurely game of boules. Price – R375 for two people.
4. Hartenberg is a low-key, laidback choice which befits the wines and people behind this lovely estate. Using family recipes which have been handed down, the emphasis is on country food served amongst the truly delightful gardens and lawns. Their new range of Alchemy Wines, all priced extremely reasonably, mean that getting someone else to drive is a fine idea indeed, and there is a jungle gym and trampoline to keep small people busy as well as games for grown-ups too. Price – R175 per person including a bottle of wine per couple.
5. Remhoogte is a relative newcomer to the world of picnics but has a lot to offer – including its own craft beer! The Boustred boys are getting into their brewing in a big way with the Wild Beast brewing company providing an alternative to wine for a hot day. The picnics are available at a couple of hours’ notice and then you can pick your spot and watch some of the game animals relaxing in the fields in front of you whilst you sip your beverage of choice. Price – R300 for two people including a bottle of wine.