Below you will find some fun ideas on where to have a civilized organized picnic in Cape Town or in the Cape Winelands, as well as some ideas on where to head off to enjoy a DIY picnic in the region.
CAPE TOWN PICNICS
ORGANIZED PICNICS IN CAPE TOWN
In the Cape we have a civilized custom where you can simply book a picnic and arrive and collect your basket. Many of these spots around the Cape offer lovely tables to relax at and are semi-serviced ie relax and enjoy the day – with the occasional visit from a waiter who will come and see whether you need more drinks. It is one of my favourite things to do in the Cape!
- Buitenverwachting: These are hosted on the lawns of the Buitenverwachting Wine Estate in Constantia, and are prepared by the wife of the winemaker. You sit under the trees at lovely tables and you collect your picnic basket on arrival. The picnics are simple and wholesome – a good old fashioned picnic! Note you need to book in advance for the picnic and that payment for the picnic needs to be in cash. Check out their website by clicking here. To book call Adrienne on 021 794 1012 or 083 257 6083. They are open from Mon – Sat from November to April. Cost: R145 per person (note that they do not do email bookings – so odd! You have to call to book)
- The Round House – They seem to be referring now to their outdoor restaurant
Rumbullion – as a picnic style meal……..not quite a picnic……….but awesome none-the-less and one of Cape Town’s nicest settings. Simply sitting outside on the lawns at the simple tables and eating pizza is a great success and a firm favourite – it almost feels like a picnic. Dining on the lawns is called The Rumbullion Lawns – book for Friday or Saturday night for sundowners at 17h30 and enjoy live music, the views and the pizzas – it is great! (Note they are
open for breakfast & lunch from Tues – Sat……but my favourite is for sundowners & pizza – it states open from Tues – Sat for this – but I am not sure that the early week nights will get the live music – and the music transforms this into a magical experience!) Note that you must book well in advance over summer. It is best to email your booking as they seem to be not answering their phones quite as frequently!
- Cape Point Vineyards – their picnics are lovely and it is a great spot to simply kick off your shoes, relax and enjoy the view! They also do separate picnic hampers for kids. They are open Tuesday – Sunday for picnic lunch bookings and require a minimum of 24 hours notice. Cost R395 for a basket for two people (note there is a vegetarian & kids option available) Note that you can now also book for sundowners up at the picnic spot and there is also a hiking trail that you can do. It is an old fashioned picnic where they simply give you blankets and you find your own spot! You do however have to purchase their picnic hampers! Note that you must check out the map on how to get there as it is NOT at the same spot as the main tasting room for the estate. Cape Point Vineyards; SILVERMINE RD. Telephone: +27 (83) 444 7088 email: email@example.com. Open Tues – Sun from 12h00.
- Eagles Nest (Constantia Winery) – We love the wines at Eagles Nest – so can’t wait to get there to try their picnic! We have had some good feedback on their picnics and it is high on our hotlist to visit. Picnics for two are from R375 per basket for two and include a bottle of wine. There are kiddies options. Picnics run from November to March. Location: Old Constantia Main Road (high up as you head towards Hout Bay). Tel no: +27 21 794 4095
GREAT CAPE TOWN PICNIC SPOTS FOR TAKING YOUR OWN PICNIC
Cape Town people just simply love to picnic! It is our favourite thing! We will simply head down to Woolies (short for Woolworths and no – it is not the same as the US or UK version – it is very similar to Marks & Spencers) or Giovanni’s Deli (Cape Town’s Top Deli – 103 Main Rd Greenpoint) or click here for a great list of local deli’s and stock up with all sorts of goodies. Our British history taught us to love “Sundowners”. This is quite simply meeting for a picnic dinner somewhere that we can watch the sunset. It is the most fantastic way of entertaining – no mess, cheap as everyone brings a few goodies and pops them together to create a feast and quite simply a beautiful way to spend an evening. Note that once the sun goes down in Cape Town – it gets cool – so take layers with you for sundowners! Note that there is a local catering company that specializes in making up picnic hampers – check out the website for The Picnic Company for more info
Pammy’s favourite picnic spots in Cape Town include:
Clifton Beach:I love 3rd beach – to me it is small and intimate and it clears quite quickly after 18h00. 4th Beach Clifton is for families, so if you want peace and quiet check out 1st, 2nd and 3rd beach. 3rd Beach is known as our gay beach in Cape Town. Just beyond 4th beach if you walk through the houses, you can access the rock at the end of 4th beach – this is a fantastic spot to watch the sunset. Tip – on a night where the South Easter
wind is blowing, Clifton is protected from the wind.
- Camps Bay Beach – nice too, but can become very busy – also avoid if the wind is blowing – there is no protection from the wind here!
- Beta Beach – Bakhoven – this is a hidden little beach just after Camps Bay – this one is always quieter as only the locals really know about it. There is something magical about sitting on the big granite boulders there and enjoying the sunset.
- Llundudno Beach – awesome setting – this beach is one of my absolute favourites – it is a little bit further to get to and a little bit more challenging to find parking – but it is worth the effort.
- Signal Hill – awesome spot for picnics and a romantic evening with a girlfriend! You often see couples up there with strawberries and champers! Note as we go into peak season you will also see quite a few tour buses – they don’t stay long though – so don’t mind them too much!
- Lion’s Head– this is a favourite to climb to watch the sunset on nights when the full
moon is expected – the theory is that you will be able to see the path down in the moonlight. Note that you should go up early and that you should pack a torch in case the weather changes and you cannot see the path! A little scary and a bit of effort – but absolutely gorgeous! For tips check out this article in Cape Town Magazine
- Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
– this one is magical for a picnic lunch – take the blankets, take the wine and the kids and settle in for the afternoon. The backdrop is mountain and the setting is quite simply awesome. Note that you can also book a picnic from the Kirstenbosch Restaurant or simply pop in and chose stuff from them to put in the picnic basket. Try and borrow a blanket from someone for the picnic. Tip – walk far into the garden – most people simply plop down close to the entrance. It is far quieter and more magical further up the mountain. Note it is also extremely popular to book for the Kirstenbosch summer concerts and to take a picnic with you for that. Tip: Although the music only starts at 17h30 – you need to get there when the gates open to mark out your picnic territory – or your spot for the concert! Gates open at 4pm! Get there quickly! Concerts start from the end of November through to April. Note that you must buy tickets in advance as these are extremely popular. Pre-book tickets on webtickets
- Peninsula area and Chapman’s Peak Drive– all have magical views and are
perfect to stop for a picnic – note however if you picnic anywhere close to Cape Point you may have Baboons coming to share your picnic. No matter how vigilant you are – they smell it for a mile or two away and sneak up on you!! I have been nailed a couple of times! Chapman’s Peak is gorgeous for a picnic and does not have baboons!
Table Mountain for their summer sunset half price special starting 8 Jan 2015 to 28 Feb 2015. The half price tickets are valid after 6pm. On a gorgeous day the view from on top of the mountain are breathtaking! Take some champers and a few goodies and watch the sun setting. NB it gets really cold up there when the sun sets – so take a jacket!!
ORGANIZED PICNICS IN THE CAPE WINELANDS:
- Vergelegen – this is an absolute favourite of mine – especially on a hot day in the Cape – as you get to sit under the camphor trees in the middle of a forest. It is a delightful treat! In the forest they lay the tables with long white table cloths. You simply arrive and your waiter carries your basket into the forest for you. Note if you are wanting a romantic time – ask them to put your table deep in the forest away from others! They cater for kids and provide kids with a blanket and a treasure map to go searching for goodies in the forest. I had one kid in tears as he thought he would find real treasure at the end of the map – instead of a small gift! Open daily from 1 November for summer picnics. Be sure to book in advance as this is very popular. Kids picnic meals available too. To book call 021 847 1346 or fill in the form on the website
- Boschendal – le Pique Nique on the Pavillion lawns under the pine trees with wonderful mountain views and loads of space for kids to run around. This is once again a wonderfully civilized experience where you pre-order your picnic basket and your waiter comes to check on you regularly to see if you need more drinks. Plan to spend the whole afternoon relaxing here! Take some time before your picnic to explore the old Cape Dutch Manor House on the property – it is one of the best examples of Cape Dutch architecture and is open as a museum (closed at the moment – all under new ownership – I will have to find out if it will be reopened!). This is one of the oldest Cape Wine estates and it is gorgeous. Open daily for picnic lunches. Cost R175 per person, minimum of 2 (vegetarian & kids picnic options available). Note they also do a special picnic basket for Xmas – we spent one Xmas here for the picnic and it was absolutely lovely! To book contact +27 (0) 21 870 4272/3/4/5 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Warwick Wine Estate – this is a wonderful spot next to their dam with a variety of
different choices of where you would like to sit – if you are looking for something quieter – book one of the pods. If you are with kids – book on the main lawn – they have cricket sets and boule and lots to keep the kids happy. The main tip is to book the 4 x 4 tasting trip to the top of the mountain for either before or after. You get to see the big 5………….yes the big 5 grape varietals that they have planted. It is a lovely informal tour of the estate, plus the view from the top of the hill is outstanding! Cost R375 for two people, they also have kids picnic hampers & a vegetarian option. Open daily. To view their picnic menu click here. To book call +27 (0)21 8844410 or e-mail: email@example.com (Note this is one of the Cape’s top wine estates – so this one is a treat for “wino’s” too!)
- Hartenberg Wine Estate – I love that this is a good old fashioned “no frills” picnic like we would prepare as locals! I just had a look at the new season menu – and they have definitely added a gourmet slant to the picnic basket! Expect laid back and no frills while you relax under the willow trees on their lawn (note it is best to get there early to make sure you get a good spot under the trees. Cost R175 pps for a picnic for two including a bottle of wine. Most of their wines are extremely highly rated – so once again this one is a treat! Expect to find lots of locals under the willows! We love it! To book: 021 – 865 2541 e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or book on the website Open 7 days a week in summer
- Remhoogte – Stellenbosch – Their picnic basket serves two people and is filled with a variety of delicious award winning Dalewood cheeses served on a wooden platter, home made red wine onion marmalade and a Greek salad (rosa tomatoes, olives, cucumber and feta) served with a balsamic reduction or home made red wine reduction, two delicious spanakopitas, a Charcuterie Platter of speciality cold meats, a French Baguette, desert and a bottle of Chenin Blanc or the Soaring Eagle blend. The cost per basket is R300 (serves 2). They also offer kiddy baskets @ R55 per basket ( serves 1) and includes a health sandwich or hotdog, a yogurt, a packet of chips, a fruit juice, and a chocolate. Picnic rugs are provided to relax under the trees or you can enjoy your picnic at a table on one of the verandas. Enjoy while watching zebra, wildebeest and springbok graze metres away against a breathtaking Simonsberg, Jonkershoek, Stellenbosch and Helderberg mountain backdrop. Contact: Tel (021) 889-5005 or visit http://www.remhoogte.co.za. (Pam: I have been to the estate and it is quirky – and the field at the back looks like fun for picnicking! Plus this basket sounds like a bargain!)
- Noble Hill Estate (Paarl) are now offering Latin Inspired picnics that sound fabulous! They are already a favourite of mine for their Mexican inspired Cosecha restaurant. Click here to see the menu and costs. Note that they also do kiddy picnic hampers – these can be ordered as well for kids to sit and play and chill on the lawn while the parents eat at the main restaurant. This is a very kiddy friendly wine estate