Drinks, food

6 reasons to go on a winelands picnic

Enjoy the last of ‘picnic season’ in the beautiful Cape Winelands. These are some of our favourite spots, and the best reasons we could think of for gathering friends and family for a jolly alfresco outing. Be sure to check ahead and book where necessary. 1 Take advantage of the great weather this time of year. Set down a blanket anywhere on beautiful Stellenbosch estate Hartenberg, which offers a generous hamper packed with fresh, quality fare. Do pick up a bottle of the superb Eleanor Chardonnay, and take an amble along the wetland walk. 2 Go for a swim in a river in the gorgeous natural setting of Solms-Delta near Franschhoek, and feel like you’re far from the madding crowd. You’ll be led to your perfect spot on the banks, and then be left alone to enjoy tasty fare from well-stocked picnic baskets from Fyndraai restaurant, along with bottles of quaffable Vastrap or Langarm wine. Until 30 April. 3 Enjoy stylish comfort at Warwick in Stellenbosch, which offers sheltered ‘pods’ to fit 12 of you in quite glorious surrounds, or you can enjoy a no less fabulous picnic experience on the lawns near the dam. The fare on offer is on the gourmet side, just the thing for washing down with wines like the Professor Black Sauvignon Blanc. 4 You don’t have to drive too far from Cape Town if you opt for a picnic in nearby Constantia, and we can’t think of a better spot than Buitenverwachting, which has been offering its table-seated version with delicious things to nibble under the oaks for years. The views are wonderful and the Buiten Blanc a perfect match. Great for families too. 5 Marvel at the views at Cape Point Vineyards in Noordhoek, and enjoy the fresh sea breeze that makes the Sauvignon Blanc here such a winner. There’s a great selection of picnic baskets on offer (book a day ahead), and they’ll also provide you with blankets and cushions. 6 Enjoy healthy, tasty food at Spier near Stellenbosch, which offers a variety of choices tailor-made for discerning foodies and vegetarians alike, not to mention kids. You can pre-order online or fill a basket yourself at divine deli Eight to Go, and then find a shady spot around the lake with a cold bottle of 21 Gables Chenin. Text: Leigh Robertson Images: Denis Jouglet