‘Sharing is caring’ seems to be the food philosophy at Warwick. Picnic baskets burst with gourmet ingredients and guests are encouraged to enjoy them wherever they want. Inside you’ll find treats like rooibos and oak-smoked salmon, brilliant charcuterie boards, and fresh bread waiting to be smeared with brandy and mushroom pâté. Another way to appreciate a lazy day out in the winelands is to order a few tapas dishes and open some bottles of wine. Choose from light and fluffy sole goujons, venison ragout samoosas, lightly curried calamari, or pan-fried prawns with crayfish bisque. One of the ridiculous chocolate brownies, topped with a white chocolate ganache and cranberries, should take care of that sweet tooth.
Obviously the wine is good. The fantastic range caters for all tastes and – more importantly – all budgets. Try many and stock up with some from the deli on your way out.
It’s up to you. Book your picnic basket in advance and collect it when you arrive. If you’re sitting in the bistro area enjoying tapas, you’ll be welcomed with warm hospitality and friendly, laidback staff.
The wide-open lawns and shimmering lake make it a tough place to beat in summer. The picnic pods dotted around the gardens are a stunning feature. Basically, they’re outdoor dining rooms, made from wood and complete with place settings. Eating good food and drinking good wine in this setting shows a unique and unpretentious way of enjoying the winelands. It’s a dream for families: the kids will absolutely love it out here.
Consider the big 5 vineyard safari for something different. Guests load up a 4x4 with wine and picnic baskets and cruise through the estate, stopping at five different vines, each being prepared for a different varietal. It’s a fun way to learn about wine, without the stuffiness of a wine tasting room. Pre-book this to do with some mates – it’s a cool day out. (AF, October 2011)