Updated 9 November 2020
Take advantage of the sunny season and head to these places in and around Joburg for great gourmet picnics.
This medieval-themed spot in Sterkfontein offers three types of grazing boxes, which all include a variety of cured cold meats, handcrafted cheeses, delectable preserves, jams, pickles, relishes, artisanal bread from the wood-fired oven and homemade pâtés. You can also add extra goodies such as mini pies, wraps and sliders. Throw in a bottle of wine, craft beer or gin, or fresh fruit juice, and enjoy it all in the beautiful garden under ancient stinkwood trees. Reservations are required and the grazing boxes must be paid in full no later than 12pm the Friday before the weekend booked. A small box costs R275 and feeds two people, a medium box is R550 for four, and a large box costs R825 for eight.
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For something special, choose from the array of picnics available at Lethabo Estate inside the Crocodile River Reserve. The gourmet romantic picnic is R595 per person and set up next to the river on a mattress under umbrellas. For R875 per person, the luxury romantic picnic is secluded in a Bedouin-style tent or thatched gazebo. If you want to go all out, there’s the boudoir romantic picnic for R1,675 per person in the Willow Tree Hideaway or King Fisher River Loft. The menu includes treats such as a whole honey-roasted chicken, rare roast beef, potato salad, tiramisu and chocolate mousse cake. The vegetarian menu includes deep-fried camembert and a vegetable-and-nut phyllo pastry bake, while the halaal offering has kingklip skewers and alcohol-free tiramisu, to mention a few. There’s also a vegan picnic menu available.
Head over to Stonehaven on Vaal for a picturesque picnic right on the banks of the Vaal River. For R256.60 per person, expect a picnic blanket and a basket filled with chipolatas, barbecue crumbed chicken, petite quiches, local cheeses, bacon-wrapped cheese sausages, kebabs, cold meats, mozzarella-and-cherry tomato skewers, cheese straws, savoury garnish, French bread with pâtés, crisps, dips and finger dessert delights. A bottle of wine of your choice can be added at a cost. And if you’re still deciding on what to do for your year-end office party this year, enquire about a socially distanced picnic for R242 per person. (Stonehaven also offers a range of other options for year-end functions – see their website for more.)
For a gourmet picnic at the heart of Muldersdrift in The Cradle of Humankind, go to the luxury Toadbury Hall Country Hotel. For R400 per person, you get the standard delectable gourmet picnic, with the kiddies’ basket going for R140 per child (aged five to 12). Opt for the romantic sunset gourmet picnic option for R990 per couple. Highlights from the gourmet picnic basket include chicken liver pâté with cranberry-and-apple jelly, roast beef with honey and mustard, yoghurt roast chicken, brownies and a cheese platter. It’s served with a Protea sauvignon blanc, cabernet sauvignon or sparkling grape juice. The standard picnic is offered from 11:30am to 3:30pm while the sunset picnic is from 4–7pm. For the ultimate in romance, you can book a picnic and an overnight stay with breakfast for R2,500 per couple.
For a picnic overlooking the Roodeplat Dam or a pool, The Blades offers various beautiful spots. For R200 per person, you can enjoy crunchy vegetable quesadillas, chicken scotch eggs, beef shwarmas, cheese-and-garlic baguettes, salad, cheesecake, fruit kebabs and more. Add a bottle of wine or choose from their extensive drinks list.
Rosemary Hill Farm has two picnic offerings ideal for couples and small get-togethers with family and friends. The romantic package includes Krone Night Nectar MCC and fairy lights for R900 per couple. The Family Time package for 2 to 8 people costs R180 per adult and R95 per child. Menu highlights include homemade lemonade, spring water, local cheeses, fruits, preserves and the chef’s sweet treat of the day. Note that due to COVID-19 regulations, Rosemary Hill no longer provides blankets and cushions, so guests are encouraged to bring their own.
Have we missed your favourite picnic spot in Joburg or Pretoria? Let us know in the comments below.