Updated 17 January 2022
Take advantage of the sunny season and head to these places in and around Joburg and Pretoria 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.
View this post on Instagram
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 years). 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.
As one of Joburg’s leading events venue, Avianto in Muldersdrift offers a variety of picnic experiences complemented by breathtaking views of the area and set alongside the Crocodile River. The inclusive packages cater for families to couples. The Bespoke Romantic Picnic box goes for R450 person, the Gourmet Deluxe picnic box is R350 per person, and the Family Style picnic box costs R250 per person. The menu for all three boxes includes a selection of local cheeses, crackers, preserves, Asian-inspired chicken kebab, roast vegetable salad bowl, pulled beef bagel, chocolate mousse and fruit. Exclusive picnic setup for romantic occasions is an additional R650 per couple and includes a red, white or pink sparkling wine. The vegetarian box for R300 per person includes an Asian-inspired vegetable kebab, a cream cheese bagel and a vegetable wrap. For kids aged two to 10 years, the Kiddies Nosh box for R160 per person has beef meatballs, crumbed chicken strips, crisps, a sweet treat, juice box and fruit. Picnics require a 48-hour notice and for payment to be done prior to securing the booking.
Thaba Eco Hotel offers a tranquil outdoor escape nestled in the Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve in Johannesburg. Their customised picnics cater for intimate and group occasions. The picnic basket for two is R650 per basket from Mondays to Sundays. From Wednesdays to Sundays, you can enjoy the picnic basket for two with an eco-drive at R1,350 per couple. The picnic basket includes a vegetarian option. The menu includes biltong, droëwors, pretzels, dried fruit and roasted nuts for snacks. The salads are pesto pasta with feta, rocket and cocktail tomatoes, and couscous with halloumi, roasted red pepper, baby marrow and fresh basil. Savoury bits include mini beef pregos, parmesan crusted chicken strips with perinaise, assorted dips, pita triangles and halloumi wraps. The menu is completed by sweet treats and a bottle of Spier MCC sparkling wine or JC Le Roux non-alcoholic sparkling grape juice. The Basket of Gold for four to six people, available from Mondays to Sundays, costs R1,250 per basket and boasts cold meat cuts, cheese, biscuits and a variety of savoury and sweet treats. Picnics are held in the beautiful Thaba Gardens and a full pre-payment is required 48 hours in advance to secure a booking.
Budmarsh’s charming countryside is a mere hour’s drive from Johannesburg and situated in the picturesque mountains of the Magaliesberg. Picnics are available from Fridays to Sundays on the lush lawns of the lodge’s vast gardens. At R590 per picnic basket for two people, indulge in homemade breads, quiches and tartlets; a selection of cold meats, sandwiches, wraps and salads; scones served with cream and jam; peppermint or chocolate tart; and assorted cheeses and biscuits. Group bookings take up to six people. Picnic baskets need to be booked 24 hours in advance.
The Terrace Restaurant at Van Gaalen Cheese Farm offers memorable picnics by the Skeerpoort River. With its reasonable pricing, packages range from R480 for a basket for two people to R990 for a basket for five. The picnic hamper contains a cheese and meat platter, noodle salad, pickles and olives, bread and biscuits, and seasonal fruit. For R90, children can enjoy a sandwich, fruit, juice, a sweet treat and crisps. The restaurant has a variety of wines, sparkling wines and cold drinks to add on. If you want to bring your own wine, there’s a corkage fee of R65. Bookings to be made at least a day in advance with a 50% deposit needed to secure the booking.
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 two to eight 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.
Enjoy the perfect summer activity in Pretoria – these gorgeous picnic in picturesque settings are unbeatable.
The team at Afroboer is forever expanding, renewing and reinventing. The restaurant is situated in the most luscious gardens, just inviting one to stretch out on the meticulously maintained lawns under large, old, shady trees, with the soft hum of bees and other insects in the lush flower beds surrounding the lawns. Book with them to ensure that their gardens are, in fact, open for such leisurely lie-downs on the day, or just pick up a magnificent basket and lounge in your own garden. They have an impressive selection of refreshing picnic beverages, including a range of high-end canned wines and Tjin-tjin gins. Their picnic baskets include items like fresh grapes, pomegranate seeds, green olives, salami, dried figs, brie, goat’s cheese, walnut and pear relish, and pumpkin brittle for something healthy and sweet, all served with vegan/banting crackers. Chicken liver pâté and pickled café onions are also available to enjoy along with toasted panini slices. And afterwards finish off with some decadent cake and good coffee.
Jeanine Knipe will guide you through the various available choices to assemble the most “alternative” picnic basket in all of Pretoria. La Coco C specialises in vegetarian, vegan, low-cal, low-fat, high-fibre and many other specialised dietary menu items, which include tangy citrus and beetroot salad, a jewelled quinoa salad, summery papaya salad, bagels with crispy streaky bacon and cream cheese, parmesan meatballs, spiced chickpea and ricotta balls, vegan cheese balls, and raw wraps. They are situated on the outer edges of Pretoria East, just a short drive away from many picnic spots in the area.
The delightful Pierneef’s Kraal guesthouse has recently opened a full-time eatery. The property and cottages, by virtue of once being home to landscape artist Pierneef, come with serious art history. Pierneef called the piece of land “Elangeni”, which means “where sunshine is at the gate” and one would search far and wide for a better picnic spot than in the cool shade of the massive trees in the garden. Freshly baked potbrood and flatbread with De Kraal butter serve as the basis for their picnic baskets, which include marinated feta and olives, a Caprese salad and chorizo, salami, sausages and biltong.
Have we missed your favourite picnic spot in and around Joburg and Pretoria? Let us know in the comments below.