Tag Archives: picnic

Beauty of the Khayelitsha Wetlands Park

Beauty of the Khayelitsha Wetlands Park
This particular spot at the Khayelitsha Wetlands Park is surrounded by well-kept lawns, seemingly perfect for picnics. A little way away I could make out the faint laughter of kids playing on the jungle gyms, but here it was quite and serene - a lovely place to sit in the cool sunshine.

Summer picnic baskets

Summer picnic baskets
Picnics are big in Cape Town. There seem to be an abundance of wine farms (like Warwick and Zevenwacht) that offer pre-made picnic baskets for you to enjoy on their estates, and an overwhelming number of public places (like the beach, the top of Table Mountain, Green Point park, etc.) where you can enjoy your own private picnic.

Pretty picnic in a jar

Pretty picnic in a jar
In a previous post I referred to Warwick's picnic food as "exquisitly-prepared" - though on reflection I realised that I hadn't actually explained what I meant.

I'm used to picnic food being packed into disposable plastic containers, and the food itself being nothing more special than what I could buy at the local Pick 'n Pay. Warwick's was quite different - the food in our picnic baskets was packed in these beautiful glass jars and was prepared and presented to be visually appealing, and was super-fresh and extra-tastey. :)

What I thought was a neat idea was that the beetroot salad on the right was layered in such a way that only when it was tipped out did the beetroot juice mix with the rest of the salad. The sliced beef was pretty much the most tender beef I'd had in a really long time, and the Parma ham with cheese and marmalade was the perfect compliment.

Even though I'm on a low-carb diet, and even though I don't normally enjoy the taste of olives, I couldn't resist the soft freshly-baked bread, and was somewhat surprised that I really enjoyed the olive tapenade!

The civilised picnic

The civilised picnic
If you like the idea of visiting wine farms and enjoying exquisitely-prepared picnic food, yet you're no so much into sitting on the lawn, then visit Warwick Wine Estate (map) on the R44 near Stellenbosh.

Imagine sitting at a secluded shady table with friends, enjoying Warwick's award-winning wines while delving into a picnic basket that I can pretty much guarantee you won't regret having ordered.

Picnic at the beach with Cravings Delicatessen

Picnic at the beach

We're definitely not into preparing our own picnic baskets - you could say that we're a little lazy that way. ;)  So I guess you'd understand why, when Cravings Delicatessen offered us a complimentary pick-'n-choose style picnic, we naturally couldn't refuse!

We placed our order beforehand, and arrived at Cravings in Sea Point (map) at about nine-thirty; that gave us time to enjoy a cappuccino first before grabbing our breakfast picnic bag and heading down to the warm and windless Camps Bay beach. I hired a beach umbrella from one of the local operators (the best R25 that I've spent in a while) and quickly unpacked the coolerbag, while Kerry-Anne munched some yummy biltong, which her taste-savvy nose had ferreted out from among the treats packed in by Cravings.

Included in our bag of goodies was the best home-made ground chicken burger that I've ever tasted (seriously), a huge wrap that was absolutely stuffed with fresh salmon, a cheese and jam croissant, one family-sized bowl of yummy frozen yoghurt (made from plain Bulgarian yoghurt), a protein shake, a mixed fruit smoothie, dried mango strips, a packet of hot-air-roasted nuts and the bag of much-appreciated biltong (which you may be interested to know is indeed halaal!).

Cravings focuses on good, healthy food; they have a fairly large variety to choose from, so visit their website for the complete menu and price-list. They supply a light-weight cooler-bag for which they hold a R120 refundable deposit. Disposable cutlery and paper napkins are included in the bag, but do remember to bring your own blanket (or towels if you intend heading to the beach).

Tractors and picnics at Solms-Delta

Tractors and picnics
We tagged along with a Irene and a small cluster of friends to Solms-Delta for a picnic along the river. At arrival we first took time to enjoy the wine tasting and then boarded this small tractor for a trip among the vines to the picnic spot on the banks of a little river.

The picnic cost R135 per person and came neatly packed in a cane basket with bottles of wine and water. The day was hot. The wind was cool. The food was good. In conclusion - we had an awesome time devouring the food, lying under the trees, dipping into the river, and playing a round or two of cricket.

The picnic at Solms-Delta comes well recommended!

A village-like hotel at Spier

Spier Hotel
I wrote two articles, including a brief review, about our stay at the Spier estate last week (one, two). Today I'd like to share this night-time photo of the hotel complex - doesn't it look extremely Grecian to you?

Each block of the hotel comprises four apartments, with some (like ours) overlooking lovely little swimming pools. The air on this particular night was warm and there wasn't any wind to speak of - it really was a relaxing atmosphere.

The Spier estate has a few restaurants at which you could dine, as well as a deli that sells the makings of a great picnic that you could enjoy on their lawns. Beware though that the deli is frightfully expensive and the estate prohibits private picnics (although, I've never seen this enforced).

Reader tip: The lawn in front of the deli is most often pretty noisy because of all the families with kids. If you're facing the lawn, walk about 200 or 300 meters to the right (in the direction of Moyo and 8 Restaurant). The first lawn the you encounter is a little quieter, but if you head on past the amphitheater (close to the hotel) you'll find peacefully quiet lawns.

Flowers follow the sun

Flowers follow the sun

I've always found it really very difficult to take beautiful photos of flowers. For some reason, they never seem to look the same in a photo as what they do in real life.

While this isn't the best photo of a flower that you'll ever see, don't you just love how the light shines through the delicate petals and illuminates the flower's different shades and colours? Doesn't this perspective, close to the ground, with all the other flowers in the background give you a feeling of being close to nature?

As with my previous one, I took this photo in the well-looked-after Company Gardens in Cape Town (map). Next time that you have the opportunity, get together a small picnic lunch and sit on the green lawn or on the wooden benches, under the large shady trees. It's perfectly relaxing.

Trees, shade and views – the (almost) perfect picnic spot

A picnic spot with trees
I wrote a little about Picnic Hill (a name given to this place by myself) a few days ago, and then yesterday showed you a photo of a young couple enjoying each other's company while watching the view.

This photo presents the scene near the top of Tygerberg Hill. Isn't it simply beautiful? Can you imagine how peaceful it is up on this hill? The only thing lacking from this place (which would otherwise make it the perfect picnic spot) is a small stream of water gurgling in the background.

Picnic Hill

Going to picnic
I faked a walk-by and then sneaked up behind these four waking up the Tygerberg Hill for a picnic under the pine trees. Warm and sunny day's like today are perfect for taking the short walk up the steep tared road to the top of the hill.

The entrance fee to the reserve is R10 per person (and I think R5 per child). The top of the hill is wonderfully cool on hot summer days and the reserve provides sturdy tables and benches for you to sit at while enjoying your picnic - free from ants and other insects who may otherwise conspire to rob you of you rations. :)

If you're unsure of how to find the reserve's parking area - in this post I've added a link to a Google map that illustrates the path to the top of the hill.

Stellenbosch through a hole

Peering through a hole

Stellenbosch is a student town filled with many retired folk and plenty of really beautiful students. Okay, okay, before Kerry-Anne leaves a comment to this effect - it's not only girls, I have it on good authority that there are plenty of beautiful guys also. :D

Established in 1679, Stellenbosch was the second town in South Africa, the first being Cape Town. According to the town's website, Stellenbosch is situated 111 metres above sea level, is 30km from the closest beaches, and is only 50km from Cape Town. Well-known for its abundant oak trees, Stellenbosch is extremely leafy; so if you're looking for a place to have a quiet picnic, you could pick up a few things from Woolworths or one of the other shops in the area, and then find a spot under a tree on one of the Stellenbosch University lawns. Even if you have grey hair or a slightly wrinkled skin, think young thoughts and you'll fit right in. ;)

Map to the top of Tygerberg Hill

The top of Tygerberg Hill

The Tygerberg Nature Reserve was opened in 1973, which makes it only a little older than I am. I never realised it before, but the 300-hectare reserve has 460 plant species, of which 12 are endemic to Cape Town and three endemic to the reserve itself! Besides for these, the reserve is home to about 50 different mammals, 125 species of bird, 35 reptile species and several different types of frogs.

Yesterday's photo was taken to the left of this one, more or less where you see the people standing - far in the distance. The setting here is beautifully peaceful with marvel-worthy views of Table Bay, Table Mountain, the Cape Flats, False Bay, and the Boland mountain range.

Two of our readers requested directions to the reserve, and since it's a little tricky to explain I drew a map using Google Maps. So, click through here for a map to the top of the Tygerberg Nature Reserve. Once the satellite image has loaded, wait a moment for the route to load. :)