I’d been doing some research into picnic venues in the Cape and when I made contact with someone at the estate, they graciously asked me if I’d like to come and try it out for myself – on the house.
Now there’s an offer I could never refuse…
And so it was, one beautiful, balmy day, that a friend and I found ourselves taking a leisurely drive out to Constantia to the lovely, leafy Buitenverwachting Estate, there to sit and sip and sup to our hearts’ content.
Upon arrival we were graciously met by Adrienne, who runs ‘The Picnic Basket’, and were allocated a table for two under the great oak trees that line the huge lush lawn. We ordered a bottle of the estate’s Buiten Blanc and watched happily as our platters arrived: one savoury and one sweet.
What a feast! On the savoury side there was a perfect balance of meats, salads, dips and quiche, and on the sweet side, there were palate-cleansing fruit kebabs (delicious!), tasty koeksisters and some more-ish cheeses to round things off.
The quantities were perfect – even a little too generous for light eaters like me – but if you’re someone with a heartier appetite, you can order more of whatever you like, at no extra charge!
Here’s how the menu reads:
Black Forest Ham, Meatballs & Chicken Roll
Mixed Garden Salad & Potato Salad
Cheddar, Ricotta rolled in pecan nuts, Brie and creamed cheese with sweet chilli sauce
Fresh fruit kebabs
Koeksister & Chocolate brandy truffles
Breads & Biscuits
Coffee & Tea
R105 per person.
Mmmmmm… I’m already wishing I was back there!
To top it off, it was the most perfect day for a picnic – not a cloud in the sky, warm breeze wafting by. And the Buitenverwachting grounds are so tranquil… So much more so than nearby Groot Constantia (you can also picnic there), where there’s always a flow of tourists going back and forth, on their way to something else.
Buitenverwachting limits the numbers for each picnic, so you’re not going to be sitting cheek-by-jowl with hundreds of other people. In fact, you get your own little table, padded chairs, and a spot in the shade – it’s ever so civilised.
And, in case you’re wondering – the wine, too, was delicious, and I was taken aback at how reasonable it was (in the region of R40).
What a great day out! I didn’t pay for it this time, but I would certainly be very happy to do so the next time I visit, which I hope will be soon. It’s worth every cent.
Buitenverwachting Picnic Information:
Buitenverwachting is located on Klein Constantia Road in Constantia, Cape Town. Picnics cost R105 per person (2009 prices) and are served in baskets under the oak trees. Tables and chairs are provided. Picnic menu here. Bookings are required.
Dates: Open from beginning November to end April.
Times: Mondays to Saturdays from 12h00 – 16h00.
Closed: Christmas and New Year
Contact: Adrienne on 021 794 1012 or 083 257 6083